Fourteen year old Luke Herzog rummages through a night stand in the bedroom of his Pacific Grove home. He holds up three notebooks filled in long hand. They are the first draft of a book he began at age nine and published when he was eleven.
And that book wasn’t his first attempt at writing.
“I wrote a 30 page book, I’m doing air quotes with my fingers, back when I was in the third grade. It was called ‘The Triangle of Illusions’. I don’t remember what it was about but it had a cool name,” says Herzog
Most of his writing was done in a bedroom he shares with his younger brother. The walls are covered with medieval fantasy art, except for one wall that has a large case filled with books. Clearly, it’s a room not only for sleeping but also for inspiration.
“It is a very nerdy room. I have maps everywhere, and books. I usually write on my bed right here. I also have lots of fantasy books, sci-Fi books to choose from if I ever want to read,” says Herzog.
He has published two books through Why Not Books, his family’s publishing business. His latest is “Griffin Blade and the Bronze Finger”. It epic journey through a medieval fantasy world filled with elves, other imaginary characters. He says when writing medieval fantasy stories it actually helps being a young writer.
“I think a lot of kids could write books. I think it is just the amount of time that you have to devote yourself to coming back to it and keep writing. A lot of kids are more creative than adults, especially with fantasy and science fiction. Just coming up with ideas that maybe adults wouldn’t be able to come up with,” says Herzog
In many ways writing is a family affair for the Herzogs. All family members help in the process in including his father, Brad Herzog, who is also an author.
“He is a big inspiration for me actually. Ever since I was young, he would help me write short stories. I would tell him what I wanted to say and he would type them in and I would draw pictures for him. I mean my Mom also edits all of my books. My brother often pitches in and finds typos that we didn’t see, lots of help from my family,” says Herzog
The young author is in a freshman at Pacific Grove High School. He doesn’t know what he wants to do for a career, but he does know one thing. It has to include writing.
“Maybe I would write for a TV show, maybe I don’t know. I definitely, whatever job I chose, I want writing to be involved. I think just being able to have an idea, a concept, and be able to put that on the page, I think that is just something I really enjoy doing. Having an interesting idea that no one has ever thought of before and just be able to express that in writing,” says Herzog
“Griffin Blade and the Bronze Finger” is 301 pages and published by Why Not Books. It's available at Bookworks in Pacific Grove, Thinker Toys in Monterey and Carmel, and online at whynotbooks.com.