Our Sci-Fi novel, AMERITA, is one of many father/son bucket lists items we can now check as complete.
Luke, my 14 year old son, is on the heart transplant list. He has an extremely rare life-threatening heart disease called Restrictive Cardiomyopathy. I decided several years ago to do everything in my power to help my son pursue every unique passion, every crazy idea, every obscure interest, everything that he has ever dreamed of doing.
Our book idea came to us when Luke was 11 and we were on a Disney vacation. One of our many intellectual conversations of a various topics started when the question was posed, “What if a family’s ability to enjoy a Disney vacation depended on how hard the parents work and not on how much money they earned?” We spent much of that week building a world through conversation where this notion would be possible.
Then Luke said to me, “We should write a Sci-Fi novel about this.” And another item was added to our father/son bucket list.
While writing together, I focused on the not as exciting aspects, character development and world building. Luke wrote the fun stuff, the action scenes and fighting sequences. I remember clearly his first contribution to the writing, he said, “Dad, we have to start the book with an action sequence.” Then he snagged my laptop for the next two days and we had our opening scene. He went on to write the vault scene, the masquerade party, the Underground, the mugging, and thousands more words that breathed action-filled life into the story.
The last third of the book was written in 4 weeks; we were in the “Flow”. For days we argued over how the story would end and the events that would lead to the demise or triumph of our hero. We would break out the Lego mini-figures and act out the sequence of events. We would physically act out the fight scenes. Eventually we found the ending we both loved.
We spent a few more months receiving feedback from focus groups, plugging plot-holes, and having our work professionally edited for grammar, spelling, and consistency. We released the novel for Kindle and in paperback on November 1, 2016 through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and in August 2017 we released the audiobook version through Audible.com
This past summer we moved onto our next father/son bucket list item…AMERITA, The Movie! We teamed up with a screenplay writer and are in the final editing stages and will be bringing the screenplay to Hollywood!
The screenplay holds a very special place in our bucket list. Ever since the 2nd grade, Luke has been planning to move to Hollywood and become a famous actor. Now a High School Freshman, he has been in 18 theater productions and performed with his vocals and guitar for many audiences. His fervor for acting and performing keeps him pressing forward. His passion for writing and interest in directing are blossoming as well. (A very special thanks goes out to Josh W, Joe N, and David S for helping us along this leg of the journey!)
We have no way to tell what new items will fill our bucket, and I’m sure they will be fantastic! We do know that along the journey we will encounter many people who are willing to help us in many ways.
As for the bucket list items Luke has already checked off, there are many, and each one has amazing memories:
|America’s Got Talent audition, Check!
|Paris, France (he loves everything French), Check!
|YouTube Channel, Check!|
|Hamilton on Broadway (thanks to Make-A-Wish), Check!