On the eve of his 11th birthday, eleven year old Luke Herzog completed 40,000 words and 203 pages in the form of a book called DRAGON VALLEY. Quite an accomplishment! Before you say, he's a freak and you can't do that. Think twice about it.
Luke Herzog and Dragon Valley
11-year old son Luke is one of those creative kids who has read scores of fantasy books, everything he can get his hands on. His oft-struggling local library's free offerings have been his muse (and has saved his parent's bank account). Inspired by those books, he sat down at age 9 1/2, nearly two years ago, to write his own fantasy book -- an epic dragon tale. His parents figured he'd get 400 words into it and quit. But he kept at it... for 18 months... and on the eve of his 11th birthday he completed Dragon Valley. There is even a map and a glossary.
When he was well into the process, his dad, Brad (also an author - www.bradherzog.com) and mom told him that if he finished it, they would find a way to publish it. So they started a little venture called Why Not Books (www.WhyNotBooks.com), and DRAGON VALLEY was released in February. The book -- a tale of five talking dragons, their relationships, their adventures, and their thousand-year evolution in the place they call home -- is off-the-charts good (at least that's what his mom says, and she swears she's being as impartial as she can be, although she is of course his mom). Now, even more cool is the fact that despite the fact that Luke doesn't receive an allowance, he decided he wanted to donate half of the proceeds from the book sales to the library. Happy times for the librarians!
The response has been excellent. The book launch event -- at the library, of course -- drew some 150 people. There was a line of autographed-book-seekers nearly out the door. Luke signed nearly 200 copies of Dragon Valley that night alone, half of the money going to the children's section of the library!
A lot of kids absolutely love the book. They've written to Luke (he has a website: www.Dragon-Valley.com) telling him that Dragon Valley is their favorite book of the year, sending photos of sculptures they've made of "Blue, the water dragon" for school book reports, telling them how they've been inspired by him... And his 5th grade teacher (one of those fun teachers who has Star Trek and Lord of the Rings stuff all around his classroom) asked Luke to compile a 30-chapter reading comprehension guide, bought 30 books himself and is planning to incorporate it into his curriculum. Props to the teacher!
Meanwhile, Luke is well into his next masterpiece -- the tale of a kind-hearted rogue on a quest to retrieve a priceless gem (there's a tiny excerpt on his website). Working title: GRIFFIN BLADE AND THE BRONZE FINGER.
I haven't asked his parents yet, but I think the reason the named the company WhyNot Books goes to a quote from Shaw's play Back To Methuselah : “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’".
We all have dreams and nothing stands in the way of us accomplishing them, except for ourselves. So, put Farmville, or WOW aside, get a dream of your own, and start working to accomplish it. It is a lot of fun to create something that has never existed before, but it does take work and dedication. You can do it!
Our congratulations to Luke Herzog for following his dream and making it come true with Dragon Valley