One day, when I was 6 years old, I asked my parents for some paper and a piece of cardstock. With that, I wrote my first book. My first five books, actually.
The series was called “Shanin Adventures.” It followed the travels of Tracy and Drew Shanin, twin children from Wilmington, North Carolina (where I was from) whose first adventure was to find the “biggest and most beautiful jewel in the world”…for some reason :P Along the way, they encountered a bitter anthropomorphic ice monster named Bigfoot. In later books, the kids join girls named Teresa and Trasa. Bigfoot also finds other monsters to join his side, such as Grislen, Lizard Eater, and The Devil. XD
If it sounds like Power Rangers or Big Bad Beetleborgs, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Those were my favorite TV shows at the time and they undoubtedly influenced me.
Funny enough, the actual idea for Shanin Adventures has been with me since I was 3 years old. I was so young when I came up with this story that my parents called my characters “imaginary friends.” It was a game I played with my childhood best friends, Robyn and Brandi. In the game, I was Tracy Shanin, Robyn was Teresa, and Brandi was Trasa. There was never a real counterpart for Drew. I think Drew was just my expression of how much I wanted a twin sibling. Anyway, it wasn’t until I was old enough to read and write that I bothered writing anything down.
Unlike last week’s Throwback Thursday, “The Outcasts”, which I will probably abandon as derivative and unsalvagable, Shanin Adventures has been a work in progress throughout my entire life. Some things have changed – Bigfoot is now Fri, and he’s a man reanimated from an icy grave. The world they occupy is no longer North Carolina, but a post-apocalyptic Israel. The main characters are still four siblings with (mostly) the same names. Even the “biggest and most beautiful jewel” comes into play, as the plot revolves around a mystical ruby dagger – which contains a divine shard leftover from the creation of the universe. Yes, Shanin Adventures went from a Power Rangers knockoff to a sweeping epic a la Dune that involves superpowered zombies and Kabbalah.
The original five books were written by hand when I was 6 and bound between cardstock like chapter books. I have transcribed one chapter of the first book below! For ease of reading, I have fixed the spelling and grammar (added quotations, etc). The actual story text has been unaltered.
“Shanin Adventures #1: Drew and Tracy Meet Their Match”
Tracy and Drew were a mile from the dark cave.
“Whew, that was close,” Tracy said, panting.
Drew was walking beside Tracy. “That’s for sure,” Drew said.
Not before long, Drew was asleep, so Tracy had to drag him. She made a camp and put Drew to bed.
In the morning, when Drew woke up, he felt something under his pillow and screamed. It was such a loud scream, he woke Tracy. They pulled up the pillow and there was the biggest and most beautiful jewel in the world.
All ended well for the twin siblings, and their encounters with the dastardly ‘Bigfoot’ continued in
Shanin Adventures #2: It’s Time To Get A Club
Shanin Adventures #3: Tracy Becomes A Queen
Shanin Adventures #4: Bigfoot’s Got A Club
Shanin Adventures #5: You’re Falling In Love!