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AWARE Ink Newsletter

A Published Author Among Us

It’s not every day you cross paths with a published author but today is different. Today, we’re bringing you Zack Darkhound, author of two fantasy novels: Legacy of Dragons and The Phantom Moon.

According to the bio on the back of his book, Zack was originally born in Michigan but raised in Montana. He works as hard as he can writing the next stories of his series.

Zack has loved fantasy for as long as he can remember. His passion for writing ignited around fifth grade when he was introduced to the Eragon book series. That’s when he began to develop his own ideas and started working on a series of his own.

In the first book, Legacy of Dragons, Ten-year-old twins lose their parents and are forced to grow up in a world full of danger. Along the way, they establish friendships that help them on a quest to discover the truth about an artifact they have in their possession. Together, they discover hidden powers, overcome enemies, and learn of a villain, Madwoman Lucia, who is out to get them.

Over time, Zack continued to work on developing the characters and storyline. In high school, he collaborated with a writing friend who helped him come up with new ideas that could bring the book to the next level.

“It’s really fun to see how the two main characters grow up into adults that are half dragon, half human,” said Zack. “I even added elements of anxiety and anger into the mix that the characters learn to deal with. They’re things that I’ve struggled with over the years.”

Now in his 30’s, Zack has published two books in the series and is currently editing the third so that it can be published. He thinks the series will span maybe five or six books in total, but time will determine that. The ideas are always shifting and evolving in his mind.

Zack draws his writing inspiration from other fantasy worlds like War Hammer 40,000, a miniature wargame that allows players to enact battles using dice and arithmetic. Over the last year, he spent every Friday building miniature models of War Hammer characters (i.e. warriors, fighting vehicles, terrain features) that can be used in gameplay. It’s a complex game that triggers the imagination and requires a fair amount of strategy.

He also enjoys playing Final Fantasy 14 on his gaming PC. The massive multi-player online role-playing game allows players to customize and control an avatar as they explore the fantasy realm of Eorzea. As they travel across the land, they encounter obstacles and hostile tribes that are attempting to bring down one of the planet’s moons.

With hobbies like this, it’s easy to see how Zack maintains his creative spirit and energy. He’s found his passion and continues to push himself to become a better writer each and every day. Zack, we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

Zack receives care through AWARE’s PACT team. He is a great example of our mission to help people live independent lives by setting and achieving goals. To learn more about AWARE’s PACT team, click here.

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