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Local boy follows dream of being published author

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James Compton is realizing his dream and working on more books to add to his resume.

Posted: Thursday, October 14, 2010 12:15 am

James Compton, 17, is a Glendale resident who can now add published author to his list of accomplishments. Having just published a children's book, Compton is hopeful the action-adventure story could become a series.

Compton's new book "Cat-Boy vs. the Fatal Game Glitch," is intended for readers ages 8 to 14 and features Messianic super-hero characters.

The fictional work is Compton's second book and was written under Compton's pseudonym, Michael Morgan, the author's combined middle names. What may take many authors years to complete a novel, took Compton only three months.

Compton always loved to read and write from a young age. Raised and home-schooled by his single mother, Elizabeth, who is also a writer, he received his GED (high school equivalent diploma) by the ripe old age of 16. Compton is now attending Glendale Community College on a full academic scholarship.

Compton said he had wanted to write a book for as long as he could remember.

"I decided to combine my two favorite things," Compton said. "My cat and my Game-Boy (video game)."

Thus was born the superhero character. The inspiration for Compton's feline protagonist? Perhaps one of the family's many pet cats.

His comedic superhero characters appeal to young readers with their zany adventures and video-game-infused escapades, making it relatable to younger audiences and fun to read. The 121-page action mystery is now available for purchase through local bookstores' order desks or online through bookstores such as Barnesandnoble.com, Amazon.com and xlibris.com.

To evade bias due to the author's young age, Compton's mother met with publishers to negotiate a deal on behalf of her son. She only mentioned his age after publishers expressed interest.

Compton's family friend, Derek Isbell, provides the illustration of the main character, Cat-Boy. Compton would describe what he envisioned Cat-Boy to look like and Isbell would create a rendering to match the descriptions.

Easily described as multifaceted, the teen has aspirations to become a Messianic rabbi and pursue game design once he graduates. He also enjoys playing mafia wars on Facebook, swimming and is an avid walker, which allows him the opportunity to think up new adventures for his stories. He enjoys spending time with his cats, rat, and bird. He also enjoys reading, playing video games, seeing movies, and confesses to having a crush on actress Keira Knightley.

When asked if he felt he could serve as a role model to other young hopeful-authors, Compton replied modestly, "Maybe someone will read Cat-Boy and decide to write their own book. That would be cool."

Compton's favorite books include the series, "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" by Rick Riordan, the "Jack Sparrow" series by Rob Kidd, the "Mossflower" series by Brian Jacques and books by author Bill Wallace.

Reach the reporter at kstafford@star-times.com, or 623-847-4615.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

3 comments:

  • GendraDiffer posted at 1:28 pm on Thu, Oct 14, 2010.

    GendraDiffer Posts: 2

    Not necessarily true Tsu. With the right marketing strategy, a self published book can be a runaway best seller. I am a professional writer and that's how I got my start. I fully intend to support this young man's dream and order one of his books for my daughter. Way to go James! You're following the American dream, of looking at the possibilities and not at the negatives.

     
  • GendraDiffer posted at 1:25 pm on Thu, Oct 14, 2010.

    GendraDiffer Posts: 2

    Not necessarily true Tsu. I am a professional writer myself, and I got my start in self-publishing. With smart marketing strategy, a self published book can be picked up and be a runaway best seller. It happened in my case. It can happen here. And I fully intend to order one of these books for my daughter, because I think it looks like a charming story. That's the problem with Americans today - always looking at the negative, and never looking at the possibilities. Way to go James! I look forward to reading your book!

     
  • TsuDhoNimh posted at 8:18 am on Thu, Oct 14, 2010.

    TsuDhoNimh Posts: 1

    Alas for James, xlibris is a vanity press that makes money selling services to people who want to be published, it is not a publisher that makes money selling books to readers the author will never meet.

    www2.xlibris.com/marketing_services.html shows all the ways they make money from eager authors. If his mom wants his book to be marketed, she will have to pay for a "marketing package" (Available for $149, plus shipping and handling). If she wants books for a book signing, she will have to buy them herself. And the money keeps flowing the wrong way, from the author to the supposed publisher, not the other way around.