Hello. My name’s Benjamin Gabbay, and I love writing—so much, in fact, that I wrote a YA fantasy novel titled Wingheart: Luminous Rock, the first in a planned trilogy. It was published shortly before my 17th birthday, September 23, 2012, which happened to coincide with the day of The Word On The Street Toronto Book Festival (WOTS), where the book was launched. I was one of the handful of teen writers invited to read from their work at the WOTS Open Mic Hour. Another of the teens featured, Dante Mottillo, with whom I had already crossed paths at another writerly function, kindly suggested that I write something for Diaspora Dialogues.
From speaking with other teen writers, I know that writer’s block is frightfully prevalent among young aspiring authors, particularly in the way of following a story idea through to the end—the great enigma of “what happens next? ” I guess I was quite fortunate to never have been cursed with this problem, so I hope I’m in a position to help others overcome it. In my next blog post, I’ll talk a bit about some of my personal writing methods that helped me put together a 680-page novel, the first in a planned trilogy. For now, I suppose I’ll just finish introducing myself and my book.
Simply put, Wingheart: Luminous Rock tells the story of two brothers caught in a pursuit by an immortal madman from Earth’s parallel dimension of Arkane, the brothers’ homeland, a world where myth, magic, and the supernatural interweave with reality. For as long as I can remember, I had a certain liking for the realms of fantasy; the first sparks of Wingheart date back to when I was seven. Over the next ten years, I wrote at least three drafts of Luminous Rock, each longer and more complex than the next, before I was finally content with the storyline and my writing style.
The book was published by Arkane Books, a micro-publishing company formed by my family. After the launch at The Word On The Street, I proceeded to take the book (and the story of its creation) to a few Toronto high-schools at the invitation of some wonderful teacher-librarians. In November 2012, I was thrilled to learn that the Toronto Public Library had ordered copies of Wingheart: Luminous Rock for 19 of its branches. Barely two months after the book’s launch, I doubt I could have gotten a more exciting thumbs-up.
So, as I continue to lobby my book around the city while writing the sequel to Luminous Rock, titled Wingheart: Spirit’s Gate (scheduled for publication in Fall 2014), I hope to inspire other young writers to see their dreams through, and offer help with the writing process where I can. I look forward to posting more on Diaspora soon!