Father-Son Duo Launch Warp-Speed Tale For Father’s Day
Father’s Day 2020 will be like no other, with families opting to stay at home even as lockdown laws are relaxed for the start of summer in the northern hemisphere. Being couped up in our houses for three or months now has led to some taking a “digital detox” as Netflix, video gaming and even phone distractions starting to lose their allure.
Yes, the good old-fashioned book is having a bit of a moment again. And what better way to mark the day that celebrates dads than with a bookish collaboration between a father and son?
Black Shadow ia a fast-paced, action-filled time travel adventure novel co-authored by New York attorney Jay Eisenhofer and his 10-year-old son Mark that invites readers to “imagine flying from solar system to solar system pirating stolen goods from soldiers, thieves, and police.”
The book follows the escapades of Terry, a wisecracking and brave young space pilot “known across 115 galaxies” as he pilots his ship through exotic galaxies, battling the forces of Dark Justice and its master, Dr. Z, a brilliant adversary who “gave up science for crime.” Yet despite working overtime to save various worlds, young Terry – who becomes Black Shadow – find the time to fall for a beautiful but treacherous redhead named Lata.
Although chiefly aimed at young readers, Black Shadow appeals to anyone craving a world distant from the constant barrage of media about an earthly virus.
Black Shadow‘s father-son partnership came together unexpectedly. “My dad likes to read; I really don’t,” Mark, one of five siblings, says.
“I love telling stories, hearing stories, watching TV, and movies. One day my dad, frustrated that I wouldn’t sit still, said, ‘Hey Mark, tell me a story’. So I turned my attention from the action figure villains doing battle in my hands, to share the story with my dad.”
Jay says they didn’t set out to write a novel. “We started a conversation. Mark loves to conjure impossible scenarios and I enjoy writing. He started with the premise that the best characters are a little bit good and a little bit bad. That is a provocative statement. I wanted to hear what that meant to him.”
He continues: “Before we realized it, we were fleshing out a full-bodied story – Mark created the characters and unusual plot lines, and I developed the backstory and dialogue. For sure, Terry is Mark’s creation.”
Jay says he stayed true to Mark words, which he recorded. “I used his words and his cadence; I thought it would appeal much more to boys his age if I could retain his conversational pace and words, and engage a young reader as if it were a tale told over a campfire.”
Like any worthwhile sci-fi story, Black Shadow has its own vocabulary, geography, and mythology.
“Telling my dad about Black Shadow was a lot of fun and it was a project we worked on — just the two of us,” Mark says. “It’s a story I’ve been thinking about for a long time and he helped me make it into a book that I would want to read.”
During the recent lockdown, Jay and Mark found one surprise benefit of hunkering down for weeks in their New York apartment. “Lots of dads like to toss a ball, or ride a bike with their kids. Since we were forced to stay indoors – this was a pretty great alternative.”
“We’ve even started tossing ideas around for a sequel,” Jay says.
Follow Terry and Black Shadow at blackshadowadventures.com or on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. Purchase the book at select stores or Apple Books and Amazon (both in paperback and on Kindle).