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© 2020 Charles E. Zitta. Charles E. Zitta and Disney and the Wonder Within books are in no way part of,  endorsed or authorized by, or affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

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Storytelling with a Positive Purpose


This photo was taken at my very first book signing just weeks ago.

Roughly two years ago I started down a new path. A path brought to my attention while listening to a Disney-related podcast.


On one particular episode the host of the show had invited a Disney historian on to talk about his book. Instantly, I was intrigued and purchased the book. In fact, I purchased several of his books. All of which, turns out, were published by a company which specializes in theme park related literature. In particular, Disney literature. And this is when it hit me. I've always enjoyed the art of storytelling, whether it be a book, movie or whatever. So I thought, I bet if sat down and took the time—committed myself to the task, I could do this. Immediately, I grabbed a spiral bound notebook and began scribbling down ideas for characters and plot lines, sketching out diagrams, and creating terminology for a whole new world. A fictional world. A world which would eventually become known as... WONDER.


This would become the beginning of a deliberate change in my life. A new direction. A positive direction. Hours turned to days, days to weeks, and weeks to months as I carefully laid out ideas for my first attempt at authoring. The name alone for this magical world, believe it or not, took quite a bit of research and development. It had to be original, unique, thought provoking. Something nobody had ever thought of before. And above all, it had to have a positive purpose. So this was the challenge I laid upon myself. Come up with a NEW story, which includes NEW characters, and put them into a totally NEW world where almost anything imaginable is possible. And the biggest challenge of all? Somehow, some way, tie it all together using the three things I feel most passionate about: family, imagination and Disney.


First off, being a dedicated family man, and the fact that Walt's ideas were rooted in this same belief, made it important to me to maintain a similar approach in storytelling. Keep it clean, fun and entertaining so that everyone can enjoy the story together as a family. It may seem a little corny or outdated to some to think this way, with all that is going on in today's world, but I think it's more important now than ever to try and lead our society down the right moral path. And for me, I could not think of a better way to do it than through positive storytelling.


Secondly, there is imagination and the ability to make things up out of nothing. This has always been something I've enjoyed. As a creative professional, I have always embraced the "what ifs" in life. Never settling for the ordinary. And in today's world, I think it is important we continue to encourage others, both young and old, to use their imaginations. With all the hustle and bustle, and technology out there today, it is becoming all too easy to let the devices we own, or other resources, steer our creative thought processes. Society will always need creative people, those who dare to imagine, to think outside the box, to dream up what does not exist. Through my stories, I hope to instill this belief in children, their parents, or any Disney fan who reads my books for that matter. The world needs creative thinkers too.


And finally, there's this "thing" I have for Disney. Lets' face it, Disney movies and parks have been a passion of mine as far back as I can remember. And all it took was one trip to Disneyland back in the early 70's as an 8 year old boy to solidify my obsession. Whether you're cruising on a boat through Pirates of the Caribbean, creeping along on the Haunted Mansion, or traveling through time on the Carousel of Progress, Disney Imagineers immerse you in creative environments with incredible storytelling. Their theme parks are brilliantly detailed, full of positive energy, and the cast members are the greatest. Which is exactly why I chose the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World, as a starting point for the setting of my new Disney-themed novel series. I can not say enough about this place or how it makes me feel every time I visit.


I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I do writing them.


Let's spread a little goodness around, shall we.

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