Judith Rook  (with Alison Dere)

Young Adult Novella

Young Adult novella   First Steps for a Hero     http://geni.us/Hero1 


I have discovered that one does not slide easily into writing for the late adolescent to early twenties reader.  I constantly find myself thinking about that type of sanguine, inexperienced mind, wondering how far, in this day and age, can I presume that a character is still comparatively innocent and still accepting of family influence?

First Steps for a Hero is my first book written for young adults.  It is short, but in its pages I have tried to present a simple, straight-down-the-line tale of a young man emerging into heroic life, because I believe that heroism is one of the highest of all human achievements, and hero growth begins at an early age.

The Earth-based part of the narrative is set in 1969, twenty-four years before the world wide web became available to the general public.  In this story, people still communicate directly with each other, confrontations are face-to-face, and the characters are not affected by what might appear on social media.  These people live in a world where basic human values are unquestioned, and young men and women are still a bit naïve and hopeful about the adult lives stretching ahead of them.

The story which follows the novella is building into a full Young Adult realist fantasy novel, and will probably be epublished in December 2016.  Further ideas about this book, which will become the first in the Warders of Arrath series, are posted on the Audio Visual page.


Synopsis of First Steps for a Hero.

David Eldwick is a farmer’s son, living in the north country of England in 1969.  He has finished high school and will enter agricultural college in the Autumn.

Martin Horner, who lives on the farm next door, is jealous of David and has made his life at school as unpleasant as possible.  Although David resists Martin’s bullying, he avoids fighting with his tormentor.

Martin and his father intend to seize ownership of the Eldwick land by forcing David’s sister into a future marriage with Martin.  David warns Martin off, but Martin wants Jenevieve and goes ahead with his plans.

David has no idea how to handle his adversary, but a stranger comes to work on the Eldwick farm, and things begin to change.

The stranger, known as the Captain, comes from Arrath, an Earth-like world, existing in a parallel universe.  He teaches David how to defend himself against Martin, and David begins to develop in skill and character.

The young man grows to like and admire the captain.  He discovers that people from Arrath have been visiting Earth for a long time and he becomes curious about the other world.

Martin decides to force David into a confrontation, and at the end-of-summer ball, he kidnaps Jenevieve.  Knowing that finally he will have to fight, David confronts Martin.  He saves Jenevieve, and the captain invites him to visit Arrath.

The captain warns David that malevolent creatures from yet another parallel universe may have found their way onto Earth, intending to infect it with evil. But David learns that on Arrath, he can train to become a warder, a skilled guardian against the darkness.

Before David can make the crossing into the parallel universe, he detects the entry into Earth of other beings.  His Arrathan companions discover that the intruders are the evil creatures who threaten both Arrath and Earth.

Because the presence of Arrathan humans on Earth must be kept secret, David volunteers to draw the enemies away, so that his companions can return to their world undetected.

Alone and pursued, he meets the greatest danger of his life, but he must overcome his fear and protect both Arrath and Earth.

What will be David’s path into his future?  Does he truly believe that the other universe exists and that it can affect the lives of people on Earth?  Will he become a farmer or a warder of Arrath?






Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: