I grew up in rural Herriman Utah and loved the outdoors. I discovered the wonders of reading suddenly, in the 5th grade. I consumed hundreds of books – Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jack London, H. G. Wells, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Anne Mccaffrey, Louis L’amour etc. I discovered that I also loved to write in Mr. Dave Judd’s 12th grade English class at Bingham High School when he assigned us to write our own Beowulf adventure; it leaped from my pen and he asked me to read it in front of the class. It was a great day that should have inspired me to continue writing. I chose to pursue a bachelor’s of business management, and found that I had little time for recreational reading or writing. My character and social skills were greatly enhanced by serving a two year religious proselytizing mission for my church. I married the beautiful Kjerstin Diamond from my high school, graduated from the university, and then embarked on the dangerous and turbulent self-employment adventure. Kjerstin graduated with a bachelor’s in English and teaching credentials – fortuitous, indeed.
I longed for more time to read and even felt a few yearnings to write now and then, but I allowed my talents and imagination to become preoccupied with the immediate task of earning a living.
Finally, our first son was born. He loved to listen as I told him about the stories I had read as a youth. One day, my brother Stott invited us to go with him and his family out to the Dugway geode beds. Shortly after the invitation, we were on our way to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house and Joseph asked for a story, so I began with: “Joseph and his daddy went out to the west desert hunting for geodes…” Joseph loved crystals, and robots. At every opportunity Joseph wanted more; the story evolved – they found the robot, and my imagination was liberated! I was inspired by his words: “I love you Daddy. Tell me a story about me and the robot.” The story became crystal clear in my mind and the scenes seemed to flow by themselves. I told Kjerstin that I wanted to write a children’s book, but the story progressed so rapidly that a children’s book would not suffice, so it evolved into a book for youth and adults. Five more books in the Defenders of Destiny series and an intersecting prequel series set in the middle ages that reveals the origins of the European dragon(the book one afterword foreshadows it) are anxiously awaiting their turn to be liberated from my mind, so I have placated them temporarily by writing down outlines – I cannot write fast enough, even though my typing skills have greatly improved.
While writing this adventure, I intentionally created a story that would appeal to readers of all ages, but with youth particularly in mind. I was tired of books and movies that specifically excluded one or both parents from the story and I am appalled by the vernacular and inappropriate content of some of the books that have been recently written for youth.
My primary goal was to write an exciting story that could not be set aside, but I also wanted one that would stretch students' vocabulary without frustrating them, as well as inspire them to seek after more knowledge and develop a lifelong love of reading and writing. I wanted my characters to be realistic, yet display a level of character that would offend no one and inspire youth to live up to their greatest potential, without lectures or sermons. This is a family adventure, revolving around the main youth characters, Joseph and Sharianna.
Your friend in reading and writing,Brenton Barwick