It's been about a year since I starting writing the book - and about nine years since the original screenplay upon which it was inspired first began to take shape.
While the story reflects some of my own junior high experiences, it also incorporates friendships and experiences stretching back to my earliest memories to my college years.
I actually finished writing the book (or so I thought) at the end of 2012 - but then spent nearly two and a half months working on polishing the manuscript with my editor/proofreader.
Going back even further, my nephew and I started discussing the original screenplay in 2004.
|The very beginning of the first handwritten draft|
of "Food Chain," which I then called "Targets"
The graphic novel idea evolved from a single image of Alexander (the main character in "Food Chain") and his friends that I randomly doodled. The idea (I'll be a little vague, since the situation featured in that drawing may be a part of a future volume in the series) struck me as funny, and started the story process.
Go back even further, and the evolution of the novel descends from three separate branches.
I've been writing short stories since I was nine years old. That first story, an school assignment in which we were to find a picture and write a story to go along with it, was titled, "The Lost Puppy." I've written hundreds of stories, short and long - shared some of them, and wrote most of them simply because I enjoyed the process.
I've played around with cartooning since I was in grade school - not with any serious intent, but simply to amuse myself and my friends. In college, it became somewhat of a "thing" I did for and with my friends, and was great fun for a couple of years.
It wasn't until my nephew came along and was growing up in the late nineties and discovered my old cartoons that I was inspired to create new ones, usually to entertain us on our yearly camping trips.
I've been writing screenplays since fifth or sixth grade, following the form I learned from the screenplays my father would bring home from his work at 20th Century-Fox. At first, they were short Star Trek knock-offs, but eventually they evolved into more original work. I produced a couple as short films, and wrote (or attempted to write) a few feature-length screenplays - sometimes on my own, and sometimes with collaborators. Before "Food Chain," two of those screenplays won a few awards here and there, and began to build my confidence in my craft.
"My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain," then, is the evolution of all of my creative "adventures."
Whether readers will like it or not, time will tell. I had great fun getting here, though!