The Journey of the Book "All I Need"

This is a journal I've been keeping as the process of my upcoming book unfolds. In this journal I will keep track of what happens with my book, what I do with it when it is published, and other things. This is not a story or anything. I just wanted to make it so I could keep track of what happens with my book.



February 1, 2003

I started writing a book tonight. I'm not for sure what I'm going to call it yet. But the story is going to be about a teenage boy going through peer pressure. That's all I know for now. I'm just writing this story as it comes to my mind.

February 6, 2003

Inspiration has hit me today! Finally I have a title for my book that I've been working on. Today I was at my fourteen-year-old cousin's (Stephen) house. He and I have been best friends since we were babies but he changed a lot when he turned thirteen. Now he's in a band and he's doing drugs and everything else.

I saw him at his house today and I heard him talking to his dad. I heard him say "All I need Dad is just a chance at this. Please just let me because all I need is one chance." It was those words that inspired the title of my book. 'All I Need' is going to be the title of my book.

Friday March 2, 2003 6:05 PM

I'm on Chapter 4 of All I Need, my book. It is slowly unfolding in my mind. I see a teenage boy who lives a perfectly normal life, but then something drastic happens and he goes from being a 'good boy' to a 'bad boy'.

Tuesday April 8, 2003

I have come up with an idea for my book. It's more of a plan than an idea. I have decided to try and talk to teenage boys who have done drugs and drinking, things like that. Because the character in my book Matt (but I changed his name to Alex) goes through peer pressure and gets into drugs, drinking, and stuff. So I thought that in order to really describe his feelings is for me to talk to guys who have done those things. So, I'm starting to talk to guys who have done drugs, and things like that just to see what it is that teenage boys really do when the adults aren't looking.

April 11, 2003

I turned the big fourteen today! To night I was able to write more in All I Need. I can't wait till it's finished but it will be a long time probably before it's finished. This is probably the hardest story I've ever tried to write because it is so. . .so real. The things that happen in this story are things that have happened to real teenage boys.

April 26, 2003

I am at a Church revival now. Since I don't have a computer I can't work on my book but I am getting more ideas for it. Today at church I talked to a fourteen-year-old boy, Timothy, who just poured his heart out to me about all the things he had done. He said he was a very troubled boy and that he had done drugs, drank alcohol, and even sexual things. He said he was going to a counselor to try and get some help so hopefully he will. I felt so sorry for him and we have become very good friends. We talk after church and stuff. I now am getting a glimpse into the lives of troubled teenage boys and I must admit that it is scaring me.

May 10, 2003

Ever since the Church revival I have been a little tired and haven't been able to work on my book. To be honest it's kind of depressing me, the story and everything. It's so hard to write such a story because it is real in a way. I have been combining all the stories that troubled teenage boys have told me and putting pieces of those stories in the lives of the characters of All I Need. It's a long process but I must keep writing because I believe that this story must be told to the world. There is so many things going on in the world involving teenagers and people need to know about those things so maybe we can help teenagers and stop all of the drug and alcohol use in America.

May 17, 2003

I had a very hard time today in the writing of All I Need. I was writing a scene in the book where Alex, the main character, smokes marijuana for the first time. Since I have never done drugs I had no idea what kind of feeling comes over you when you do drugs. So I had to talk to a boy who had smoked marijuana. So I finally was able to write the scene where the character smokes marijuana and really describe the feeling.

This book is not condoning drugs and alcohol. It is not written in a lecturing way either. Instead I am trying to make a story where the reader will be able to relate to the character and his feelings and see how horrible drugs and alcohol are by looking at those things through the character's eyes. I've read so many books for teenagers that lecture you the whole time you are reading the book. It's like reading an essay about drugs and alcohol. The writer constantly points out that drugs are wrong and you shouldn't do them. That's right, drugs are bad and you shouldn't do them, but I think authors could be a little less demanding. Instead of trying to terrify the reader into believing your way, you should show the reader these things through a more personal outlook. Make the reader feel as if he is the character and try not to make the story so demanding and lectured. That's my opinion at least.

July 3, 2003

All I Need is getting close to being finished. I am so excited because I am going to send it to a publishing company. Searching the internet last night I found a publishing company called Publish American Inc. It seems to be a very good publishing company so I'm going to send All I Need to that publishing company once it's finished.

October 2, 2003

More sadness, more. . .just more of everything. As I come close to the ending of my book I find it hard to comprehend everything that goes on in some teenage boys' lives. Today my heart was broken for now I know of the things that go on in reality. Almost all of my life I have been sheltered from reality and many other things. But with the writing of All I Need my eyes have been opened to reality, to sadness, and to tragedy. How does one try to understand the many terrible things that goes on in America today? I can't and it's frightening to see boys my age on drugs. They seem to feel as if there's no one in the world that cares about them and it's so sad. I pray that All I Need will help teenage boys if it is ever published.

