The Inspiration for “Combat Boy and the Monster Token” came from my two sons, Albert and Thomas. Like most boys, they are obsessed with video games and comic book heroes.

One day while the two of them played a video game, I repeatedly told them that it was dinner time. Well, I got no response—not a glance, grunt, or nod. Their minds seemed gone, trapped in the game. And, of course, I was not very pleased. Were their souls trapped in the game too? I wondered.

“Earth to Thomas,” I said. No response! “Earth to Albert,” I said even louder. Not a thing! “Hey, guy’s, it’s time to turn that off before you turn into video game controlled zombies!”

That did the trick.

As we sat down for dinner, it occurred to me that the idea of gamers’ souls being trapped in a game might make a good story. Later that night, I jotted down a few lines of “Combat Boy and the Monster Token.” However, with too many ideas and not enough time to write, I didn’t make any progress for a few years. But, once I got started, it flowed quickly and easily. Best of all, I had a blast writing it.