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  • Luke Morphett

Writing a great character.

When I started writing From Earth, I recalled, then re-read, Animorphs. I remembered my favourite characters as a child. Because I wanted to write someone else’s favourite characters as an adult. I knew Katherine Applegate cut Aximili and Tobias’s chapters in half, because she thought they would be less popular. But she later recanted, wondering how she could be so wrong.

How could she have been so wrong? As a child those two were my favourite.

Then I grew up, I was an Adult, like Katherine was when she wrote Animorphs. Then I was all Jake. As a child I identified with Aximili and Tobias. But as a man, I was Jake. From start to finish. Jake had the moments of adult hood thrust upon him. He changed, like we all do in that twenty to thirty period, he just did it at thirteen.

I can see now, looking back how coming of age stories are about that twenty to thirty period being pulled forward in time. Most know what they want to do at twenty. But can’t do it ‘till thirty.

That was Jake. Thirteen when he started fighting the Yeerk invasion of Earth. Adulthood was thrust upon him. And in the penultimate book kills seventeen thousand Yeerks with a single command.

It seems shocking now, recalling everything those children did, to think they were only thirteen when in stated. And that it was a children’s book.

So, when I started really writing From Earth, I started to marvel at how great the characters Katherine Applegate had written twenty years prior. In my wildest dreams I hope I can compare


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