December 2003

Christmas and finally I have completed All I Need. It is finished and the time will come when I can submit it to Publish America Inc. The writing of All I Need has been a long journey into reality and into many teenage boys' lives. But that's what All I Need is, the story of a boy (who really represents many of the teenage boys of America) who just wants to be accepted and who just wants to be loved. It is many stories really of teenage boys, although the story is only about one boy.


Monday, February 09, 2004 2:09 AM

I decided to post the first chapter of All I Need on today. It has gotten several reviews and I'm very happy.

January 4, 2004

I made a study guide for my book because a reader told me that it would be wonderful if All I Need was used in schools. So I thought by making a study guide that schools will use it.

March 18, 2004

Well, I finally got my book All I Need edited. I sent it to Publish America via e-mail. Hopefully they'll publish it. I'm crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004 4:07 PM

Today I finally heard from Publish America! Here's what they said. . .

"I am happy to inform you that Publish America has decided to give "All I Need" the chance it deserves. Attached you will find a sample copy of our contract for your careful review. Upon receiving your e-mail in acceptance with the terms, we will forward the final contract documents to you via regular mail for your signature."

Finally my book will be published and I can get my message out to the world.

Thursday, April 08, 2004 9:05 AM

Today I heard back from the publishing company. They are drawing up the contract for my book "All I Need". This whole process is very long but I am so excited!

Thursday, April 08, 2004 4:35 PM

Publish America e-mailed me (again) today and they wanted me to give them the address of the local newspaper where I live. They said they would get a press release out to the world about my upcoming book.

April 2004

Signed the contract for my book. So now it is official that All I Need will be published. I am so excited about everything.

April 11, 2004

I turned fifteen today and I must say that I am excited. My Aunt said that we could celebrate me turning fifteen and also celebrate the publishing of my book. Life is wonderful and I am so happy.

Monday, April 26, 2004 3:09 PM

Heard from PA (Publish America) today. I had to fill out an author questionnaire telling them my name, birth date ect,. It will be a while before I can complete the questionnaire because I have to edit my book and everything.

May 7, 2004

I received an e-mail from a journalist at The Citizen Voice & Times newspaper office in town. He wants to interview me about my upcoming book so he can write an article about me and put it in the newspaper. I am so excited that I can hardly breathe. I can't imagine me at an interview and I keep pinching myself to see if I'm asleep and dreaming but this is real. The process of promoting All I Need has begun.

Thursday, May 13, 2004 11:20 AM

I went to the interview at the newspaper office today. I was nervous as I entered the big newspaper office and went in to see the journalist, Jeff Kerr. He told me to have a seat in his office and he sat across from me with this big stack of blank paper (which terrified me because I was like 'Oh my gosh! He has a lot of paper. What all is he going to ask me?! lol) and a pen. But the interview went good, although I was very nervous. I really hope teenagers, especially teenage boys, will read my book so they can see what drugs and alcohol leads to. Hopefully parents will get my book for their teenagers.

9:34 PM

Finally I completed the author questionnaire and sent it to PA. I changed several things in All I Need and now it is finally edited to perfection. lol. PA wrote me back and said they had gotten my edited manuscript along with everything else. Now I have to wait for the fifteen-day-review of my edited manuscript to see if everything is perfect.

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Today was a wonderful day! I was featured on the front page of the newspaper. The headlines say "15-year-old Gets First Book Published". This is just so amazing and somewhat frightening that already my book is being praised. Here's what the article said. . .

Most aspiring writers wait a long time before they can get their first work published.

Not Matt of Kentucky.

In February of 2003 Matt started writing his first novel, "All I Need." By March of 2004 his novel was edited and ready. He now has a publisher.

The 15-year-old boy, who is home schooled, resides in Kentucky.

His book, he says, is about a 14-year-old boy who "goes through peer pressure, gets into a gang and gets on drugs and drinking.

"It's about how he goes through that and gets out of it," he said. "I wanted to write something teenagers could relate to. I've known people who have been through this."

He quickly found a publisher on the internet.

"It'll be published in book form and it will also be online through the Internet," he said. "It will be out in book form at the end of this year or early next year."

Asked if he expected to make any money on his book, the soft-spoken teen smiled and said "Yeah."

He says he hopes his writing will lead to something bigger someday. "I want to make a career out of writing," he said.

There was more but I just left it out. I'm so excited but yet feeling unworthy. Unworthy to have all of this happening to me. I guess this is how it feels when you find who you really are. I have finally become the person that I have always dreamed of being. I will now be able to soar into my dreams and make them reality. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that what once was the impossible, is now the reachable.

The Journey will continue soon. . .