I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for considering the LadyStar™ fantasy adventure series. This short book will take no longer than fifteen minutes to read. It will describe why I believe the LadyStar series is important, and why I think my characters will serve to inspire, strengthen and encourage young readers like your child.
When we started this project all the way back in the summer of 2000, we knew we were setting some pretty ambitious goals for ourselves. My aritsts, my editor and my technical staff are some of the best in the world at what they do, and now I believe we’ve succeeded in launching one of the best action-adventure book series available today.
My name is W. Scott. I’m a fantasy adventure author. I’ve been writing professionally for video games, television, major corporations and my own publishing company for more than 25 years. I hold the degree of Bachelor of Arts in English Education. I’m academically qualified to teach the English language up to the high school level. My university emphasis was Creative Writing. Both my parents were award-winning television and newspaper journalists, so I come by my writing talent honestly.
When I first set out to bring Jessica Halloran and the Ajan Warriors to life, I was in the process of writing an episodic video game. My company had invented a point-and-click adventure playable in a standard web browser. I needed characters and a story.
My first thought was to license another company’s characters, but that proved to be more expensive and time consuming than I thought it would. So I created my own characters and a story world called LadyStar.
That first adventure game went on to rather impressive success. It became clear after a while that the characters and world I had created were far larger and had far more potential than just one video game. As I explored all the options available to me, I adapted the story and watched it grow. We published a print manga. We published a web comic with more than a quarter million readers. We produced a full line of licensed merchandise. We recorded an audiocast. I wrote a 79,000-word novel which remained my best-selling book for three years.
Each time we developed and released a new product, the story got stronger, the characters became more interesting, and the world they inhabited became more vivid. All we needed was something to bring it all together.
So in January of 2017, I sat down to a blank screen to reboot my series. I wrote an original full-length fantasy adventure novel called Dawnsong. I believe it is the finest work of my career so far.
Let me explain why.
Growing up, I played a lot of sports. I joined numerous organizations for kids my age including scouting, a swim team and finally marching band in both high school and college. The one thing all those experiences had in common was the primacy of teamwork and sportsmanship. I learned how important teamwork was for success in life from participating in those clubs and teams. I found out what it was like to be a champion, and why I was able to participate in so many victories.
I’ve been asked on numerous occasions to describe the LadyStar story in as few words as possible. Business executives call it an “elevator pitch.” I’ve gotten pretty good at rattling off shorter and shorter summaries of my work over the years.
Now I can describe it in one word: teamwork.
That word raises eyebrows from time to time. You see, all seven of my main characters are girls between the ages of 11 and 18. Unfortunately in American popular culture, we don’t do a very good job of portraying girls working together as a team. When America encounters more than one fictional teenage girl, they are usually rivals.
If you’ve spent even a little time watching television written for teenage audiences, you will instantly recognize how central rivalry is in many storylines. I call it the “homecoming queen syndrome.” The show starts with many girls, and ends when one claims the tiara and all her rivals are destroyed.
That’s not a healthy message. It becomes destructive when it is portrayed as normal. Treachery and bitterness are a reality, to be sure, but they certainly shouldn’t be presented as goals or as a basis for success in life.
In LadyStar, Jessica and her friends work together as a team to overcome challenges and obstacles. Each character has a different personality and brings different strengths and weaknesses to the group. Throughout the story, the girls put a great deal of effort into learning how to work together. They don’t always agree, but they never become bitter or hostile to each other.
There are no attitudes. There is no unacceptable language. The characters don’t betray or sabotage each other.
This basic focus on teamwork becomes very important later in the series because each character develops different powers and fighting abilities. They quickly learn to depend on each other. Jessica Halloran’s adventures powerfully reinforce the values of friendship and teamwork chapter after chapter.
We’ve never had a problem teaching young boys the vital importance of teamwork. There is no reason we can’t teach exactly the same values to girls. Communicating those values is one of the reasons I wrote this book.