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When NT Jenks was twelve, he saw Jurassic Park for the first time. The realistic animatronic and computer animated dinosaurs blew his mind. He found every book on how the magic in that movie was done, everything from the screenplay to the actual explanation of how those amazing creatures were made. It became an obsession. He designed his own animatronic dinosaurs and tried to learn computer animation. Even the piñata he made for Spanish class was a raptor torso, head, and arms. He wanted to create something amazing like Steven Spielberg had.
It wasn’t until he discovered the original novel written by Michael Crichton that he discovered that the movie was but a dim reflection of the real story. It was the story itself that brought the creatures to life, not all the fancy robots, puppets, and computers. That was when he started writing. At first, he wrote screenplays because he liked the idea of making films. The problem was that film making takes a team, and teams need leaders, someone to get everyone on the same page, excited about the project, and working. He did not know that person, whoever it was.
So, he wrote screenplays, and they would gather dust. Or he would try to put something together, and it would fall apart. Nothing he did seemed as great as what he had in his mind. That was when he decided to simplify. Of course, that was about twenty years and ten thousand dollars in film making equipment later. He realized that the novels were always better anyway, and a low budget book could have better special effects than any movie, no team or equipment needed. NT Jenks adapted a story he had written as a screenplay twice into his first novel, Lazarus Coleps, a story he hopes you will enjoy reading as much as he enjoyed writing.
Who is this guy anyway?
NT Jenks was almost born in the beautiful state of Oregon… but a volcano erupted. NT’s mom was allergic to the ash, so they moved.
NT Jenks was born in the cheapest hospital his parents could find. They didn’t have insurance, so they price checked all the hospitals in the area and found the cheapest one. Even though it was about thirty miles out of the way, that is the one they went to. No luxury hospitals for NT Jenks. No worries. He protested by being three weeks late.
when he was brought home, the foundation of his parents’ house had just been poured, so they could always know exactly how old the house was because they had a kid the same age. (NT Jenks’ brother now lives in that house and just had the foundation repaired. It was a year of quality:)
NT Jenks is the second in a family of six brothers and one sister. They are all well-adjusted even with a brother like NT. Okay, the adjustments may be a little off. The metric system was involved somehow.
NT Jenks was raised on a cherry farm and grew up dragging tarps, driving tractors, and digging ditches.
Television was an intermittent part of his life. His family had a well-used color TV for a while until, during a ford commercial, smoke started coming out of the back of it, and it never worked again, thus fostering his eternal hatred of fords.
From that point on, the only TV in the house was a portable black and white with a six-inch screen. His parents discovered that the little device was a powerful motivator for a young NT Jenks who liked to watch Duck Tails and Rescue Rangers. From that point on, the TV was only accessible once the chores were done. It worked well most of the time.
Tom Swift and Nancy Drew were NT’s favorite book series’, and he spent many a night reading his family’s collection of hardbacks purchased at second-hand stores. Sixties era contemporary science fiction played a role in the genre he chose to write in later on.
NT Jenks was home schooled through most of elementary school because he had a tendency to beat up on male students who gave the girls a hard time. His older brother was also homeschooled throughout elementary school because he found himself to be the victim of bullies. Maybe NT chose the wrong group to protect.
With his parents as his teachers, NT had the freedom to study what he wanted, and in many cases, it would be science. What would it take to make a submarine or a blimp? Or with the electric motor working with electro magnets, what would stop someone from making a permanent magnet motor? When he asked his dad about it, his dad said that if he could get one to work, his dad would give him a million dollars. NT spent hours and many a dollar trying to make that permanent magnet motor work. It never did work, but he plans to put the working prototype in a book soon. So, good old Pops better get out his checkbook. NT is guessing the payment will be fictional too.
In any case, NT Jenks was homeschooled up until junior high when he begged his parents to let him go back to school.
In high school, he discovered again the pleasures of not going to school. This time though, his absences were not parental sanctioned. NT spent a lot of time collecting absences, but there was one class that he never skipped: television productions. He loved that class, and he would write scripts for ads and film them with his other friends in the class. He even wrote a script making fun of school elections where he was running for student body dictator. In his campaign, NT stood up for the students with a 1.6 GPA, making it the new normal.
NT’s collection of absences did not help when he decided to go to college. He was fairly certain that any university with a decent film program would frown upon his final 1.9 high school GPA. He figured he would have to find some menial job to make his career.
But, in the meantime, he went on a two-year mission for his church. During that two years, NT realized he really could buckle down and get something done. The discipline he developed as a missionary helped him to imagine he could actually do something that required a higher education.
After returning home, NT missed the structure of the mission life and questioned his ability to enter collage. So, he went for a job. During his high school years, he had worked at an amusement park during the summers. He thought it would be more fun than dragging tarps and digging ditches, but he had kind of left the park with a bad impression his last year there.
So, with the idea of taking himself up a notch with the discipline he had learned on his mission, he went back, determined to show how wonderful a person he had become.
It worked! His supervisor was very impressed with him…and in one month, they were engaged. Well, that wasn’t exactly NT’s goal, but it worked. Apparently, nepotism was a good strategy because within the next few months, NT moved up from ride operator, to crew lead, to supervisor. And the final promotion NT received that year was husband to the best supervisor he ever had. She is still a good supervisor.
NT then decided he needed to get real. He now had a family to provide for, so he looked for jobs he could do while his wife went to school. First, he worked making treadmills on an assembly line. He hated it! Doing one tiny thing over and over got real dull really quickly. He then moved to customer service for a cell phone company. That is where his mild aversion to talking on the phone became a pretty major anxiety and maybe even a phobia.
Finally, once he had seen all of the diligent effort NT was putting in as a husband to his daughter, NT’s father-in-law found an opportunity for NT that would lead to a less tortuous work situation. A scholarship was offered to him through his father-in-law’s work where they would pay for schooling to become a heavy equipment technician and provide a part-time job in exchange for making their establishment a career. NT’s father-in-law had seen NT’s massive potential and got him a long term gig. Okay, maybe he just didn’t want his daughter to starve. In any case, NT was supremely grateful. He didn’t want to starve either.
This time, NT studied his heart out and worked his butt off. After two years, he graduated with a prestigious AAS in Diesel systems technology. He got the best grades of his entire life with a 3.9 GPA! And with his education complete and full-time employment, NT and his lovely wife decided to add to their family. Okay that decision was made before that point because their daughter was born about a week after he started his full time employment.
What an experience having a child was. NT had never experienced an instantaneous intense love like that. But having a child also complicated things because NT and his wife couldn’t afford child care, and they both worked. The only way to make the situation work was to work opposite shifts. NT took the night shift and spent quality time with his beautiful daughter during the day, and then he handed her off to her mother for the night shift. It worked well.
Okay, NT thought it sucked to not see his wife for more than fifteen minutes a day, and babies are kind of boring. All they do is sleep, and daytime television sucks.
So, NT returned to his film obsession. He wrote screenplays while his daughter was sleeping. He was again able to satisfy that insatiable urge to create. It just flowed from him, and he was happy…until he was about to type the words “the end.”
What does someone do with a finished screenplay anyway? What NT discovered was not encouraging, but still, he wrote until out of sheer frustration, he gave up on screenplay writing. He switched to writing novels and converted one of his screenplays.
And now you have Lazarus Coleps.