“A Journey of Dreams: The Adventures of Dex and James”
My name is Jim Bates, I’m a children’s book author and illustrator from Newbury Park, California.
I currently have two published children’s books and I am working on my third, I talked about my first book “The Boy Who Skated with Dragons” previously here in the Author’sLounge and so I decided that I would share a little bit about my second book which is called “A Journey of Dreams : The Adventures of Dex and James” This book was published in 2016 and is a follow up to my first book about a young boy named James who is able to overcome some of his struggles in life such as shyness and make friends as well as build confidence in himself once he discovers skateboarding and realizes that he is talented at skating. He learns in both books that he is capable of so much more than he ever imagined when he is able to believe in himself and work towards his goals and dreams. In this story he uses his imagination and creativity to go on exciting skateboarding adventures with his dragon friend Dex as he works towards his dream of creating a book with his art and writing that will also inspire others with a positive message as well as be fun and exciting. He travels around the world, into space and to fantasy lands. The story is to inspire kids to have fun, believe in themselves and follow their dreams, this is the ongoing message I try to share with others through my books and in my life. I have shared both of my books with kids at schools, youth centers, libraries, skateparks and skate shops. I usually talk about part of my journey to become a published author/illustrator and how I have faced obstacles and struggles in my life but have overcome them to do some amazing things. When I was young and discovered skateboarding my goal was to become a professional skateboarder. I followed that dream, worked hard and didn’t give up and through dedication and perseverance I was able to bring that dream to life. This is something that I can share as a great example for others, if I can accomplish my goals so can you. It’s not easy, but if it is meaningful and we are passionate about something then there is a way to succeed. I became a professional skateboarder long before I even imagined that I would be able to publish a book that I wrote and illustrated. My first book was published in 2014 although I did start drawing at a very young age and continued to draw and write throughout my life mainly as a way to express myself creatively, it has always been a positive outlet for me especially when I was struggling with depression and other difficult times in my life, I have always been quiet and shy so it has helped me through some of that along with skateboarding. The cool thing about being a professional skateboarder and having my books that involve skateboarding is that I can be a positive role model through all of these things within the community and when I do book readings at schools or other places I am able to skate for the kids sometimes and they really enjoy that. I recently did a book reading at Westlake elementary school and the kids were excited to have me read both of my books and I did a little skateboarding demo for them after answering some of their questions, it was an amazing experience. I am grateful for these opportunities to make a positive impact on kids doing something that I am passionate about. It is awesome how many wonderful people I have met throughout the years while I was traveling around the world with skateboarding and more recently through my books, it means a lot to have people who believe in me and support me with my projects, part of the reason I am here writing this blog in the Author’s Lounge is because of my books and someone who reached out to me and continues to encourage me to write, it really means a lot to have this platform to share about my books and journey.
I recently spent a day filming a video project with an old friend that I met about 20 years but hadn’t connected with for many years, his name is Nigel and he has a great channel that showcases many talented skaters, he filmed a lot of me skating and talking about my books and my skateboarding career, we also talked about the project that I am working on now with my third book that will be called “Super Dragon Skater Boy” my goal is to raise money to publish the book and then donate it to 400 kids in need. Feel free to check out the full video on on youtube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mivnhwdlpsw&t=9s
I ride my skateboard every day and continue to write and draw on a regular basis, hopefully I will be publishing more children’s books and sharing them with others. Thank you Readers Magnet and the Author’s Lounge for giving me opportunities to share about my books and things that I am working on.
For those interested in my skateboarding, I post regularly on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jimbates4/ and my book project for “Super Dragon Skater Boy” is also on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/superdragonskaterboy/
Both accounts have the link to my fundraiser for the new book, I’m making progress on reaching my funding goal, you can donate here and see more about the project https://www.gofundme.com/super-dragon-skater-boy-inspiarational-kids-book
Thanks for reading, believe in yourself and follow your dreams!
My books and other Dragon skateboard products that I create are available in my online store here https://www.etsy.com/shop/boywhoskatedwdragons