So much has been happening this past year. A lot of it has revolved around figuring out how to get a story inside of my head into a format that other people can easily read and then have in their heads. Stephen King said that writing was a form of telepathy. How else would you explain the transfer of an image from the author's mind to that of the reader?
For most of 2019, I have had a squirrel in my head — a brave and kind warrior squirrel with a special gift. At the beginning of the year, I wouldn't have believed you if you told me I would be working with a professional children's book illustrator and editor to help bring Ninja Squirrel into being. And yet here we are.
The idea of a "ninja squirrel" is not new. When I was in college, there were unique squirrels that lived near our dorm. These squirrels were Eastern Gray Squirrels, but because of their genetics, their coats were pure black. Everyone called them ninja squirrels. Popular culture has frequently played with the ninja squirrel idea with daring squirrel videos posted on Youtube or seen on TV.
In 2018 I was standing at my window one day watching the birds at our birdfeeders when I saw an epic battle take place. A thin and hungry squirrel launched itself bodily at an unsuspecting bird. The bird was chased off, and the squirrel ate. When the squirrel had attacked, it really did look like a ninja, and I began to wonder what a real ninja squirrel might be like. And why was she a ninja?
These questions led to more questions regarding the life and times of ninja squirrels, and Ninja Squirrel and the Nut of Destiny was born. It was a lot of fun to write, and I'm looking forward to launching it out into the world in 2020. I hope the story brings as much enjoyment to readers as it did to me.