Many years ago, the family had a blog, Javi_Cover_for_Kindlewhere all of us would contribute ideas, insights and sometimes little stories – specifically, my daughter, who showed a talent for writing from an early age. We developed a competition: When she would complain, on lazy summer days, that she was bored – I’d tell her, write a story, and she’d reply, you write one, too. So, when she decided she’d try her hand at writing a novel-length tale, she thoughtfully offered the suggestion – you write one, too: A daunting prospect, but so was the genesis of Javi.

The tale of a young birdwatcher who has come to expect that his interactions with others will end badly, though he doesn’t always have a clear understanding as to why. He begins to form an identity – for better and for worse – from his interest in the birds, and it leads, coincidentally, to other unexpected and unlikely interests, as well as new friendships and the rekindling of old acquaintances. Though he finds many experiences to support his expectations, it is those that do not that he finds most difficult to accept.

Genesis, as the end result was not what had been feverishly plotted out, the months prior, a plot pulling on suggestions for first time novel-writers, to write about the familiar and incorporating personal experience. The over-arching plan was to write a story based upon the – let’s go with fantasy, and not delusion – held when I was small, but towards the latter as Javi collected a series of numbers that he believed would put him in contact with the alien species of which he would grow to believe, he was a part. Seven numbers, to make a phone number, that when called would send him over. The story written got to two, and by that point – and as I seem to do – I didn’t care for the direction the plot would take him.

So the plot was tuned: When asked what the story was about, I always responded with – it’s about a boy that saves a bird. That ended up being where the story stopped, and by that time, answering what it was about had become more complicated. Javi struggles: He’s his biggest obstacle, often subverting himself. But the point of the story, was that – when forced out of his head, when fully supported by those that cared about him – he could be… Alright.