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  • Writer's pictureCharles Zitta

The Origins of Book One: Ears of Virtue

As people I know, including both close friends and family, have discovered my newfound love for writing, many have asked questions such as: how did you get stared? How did you come up with an idea for a novel? How long did it take to write the book? Or even, where did you learn to write a book? And to those questions and more, I have always found myself unable to give nothing more than one simple answer. It was something I just decided to do, so I sat down, figured out a story line, who the main characters were going to be, the setting, and away I went. As far as an overlying theme was concerned, that was an easy choice. Disney would be the backdrop for the Wonder Within novel series.

My whole life I have been what most would call a dreamer. I like to think of it more as a "visual thinker", as in, someone who conjures up imaginary images in their mind as they take in their surroundings. Whether it be visual like something I see as I'm looking out the window, verbal like music, or written content such as a book, the creative side of my brain likes to venture off and paint a picture, create a scene, or whatever, as I'm processing the information. When I was a young boy in first grade I can clearly remember watching the Nutcracker during the holiday season on one of those slide projectors where the teacher would have to turn the handle to advance the slide every time the recorded narration beeped. I truly looked forward to that moment each and every holiday season as a young grade school student. However, something was missing. The slides were static images that only depicted a single highlight of every paragraph or two read by the narrator. To some of the students it may have seemed a little distracting, but for a young, creative boy, it gave me an opportunity to really journey off into my own imagination. I created a Nutcracker world like no other— triggered by the narrator's words and a limited number of static images from the slide projector. I really could "see it" happening in my mind—just like if it had been a fully animated movie!

So how does all this relate to the book you ask? After working as a professional graphic designer for nearly 25 years, and still do, I decided to take my visual way of thinking and put it into words. Words that will convey a positive image to our youth. Words that will teach young minds to imagine just as I did as a young child. Words, that will embrace a passion I have held onto ever since I was a starry-eyed eight year old boy visiting Disneyland for the first time. A passion, that strangely enough, was taken one step further just a few years back when my family and I were at my oldest son's senior picture photo shoot. As it turned out, the photographer and his wife were also big Disney fans. During the entire shoot, we talked about the parks in detail, how we planned our trips, and how much we enjoyed making the journey to Disney World as often as we could. And at the end of the shoot—as we were walking back to our car, the photographer's wife asked me a question that eventually took my life in another direction. "Have you ever listened to Lou Mongello?" To which I replied, "who?" She went on to explain that he was this Disney guy who had a thing called a podcast. At that time I had NO idea what a podcast was, but it sounded interesting. Especially for someone who was into Disney as much as I was. So I thought I would give it a listen. As it turns out I became a steady listener, made a lot of new friends along the way, and eventually was motivated by his words of encouragement to "take that first step" towards my own dream. That dream? To become a storyteller. Disney and the Wonder Within - Ears of Virtue is the result of those actions. I hope you enjoy the story.

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