A Love For Reading Inspires Senior’s Novel


Senior Micah Drake loves reading. It has been a hobby of his as long as he can remember. Three years ago, when he was a freshman, he took his love for reading, and writing skills to the next level when he wrote a full-length novel, the first of a trilogy, suitably titled Reading Material: Weight of Judgment.

He read a ton of books his freshman year.

“I was a huge fiction junkie, especially fantasy and sci-fi,” Drake said. “I loved stories like Flowers For Algernon and a lot of Ralph Waldo Emerson too.”

Drake found enjoyment in the uniqueness of writings such as these, especially because of the impressionist attitude that they take on. The authors simply state how they feel about society, and often times the stories aren’t contemporary because of the fact that many authors aren’t satisfied with the current world, making them fall into the science fiction category. Drake found his writing niche in between these lines.

“When I wrote my book, I wanted to focus on how current society would deal with a new kind of racism. People just wouldn’t be ready for it,” Drake said.

He states that his inspiration for the story comes from a book series (more specifically, myths), where the stories include dragon kids, who are enchanted, and overall really peaked his interest. Just like the TV show “Alphas,” Drake wanted to create outcasts in society.

His storyline focuses in on a type of wonder drug that was conceived in the near future, which people started off not buying, but eventually they gave in. This not only included citizens, but even a few world leaders.

“The drug changes body chemistry and often causes a weird mutation, giving the users dragon wings,” Drake said. “The story’s perspective is featured on three people with this mutation in a small town, who are run out and held captive. They’re called the “new Aryans.””

Wired differently from regular humans, the “new Aryans” are almost a different species.

But rather than focusing on the “new Aryans,” Drake’s focus is on an average guy, who records the entire story. His inspiration for this type of storyline is The Great Gatsby, where the story isn’t narrated by a character of the novel’s main conflict.

Working hours at a time, Drake wrote the entire book over the summer of his freshman year, and spent all of the following summer proofreading it.

“I typed the whole thing on a computer in my kitchen. I just kept on pushing myself and the story just kind of wrote itself from there,” Drake said.

Without an outline, the story took its shape as Drake wanted it to. Instead of typing in small intervals, he wrote for hours on end. After writing the story, he states that his computation skills increased drastically.

After finishing the novel that summer, he e-mailed his first draft to his Grandma, who edited the entire thing.

“There was little red ink from my Grandma, so that really boosted my confidence,” Drake said.

She edited the story for punctuation and grammatical errors, but avoided editing too much so Drake could keep his voice as a writer.

“He has a very creative mind,” Micah’s grandma said. “The story was not of my genre, but I stayed with it and it eventually came clear.”

Drake decided to print out the entire story, which took over an hour on his home printer. After re-tooling it, he double-sided it on an old office style printer at home.

“I took it to Kinko’s to print out two copies. It cost me $20,” Drake said. “I’m definitely not doing that again.

Eventually the story bounced through a few people, including a few students at school, Drake’s youth pastor, and a girl in Lee’s Summit, who gave him an idea in the story. Even though the sci-fi genre was harder for them to connect to, each of these people found the novel to be a good read and found Drake to be a very talented writer.

Drake states this was only book number one of a series.

“I’m planning on making a few more stories. It’s going to be a trilogy, and hopefully everything will cannon off from here. It would be awesome if I could get the stories published,” Drake said.

No matter what happens with Drake’s trilogy, he hopes to prosper as a writer and hopefully take his talents even further in the near future.

Photo by Ryan Lansdon