Temecula eighth-grader Rafael Loza is celebrating a new achievement this summer — the 12-year-old recently published his first eBook.
“The Jayse Greyhound Chronicles: The Survivors” is an adventure story about a 14-year-old orphan boy who has to save his kingdom from being destroyed.
Jayse and some friends embark on a journey that includes lots of battles and fighting, technology and magic. Rafael characterized his story as a mix of science fiction and adventure.
Jayse, he said about the protagonist, “is shy but fierce.” He can scare anyone off whenever he uses his powers. He is self-conscious as well.
It’s not surprising Rafael would create this sort of character and his journey, considering that Rafael loves to read all the adventure books in the Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Hunger Games series, among others of the genre.
Rafael started working on the first book in his own Jayse Greyhound series last winter and he finished writing by the spring.
In June, he published the book electronically on Smashwords, a free online distributor of indie eBooks that claims to have published and distributed more than 45,000 serious writers and small independent publishers.
Rafael’s book is available for purchase on the Smashwords website (which gives Rafael the biggest percent of profits, 95 percent, he said) and will soon be available from several other online retailers, including Amazon, Kindle and iBooks.
“It was something that just popped into my head after I looked at some old drawings I did,” said Rafael, an avid reader who also loves magic, cartoons, acting and drawing.
Rafael, who is entering eighth grade this fall at Temecula Middle School, said he has written many stories, poems and other writings, and he keeps a journal where he can jot down future book ideas.
His current book, which is the first that Rafael has completed and published, even has two original songs in it, he said.
Rafael’s parents, Michele and Rafael Loza, are both English teachers at Chaparral High School in Temecula. Other than helping their son with the book cover art (kudos to dad for the stylized book cover image of his son) and helping him find a free website to publish his book, the Lozas said they didn’t help their son or do any of the writing.
The younger Rafael said he’s already working on the second book and is writing the fifth chapter. “It’s going pretty well,” he said.
“Our hope is that we can send it to publishers that will put it into a hard cover,” said Rafael’s mom.
The family plans to attend Comic-Con, the comic book and popular arts convention, this week in San Diego, which the family, including little sister Elaina, enjoys. They will take a printed version of the book in the hopes of finding some youth publishers or marketing help for the Jayse Greyhound Chronicles.
Amy Bentley is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.