I decided to set up this blog as a central place to discuss my writing and what I’m doing.
So what am I doing? Well, I have decided, in all my exploration of the kind of writing that I like to do, to start writing children’s level fiction. It’s the kind of writing I’m drawn to and, if I’m allowed to admit this, the kind of writing that I like to read. I’m very much an action/adventure kind of writer but I also like to write things that teach and inform along the way of telling a good story.
The first book I’m publishing along these lines will be the first book in a potential series called Mai Day Mysteries. It follows three young people around as they attempt to solve various goings on around their small town and get into danger along the way. The main characters are Mai, a girl with a lot of heart and caring, Janie, her strong and athletic friend who’s not afraid of a little adventure, and Rupert, her smart and meticulous friend whose gadgets and know how can get the team out of a jam. Together, they go on Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys style mysteries as they try to help out their neighbors as much as they can.
I’m really excited about this book and think that it will speak to a lot of kids out there today. And my kids loved it and forced me to finish it, so it’s got to be good.
Another book that’s in the works now is a Minecraft diary style book called Codecasters. Codecasters takes place in a fictionalize Minecraft universe where the characters of the game can actually program it. There are wizards that run code to change and add to the world in which they live and our main character, Kyle, along with his friend Marie need to stop an evil wizard while learning basic programming concepts along the way.
I thought up of this series because, 1. my kids love Minecraft and 2. teaching programming by teaching the concepts in a concrete way is much more important than teaching programming via just learning what to type. Each book in the series will focus on one basic programming concept and have the characters use that concept in a number of different ways throughout the story to really drive the lesson home. My daughters are very interested in this one, so I’m excited to work on it.
I also think that programming, especially its basic concepts, are going to be must have skills for our children and it’s not something that is being taught nearly well enough in the schools. I really do want to create a series of not just useful books but also highly entertaining books that everyone will enjoy. Even if your child hasn’t expressed an interest in programming, I hope that they will still be interested in these books and learn programming as more of a side effect. Sneaky learning is the best learning!
If you’re interested in keeping up to date on either of these titles, just sign up for the mailing list and I’ll let you know how things are progressing.
JP Erickson Book Club