WESTFIELD, NJ — Kai Vasquez, Devan Regas and Liliana Vasquez just published their first book – and they’re only 11 years old.
Authors Kai and Devan, as well as illustrator Liliana, recently self-published the action and adventure novel “The Adventures of Greg Smith: The Time Travel Treachery.” The three young creators recently spoke to TAPinto Westfield about how they brought their idea to life.
Writing the book involved “a lot of imagination, and a few nights where we’d just sit around and think, ‘What could be a good setting, what could be a good character personality, what could be a good plot twist,’ and other things like that,” Kai said.
The 20-chapter novel tells the story of three spies named Greg, Rob and Alex who have been recruited to stop a time-traveling villain from overtaking the world.
“He’s trying to rule the world with his time travel machine,” Kai said of the villain, Leo Littoy. “And Greg, Rob and Alex have to travel on an international quest, and interdimensional quest, back in time, all around the world, to try to find Doctor Littoy and stop him.”
Most of the characters, including the three main heroes, were inspired by the boys’ soccer coaches over the years, Kai said. Kai and Devan first met about four years ago when they played on the same soccer team, Liliana and Kai’s mother, Brett Vasquez, said during the interview. The duo has been writing together ever since.
“We have been writing books together for four years,” Kai said, adding that this novel is the first they have published. “This particular novel, the one that made it the furthest, took us a whole year, from December 2019 to December 2020.”
While the boys were hard at work writing the story, Liliana developed 16 drawings for the book, as well as the front cover art.
“I want to try to get the drawings as similar to the book as possible,” Liliana said. “I do a sketch about who I want and how I want them to [appear] in it. And then I do another sketch, a little more focused, and I outline it with sharpie, and then I color it in with colored pencils.”
The book is available on Amazon in Kindle or paperback. The authors are also in talks to have the book featured at the town’s library and bookstore.
All three are planning to pursue careers in the humanities. Kai said he wants to be a professor of writing and an author on the side, as well as a pilot later in life. Devan wants to be a journalist and stock investor, he said. Liliana said she wants either to be an artist, or to work a different job and do a lot of art on the side.
These goals may seem a long time away for these three 11-year-olds, but if all goes according to plan, it won’t be long before another one of their books hits shelves.
“We are in the final developing stages of a next idea for ‘The Adventures of Greg Smith’ Book Two, and it will be a sequel to our current book,” with a continuation of the plot line, Devan said.
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