'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 12 January 2012

Guest Post: Nine-Year-Old Author Jarod Bainbridge

KBR warmly welcomes author, movie maker and philanthropist Jarod Bainbridge - a little man with some pretty big ideas. 

My name is Jarod Bainbridge, my friends call me JJ. I am 9 years old and currently a 4th grader at an Elementary School in Poway, California, USA. I have been writing books since I was six years old. I have a vivid imagination and enjoy reading, drawing, and writing in my free time. I also enjoy making and publishing my books.

When I was six, we were on vacation at my grandparent's house, when my mom wanted to take a day trip to visit a friend. I sat down in the car and my parents gave me paper and a pencil to occupy myself.
As my dad drove, my younger sister, about 2 years old at the time, was being fussy in her car seat. In order to entertain her, I drew pictures. After I completed my last picture I announced “Mom, Dad, I wrote a story.” My mom asked for the pictures, so I handed them to her and started telling the story. My mom and dad thought it was a good story and asked if I would tell it again on the ride back so she could write it down.

On the way back I told them the story again and my mom wrote it down for me. When we got back to my grandparent’s house we scanned in the pictures and edited them on my grandma’s laptop. My dad found a site that allowed us to make a picture book. We uploaded the pictures and typed in the story and my first book, The Sad Princess, was complete.

In the years that followed, I wrote The Haunted House with my first grade classmates. With my dad’s help, we made that into a picture book as well. In the summer of 2010, I wrote a journal of our family trip from San Diego to North Carolina and back. The journal became my third book, Summer Vacation.

I decided that writing was something I wanted to pursue.

My dad searched for a self-publishing site and found one that allowed us to sell on Amazon.com. We typed up my vacation story, printed two copies from our home computer and ask my teachers if they would edit it. I read through my teacher's comments, chose the ones I felt made sense, and updated the book. When finished, my dad submitted the book for self-publishing and Summer Vacation, my first chapter book, was completed.

My fourth book came about when I was being teased by a girl at school. After talking to my parents about it and getting both good and bad advice, I was encouraged to work through the issue with my writing. So I took this, my sense of humor, and the other experiences going on in my life and wrote: Jake Peterson and His Not So Secret Admirer. This became my second chapter book, but it then took on a life of its own.

While I was a little embarrassed about the subject and the title, my teacher loved it and I was allowed to read it to my classmates. They all said they liked it. Soon after, the topic of making my book into a movie came up. I had always wanted to make a movie, but my dad would say it was a lot of work. This time he said that if I was willing to do the work, write the screenplay, cast the characters, and direct, then I could make the movie.

So over the summer I spent almost every day working on the movie. My dad and I would sit at the computer and work on the script chapter by chapter and scene by scene. Since it was my movie, I had to call and schedule my friends and their parents for the scenes as well as get permission to film at different locations. We created sets in our house, used friends’ houses, and even our school. After three long months, we completed the final edits and my 64-minute movie was complete.

When we were done with the movie, we had a grand premiere party for the actors and their families where the movie was shown on bed sheet with a borrowed video projector. Not wanting the project to end, I submitted proposals for making my movie into a fundraiser and on November 5th, 2011 my movie was shown at our local theater as a school fundraiser for our digital library. Over 200 people attended and I made over $800 for our school.

The movie, like the book, is about a 9 year old boy living in a small town. He likes playing with his friends, riding his bike, and teasing his sister. However, he has a problem. His neighbor Amanda Zimwalter likes him.

I love to receive e-mails asking me about my writing or so I can let people know about my books and other projects. Please e-mail me at: JJ.TheAuthor@gmail.com

Learn more about Jarod and his amazing work at his website. And if you're interested in taking a look at his books, see his Amazon author page. Jarod's movie is also available on Amazon Instant Video.