Teenage Millionaire by Michael Harrison

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Author | 0 comments

For the past 25 years I have been a full-time artist. I have exhibited annually at the summer arts festivals in Laguna Beach, California shown my work in local galleries and taught private oil painting lessons. (harrisonfineart.com)

So how on earth do I end up writing and publishing three books?

Teenage Millionaire was my first book and it started to take shape way back in 1990. At that time, I was a divisional director for a pharmaceutical company in the UK. The company was starting to introduce computers for the management team and the one I received slotted into the desk unit and could be removed to use as a laptop, very high tech for the time.

The problem I faced was I could not type, having always relied on my secretary/personal assistant. I thought I had better take this machine home and practice typing. Then I thought, if I am going to be sitting there for hours on end typing, why not write a book, and that was the beginning of Teenage Millionaire.

Fast forward 20 years and I re-read my draft and it was so out of date.

I removed all references from the 1980’s /90’s for example mentions of then British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher and I reduced the age of my main character, James. Teenagers were, in my opinion, maturing a lot earlier now than in the 1990’s and my original dialogue for James now sounded too young for a 17- year- old and therefore, James lost a couple of years which I believe better fits the story.

Back in the 1980’s I loved reading The Diary of Adrian Mole, a hilarious book featuring 13 -year- old Adrian Mole.

I used the diary format to tell the story of James, a nerdy 15- year- old Brit who relocated to southern California when his dad changed jobs. James thinks big thoughts covering everything from dating, marriage and having kids. His head is full of, in his opinion, brilliant money- making ideas which will make him a millionaire before leaving his teens.

With his best friend he sets up a company and is brought firmly back to ground when Emma joins as finance director. With Emma on the scene, James realizes that he has just met the first love of his life. The feedback I have received has been very positive with many readers citing examples of laugh out loud moments when reading the book. Young teenagers love the character James and older readers wish they were young again. I hope you will read it, have fun and many laugh out loud moments.

The Writing Process

I was late to the writing party, writing my first book, Teenage Millionaire when I was 67 and Artu when I was 69. I wrote Artu sitting on the beach at Laguna Beach. With pen in hand, I would scribble feverously onto a $1 Target note book. The words poured out at such speed I had a job keeping up and at times I had no idea what was coming next until it hit the page. At home in the evening, I would try to decipher the scribble and type it into a word document. For my 70 birthday we took a 15-day Caribbean cruise and each day lounging in a deck chair I wrote Artu2, scribbling during the day and typing it up at night.

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