Sketchbook: Choose Your Own Adventures with author Dustin Brady


In this edition of “Sketchbook,” we meet Ohio Author Dustin Brady.

Read the Script:

[Dustin Brady, Author]: Hey, my name is Dustin Brady. I'm the author of "Trapped in a Video Game."

When I set out to write this book, I wanted to write my favorite book for when I was 10 years old so I actually made a list of all the things I was into at that age, and not surprisingly, one of the things at the top of that list was video games.

Specifically, there was this game show, it was called "Nickelodeon Arcade." So on that show a screen would turn on and those real kids were inside of a real video game and when I saw that my mind just exploded. I thought that was the coolest thing ever.

So I thought about it all the time. I thought about how I could go into a video game, how I could go on that show. I just thought if I thought that was cool when I was a kid, today's kids would think that as well.

"I close my eyes to get my bearings "and I opened them again to see two angry eyes "two inches away staring back. "'Nap time's over, maggot!'

"The two eyes were attached to a snarling drill sergeant "who seemed just like the most furious person ever.

"I tried backing away. "Look, I don't... "This is a big... "Okay, if you just call my mom. "The drill sergeant did not seem interested "in clearing things up with Mrs. Rigsby.

"Instead pick me up by the neck, "just like a bully on TV would, 'Listen maggot, "'I don't know how you got that blaster attached to your arm "'but it's there now and we're going to use it to-' "the what attached to my what?

"I look down. A blaster, attached to my arm "where my left hand should be. "My screaming did nothing to stop the drill sergeant "from continuing his little speech.

"'Blast the alien scum back to whatever rock they came from. "'You are humanity's only hope for... "'this planet.

"'Your mission will be long. Your mission will be difficult. "'Your mission will probably be deadly. "'But you,'

"I continued screaming through the rest of the speech."

It's been very cool. The coolest part, really, is getting notes from parents and teachers and kids that this is the first book, the first series that some kids have read all the way through on their own.

The kids thought maybe they didn't like to read before, didn't like books, but this is something they really connected with and that's been very, very cool to see.

You know, when I was growing up I thought, I don't know, you had to go to school and somebody had to pick you to be an author, it was like a job that you had to interview for something, I don't know.

For me, the biggest struggle of being an author wasn't finding a publisher or coming up with an idea. It was really sitting down and doing the work and I always wanna let kids know that that's okay.

If you're not excited to do the thing that you're passionate about, to do the thing that you're good at, whether that's writing or art or music, or something like that.

If you sit down and put in the work you can do something that you're really proud of.

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