My name is Jim Bates, I have written and illustrated two published children’s picture books “The Boy Who Skated with Dragons” is the title of the first one that was published in October of 2014 and “A Journey of Dreams: The Adventures of Dex and James” was published in 2016. I have been drawing and writing for most of my life since I was a kid because it was a great way for me to express myself in a creative way especially because I was very quiet and shy, I had trouble talking to people and also struggled with depression, anxiety and being insecure and self conscious, drawing and writing helped me through my struggles by allowing me to express my negative energy and turn it into something positive, skateboarding was another extremely helpful activity that has helped me tremendously in my life. I never imagined that I would create children’s books, but here I am with two and working on my third one at the moment. It really made sense to me to try and put together a book that would have a positive message to inspire kids that involved skateboarding along with my artwork and writing because these are the things that are meaningful to me and I feel like it’s important to give hope to kids that may relate to the story and what I have been through or even just something that is enjoyable to read and look at. The pictures are fun and exciting and the story is relatable to most of us in that we all have struggles to face in our lives but we can get through them and accomplish our goals if we work hard and don’t give up. Everyone has their own talents and things that they are passionate about, it’s important to make time for those things and share them with others because it makes life more meaningful and helps us connect with each other.
A lot of people I have talked to and met through being an author/illustrator have told me that their goal is to write a book and it’s surprising how many people just give up because they don’t know how to do it, I had no clue how to get a book published when I first started thinking about actually doing it so I just did a lot of research and learned that there are many different ways. If I can do it then anyone can if they put in the time and effort. I decided that I would try to make it happen one way or another and realized that self publishing was the way to go since I was a new unknown author. The dream for most would be to get signed to a huge publishing company with a book deal and sell tons of books in order to make a great deal of money, that seemed unrealistic to me but I did send out my manuscript to some publishers and agents because it never hurts to try, maybe that is something I can pursue later once I get more established in the book world. My goal with my books is not to to make a lot of money, although it would be nice, the reason I create books is to make a positive impact on kids and inspire others, I also enjoy writing and drawing to see what I can create.
I have donated over 400 copies of my first two books to kids in need through a book bank, it is important for kids to have books to read especially when they are young, I know that books made a difference in my life when I was a child and it’s sad to think that some kids don’t even have access to books so if I can give back in that way then it is worthwhile. The goal for my third book is to donate it to 400 kids in need once I raise money for publishing costs, the book has similar positive messages like the first two and will be titled “Super Dragon Skater Boy” I’m excited to keep putting books out there and giving back to kids who can really benefit from it. I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me and helped me out along the way with my books. I have a fundraiser for the new book and it would mean a lot to have more support, I’m currently halfway to the funding goal, please feel free to check out the project and donate on gofundme here https://www.gofundme.com/super-dragon-skater-boy-inspiarational-kids-bookThis is definitely a good cause and worth working towards so I will keep trying until I can accomplish this and I hope that you will help donate, share or support in any way that you can. Anyone who wants to write or publish a book, I would say that it is possible and that it’s worth trying, it’s not easy but if it means something to you then the journey can be fun and exciting, take small steps and learn as you go, reach out to people and ask questions, you may be surprised by what you are capable of if you are just willing to try and put yourself out there. Remember that no one is perfect and that there are several different paths to accomplishing your goals. Don’t give up, believe in yourself and follow your dreams!