And think of this: You went through all these things in your life, only to keep returning to the same place, the same source, the same issues and problems. You wonder what is the source of this experience? What does it all mean? Are there any answers out there? Or is there another way of looking at all of it? Perhaps another way of examining how those questions have been thought of in history?
Then you have an idea for a book that's loosely based on a revisit of your youth, an idea that won't let go of you, a feeling for a book that you know in your heart you were meant to write (in your very limited, flawed way of writing).
Events in your life cause you to ask yourself, of all the things I can do, what am I supposed to do before I die? I were to die tomorrow, then what would I like to have out there? What would I hope people would think of "me" by?
You remember something special happened when you were a teenager, you and some friends made a decision to step outside of all that you knew and what was all around you. And that stepping out was representative of everything you later experienced throughout your life. This experience is something you want to express and share with others.
But "The STARLING Series" isn't exactly an escape or a relief from burdens. Nor is it pure entertainment (though every chapter and every conversation is full of conflict, both internal to the characters and external via their environment).
And what's worse, you've written a series about a near-future that's hauntingly similar to our present. But there is no fantasy or escape involved. In fact, the main conflict in the series is the conflict between the full extent of reality versus out-of-control fantasy and wishful thinking in the minds of human beings.
So right there, you've broken the number one rule of "best-selling" fiction writing - dreaming, escaping, forgetting.
"The STARLING Series" breaks all the rules just like its characters, Simon Laramie, Jaya Ceyes, Flower Wildwind and Peter Arnold. These kids break rules so they can be free to ask the key questions they must know the answers to: What are our true dreams? Which dreams should we should choose? What are our choices? What are nightmares?
"The STARLING Series" challenges us all (including the author) to think harder about our lives, issues we're facing, current technologies and how those technologies may quickly develop in the near future and what this means for our humanity.
Simon, Jaya, Pete and Flower do have some cool skills, though. They're "hackers," so to speak. But their "hacking" isn't strictly by choice, but by necessity: the need to find some way to express themselves while owning their private lives and thoughts in a future in which everything about us from the day we're born until the day we die (and after) is required by law to be uploaded to SUPERNET.
Simon, Jaya, Flower and Pete "hack" into the tightly-controlled SUPERNET because of their need to truly connect as friends in a world that is completely connected electronically. Yet paradoxically, this is also quickly becoming a world in which people are more disconnected than ever from each other, from love and our own humanity. These kids become "criminals" in the eyes of the State simply because they need to express themselves without PATRIOT SECURITY's robotic four-legged "cheetahs" hauling them off to Reconditioning Centers.
So again, who cares about four teenage "hackers"? Who will stop for a moment in this busy, hectic, fast-paced world we're creating to take a minute to care about these kids who are left to fall through the cracks of Briarwood Public High School?
I honestly don't know who, if anybody, cares about these kids. But I look forward to finding out. (That's one of the reasons I wrote "The STARLING Series." Writing, for me, has always been a way to live). Looking forward to meeting you and making new friends. Here's to learning new things!