The Daring Adventures of Action Jaxson!
I stay home and take care of my son. He’s almost almost three. Our conversations are still pretty one-sided, but I often imagine the conversations we’ll have one day. I look forward to the nights I’ll spend with him reading books and those moments where he’ll say, “I want to read that book tonight!” As a writer, I got to thinking… wouldn’t it be cool if he had his very own set of books, made especially for him, all about the daring space adventures of a little boy just like him on some far away planet.
And Action Jaxson was born!
Though originally conceived for ages 3-6, my first attempt at outlining a set of ten books came out a little more mature than appropriate for that age group. And when I described the project to my illustrator husband, he thought of the Action Jaxson world as a video game. So now my once simple children’s book series has become a project with multiple phases that can grow with my son, and other children, as they age from 3 to 12.
- Series of 8 children’s book for ages 4-7
- Series of 8 young adult illustrated novellas for ages 8-12
- An online video game with supplemental content from the young adult series.
Read through the concept and individual phases or skip straight to funding us!
The Daring Space Adventures of Action Jaxson follows an 8 year old little boy (who grows to 15 through the series) as he goes from servant to Prince on his home planet of Shahar, studies at the prestigious Hikairo Space Academy, goes on various adventures, graduates, and continues having adventures as a full-fledged commander of his own royal ship.
Jaxson starts his journey as a small-for-his-age, rash little boy, eager for adventures but usually rushing in without thinking. Through his initial adventures in the children’s book series, he learns how to utilize all the wonderful quirks that make him Jaxson to conquer his problems, all while picking up new tips and tricks for surviving space adventures.
The world he lives in is playfully dangerous. As the series matures, the dangers will feel more real and have definitive consequences. Right now, the world includes locations like Jaxson’s home world (Shahar), the academy (Hikairo Academy), the various planets in his system (the Elyon System), Planet X, and a series of planets Jaxson encounters after he takes command of his own ship. And what’s a good space adventure without alien monsters?
Here are just a few of Nick’s explorative sketches.
And here’s some concept art we’ve collected to develop the characters and world of Action Jaxson. We’re looking for a retro, painted feel with clear line work and a fantastic color palette. But these are only a few from our collection. Check out our Action Jaxson pinterest board for more. (Click on the image to explore the artist’s web site.)
The project starts with a children’s book series that follows Jaxson from becoming an adopted prince on his homeworld to joining a special space explorers academy through various adventures, his graduation, and going home. Each would be approximately 36 pages long, fully illustrated with a reading level appropriate for the age group. Taking a cue from the original Curious George series, these initial books can be read out of order as individual adventures, with perhaps the first and last books being the exception. Current titles include (absolutely subject to change at this point):
The Daring Space Adventures of Action Jaxson:
Prince of Shahar!
Blasting Off to the Academy
A,B,C’s for Space Explorers
Flying a Rocketship
Taking a Trip to the Med Center
Making More Friends
Saving a Stranded Ship
Graduating and Going Home
Every book is meant to cover some aspect of a young kid’s life that Jaxson can help guide them through with his own adventures. Lessons in patience, the first day of school, trouble learning, pride and anger, doctor visits, and making friends are only a few themes in place in this initial series.
After graduating, Jaxson returns home and happens to make it through a maze no one in the royal family has ever solved. At the center lies a box. The king takes the box very seriously and tells Jaxson that since he has found the box, he must be the one to return it to the temple in the Old World where his people come from. From there, Jaxson takes command of a ship from his family’s fleet and with a trusted mentor, strikes out against various odds to return the mysterious artifact.
As mentioned, the ideas developed for this series were a little too mature for a young audience. Thankfully, my original idea remains intact. I wanted to tackle the fears facing young children and various moral lessons in creative, alien ways. The story develops sequentially following a hero’s journey arc through various adventures up to the final challenges faced in the Old World temple and the returning of the box. Each novella would be around 100 pages long with rich illustrations every few pages. Though the books have yet to be titled, the morals communicated and fears tackled include:
Have grace for enemies.
Stand firm in the face of trials.
Fear of darkness and how to face it.
It’s better to face trials with others than alone.
Experiencing anxiety and how to face it.
How to see through lies and illusions.
How to trust even when you’ve been betrayed.
This phase of the project is the most unplanned at the moment. But my husband and I feel like the characters and world built through both the children’s series and the young adult novella’s could lend itself to the video game format. Right now, I’d say the game would be something with a more stripped down system, something easy to code and put online. But who knows, by the time this phase comes to fruition, we might have come up with something far more elaborate and the means to make it so!
Nick and I are very familiar with tackling personal projects with no front end development money and the understanding that the project should eventually pay for itself. But honestly, that’s a horrible way to work. We’d love for partners to join us in financing each phase with the potential to put the project on Kickstarter for pre-sale development.
Please visit the Contact page to message us regarding partnership opportunities. We’d love your help to make Action Jaxson happen!