I have mentioned in earlier posts and interviews that my debut novel is based upon my imaginary backwood and backyard adventures. Whether or not some readers have read my interviews, they seem to pick up on that since it reminds them of their own kid adventures. That’s something I would have never thought would occur. I didn’t know books could do that.
Anyway that said, I have also mentioned that I grew up as an only child (my younger sister wasn’t born until I was 18) and living in the backwoods allows for one’s mind to wonder…especially being alone most of the time. I didn’t have much contact with other kids, so you can guess I had to create my friends. Then I create my own world. Of course when you go on adventures you must have enemies, right?
In any case I was only about four or five years old and basically doing world building and character development. Most kids do this but for some reason they can’t seem to transfer that onto paper later on. I can’t figure out why. It just seems like it would be easy, but I don’t know since I haven’t been able to talk to too many people about such things. I could do impressions of my imaginary comrades and enemies in solo RPG. Of course you do that with toys as well. Most of the time I created new characters out of the action figures I possessed. Dinosaurs were local wildlife and could talk. I can still act out my characters in full display today and talk like them to some extent. Sometimes it gets a little crowded inside my head.
The backwoods becomes a vast playground with acres and acres of playground. Leaving the yard meant I left real life. I could forget about the homework for a few hours. I still have to keep on the lookout for wildlife such as venomous snakes, bobcats, bears, etc as well as steering clear from poison oak, ivy, and sumac. I would go catch frogs and lizards and bugs. In the backyard bring out the action figures and the dinosaurs meant going to a different land for today. Sometimes I would make my own potions or concoctions with whatever I could find in the woods. I never drank it since I knew just about everything that was in it was poisonous. If it was raining I would have an indoor adventure or I would join Atari or Nintendo for an adventure (depending on when it was).
After applying my kid fantasies to paper somehow or another the fantasy worlds have exploded and merged together. I have been to worlds in my imagination that I never dreamed up as a little kid. Some things are outright scary. That being said my adventures didn’t die when I grew up. They grew with me. I have influenced younger family members to use their imagination and create their own adventures. My biggest ones was my younger sister and a younger cousin. Her adventures died when she grew up, but the cool character she created didn’t. She’s still alive in me and is part of the adventure even still.