When I started The Conjunction of the Realms, since I was writing for preteens, my memories brought me back to the time when I was eight. I began missing my family in Rio de Janeiro. We were three kids living with our parents in a very small Copacabana apartment. Every night our dad would come to the tiny room where the three of us were laying in bed, and would tell us original and hilarious stories. Sometimes, when he was really tired, he would just say—and I will attempt to translate from the Portuguese: “Once there was a cat named Lee who let out a fart for you three.” And leave the room. The three of us would be there whining, complaining, hoping he would come back and tell us a real story. It never worked. Not once.
For my 9th birthday, he asked me what I wanted. “The entire Disney collection with all the cartoon characters, and the entire Jules Vernes collection.” I was hungry to read! We were not rich. Such collections would have cost him a fortune. Instead, he went through the trouble of finding an original Adventures of Donald Duck book and a hard copy of Twenty Leagues Under the Sea, both translated into Portuguese. It wasn’t a collection, but those two books were the best birthday present ever. My love for reading began to flourish. In that same year, I went on to read the entire Monteiro Lobato collection, the kids’ Bible, The Indian Anhangüera, and other great pieces of Brazilian literature. “The Conjunction of the Realms (Part One)” has a slight literary resemblance to some of these authors. I would not dare compare me to any of them, but rather thank them for their inspiration and originality.