Generations of imagination

Father and son write novels together

Patricia Middleton Newton Kansan @kansanmiddleton
Bill Bush and his son, Blake, teamed up to write a young adult science fiction series. The duo will sign books at the Halstead Public Library on Saturday. [PATRICIA MIDDLETON]

HALSTEAD — Aliens, adventure and antics abound in a new young adult science fiction series written by father and son team Bill and 14-year-old Blake Bush.

In 2013, Bill researched online sources about how to write a book.

"I always wanted to write a book, it was something I had never done," Bill said.

It was then that Bill learned about the National Novel Writing Month challenge, where participants are given a goal of writing at least 50,000 words in the month of November.

"I came across that and I thought, 'this is the way to do it — write it in a month and get it over with,'" Bill said.

The process of writing the novel, "Vetrix," was aided by the input of his then 11-year-old son, Blake.

"He and I sat down, and we came up with characters and a plot line, and of course, the main character is a 12-year-old kid named Blake," Bill said. "I'd get stuck and I'd go, 'Blake, I need an idea.' He'd throw something out, we'd talk about it and keep going and by November 30th I had 60,000 words."

Together, the duo came up with a story where the fictional Blake, who is nicknamed "Flipper," gets kidnapped by aliens. Flipper's cousin Allison sees the abduction take place, but no one believes her when she tries to tell them about it except for Flipper's best friend, Josh.

"They start looking for aliens on Earth and discover the truth behind the Roswell incident of 1947," Bill said, "while Flipper wakes up on another planet."

Caught between two warring alien races, Flipper must choose a side and try to find a way home.

"In the process, he fights a dragon, gets badly injured and almost dies," Bill said. "In the end, he does play an integral part in saving the planet."

The real-life Blake admitted his imagination contributed to the zaniness of the book's plot.

"He does the real work, I just come up with ideas," Blake said.

"It's got a lot of twists," Bill said. "You think something's coming and something else happens. That's kind of part of the fun, I think, of writing."

Bill and Blake hope to publish the sequel to "Vetrix" later this year.

"'Vetrix' is going to be a series," Bill said. "I've already written book two and three and am working on four."

Father and son also collaborated on a series of short stories involving the characters from "Vetrix" in "Before Vetrix."

"A few are based off of real-life events that happened," Blake said.

In "Before Vetrix," Flipper fights a goat, plays a prank and practices his pick-up lines.

"We kind of made them funny, twisted them a little bit to fit the characters," Bill said. "It's just fun little snippets of their life together and their relationship, things that happened to them."

With plenty of action and humor, father and son recommend their books for preteen and middle school boys and girls.

"I think they can relate to a lot of it," Bill said. "It's got a lot of good humor in it."

Bill and Blake Bush will have a book signing at 2 p.m. April 8 at the Halstead Public Library, 263 Main St.

For more about books by Bill Bush, visit