While serving as a volunteer for a seventh grade writing class, I was entering the number of words each student committed to write as part of a NANOWRIMO (National November Writing Month) project. After I recorded the last entry, a student popped up, “What about Mr. Yates?” I committed to 60 thousand words. I completed 47,000+ and continued to write until I reached 84,000.
At the following January SDSU Writers’ Conference, I presented the project to a literary agent, who advised me that the manuscript was too long. The manuscript has re-written and renamed The Family Guardian. With the students support, I wrote The Bridge Home. Another YA novel is in the works.