Where We Began by Andrew Jacobson and Adam Jay Epstein


Growing up, the bookshelves in my bedroom were lined with Encyclopedia Brown mysteries, Garfield comic strips, and a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ? which my 2nd grade teacher assigned along with the very clever elementary school incentive of keeping a candy bar in our desk for each time we read a chapter.

But the thing that I loved reading more than anything as a kid was the sport?s sections of my local newspapers. There was the morning paper (the Milwaukee Sentinel) and the evening paper (the Milwaukee Journal), and I would race my dad to the sport?s pages when I woke up every day. If he got to them before I did, I would have to wait patiently for my turn, then read the crinkled, coffee-stained pages. We would talk about every latest development with the Brewers, Packers, and Bucks. I would study the box scores from the previous night?s games. I?d read every story, from the front page to the last.

Even to this day, as a grown up living on the other side of the country in Los Angeles, I?m able to read the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (the two papers merged long ago when evening newspapers became extinct) on-line, and I hardly ever miss a sport?s story. Nothing can quite compare to ink on your fingertips and dad?s morning coffee stains, but at least we?re still able to commiserate about all the local teams and players.

Now, I’m just looking forward to the day that my kids are old enough to read the morning paper with me so we can talk sports together, too.


Fish, planets and dinosaurs. For the first three years of my reading life, I was a science junkie. I loved nothing more than reading about the length of various garden snakes and lifespans of raccoons. I could recite facts about all nine planets (we thought there were nine back then before Pluto was relegated to a mere dwarf planet) but fiction just didn’t interest me.

In third grade, I discovered role playing games and the encyclopedias of monsters and spells that accompanied them. Quickly, that became my new reading fixation. Instead of statistics about the real world, now I focused on these imaginary creatures and artifacts. It was then that I started making up stories in my head and no film or even book could match that. Still fiction eluded me.

When I entered fourth grade, my dad introduced me to Ray Bradbury, Piers Anthony and Tolkien. Finally I truly grasped the wonder of reading fiction. It wasn’t just the amazing places and creatures that inhabited these books that kept me coming back for more. It was the wonderful characters who faced challenges that seemed impossible in chapter one but managed to overcome by the end that got me hooked.

I love reading so much, but still my favorite stories are the ones that I create in my head (and now am lucky enough to get to share with others.)


ADAM JAY EPSTEIN spent his childhood in Great Neck, New York, while ANDREW JACOBSON grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the two met in a parking garage out in Los Angeles. They have been writing for film and television together ever since. Together they are responsible for The Familiars series and Starbounders. Please visit Adam and Andrew at thefamiliars.com and starbounders.com