I love to write when I have time, and I especially love to create rhyming stories. In fact for each of my four children I have written a rhyming story that featured them in a unique moment or emphasized a character trait that make them each special.

The Day I Became A Pirate is a story I eventually designated for my youngest son, Kaiyan. The story came about while we were walking along Hukilau Beach on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

I talked my two sons into a hike that was just beyond their endurance. We had a long hike to make it to Goat Island for some exploring. My two young boys were starting to think the walk was going to be too long, so I started spinning a tale to keep them entertained. Initially pitched as a ‘true’ story about when I was a kid, they of course knew it wasn’t but joined in the fun and played along.

Pointing out to the sea I assured them that “I was walking along the beach one day when out on the horizon a ship appeared…” I illustrated the scene with pointed gestures and an occasional stop to point out features of the beach or to clarify where the pirates landed or performed their deeds. My youngest son often stopping me in my tracks to confirm a detail or ask a question. I couldn’t help but laugh with my older son at his enthusiasm.

An additional inspiration for the story was a large sailing ship moored at Hukilau, just off the shore in the middle of the bay. It looked like something pirates would sail, and provided a realistic backdrop for the story as I made it up along the way.

We made it to Goat Island and came back to the house with a new adventure under our belts and sunburns that mom wasn’t too happy about. I spent the rest of the day thinking about the story and sharing the boys’ excitement at various details with my wife. She suggested this could be my story for our youngest boy and I spent the rest of the trip mulling over the details in my mind.

The plane ride from Oahu to Salt Lake City is a six hour trip over night. I usually sleep as much as I can, but on this trip I couldn’t stop thinking about our story and spent the entire flight putting the details to rhyme. I had it finished by the time we landed, and shared it with the family the next evening. Everyone loved it, and I was thrilled.

I have always wanted to publish my stories and have explored a few options along the way. Between work and expense, I always seemed to run into roadblock or barrier that competed with my regular work and postponed my dream.

One day a friend called me up and asked if I would give him my thoughts on his latest software project; a publishing application for the iPad. My review of his technology at TaleSpring was filled with excitement as I shifted my lifelong goal to publish paper books into a wild new dream of bringing my stories to life with actions, sounds and hidden treasures.

One of my biggest problems was in putting pictures to the story. I worked with several illustrators at the beginning, each of which didn’t work out for various reasons including unfamiliarity with the mobile platforms we wanted to take advantage of.

A friend of a friend recommended Zach Clough to help me with illustrations. I reviewed Zach’s portfolio and was immediately impressed with his rendition of a pirate. Better still was that Zach had experience in computer-based illustration along with an outstanding talent for sketching amusing characters. I asked him to join me and we have been working on the project together since. He has done some fantastic work, some of which you can see in our pirate book blog.

I chose the Pirate Story to lead my new adventure into mobile publishing, and look forward to adding the rest, soon.

Thanks for reading!

PS: You can watch my progress with other books in the making at My Ride With The Alien, One Day In The Grass, and Dad And Me Under The Sea.