“I was quite shocked, actually.”
That was Marjorie Young’s reaction to the news her novel, “The Boy with Golden Eyes,” won the Young Adult category at last month’s annual Los Angeles Book Festival. And, that’s not a small statement coming from a lifelong psychic.
Young, who lives in a small mother-in-law apartment near Ballard High School with her two cats, walls of books and at least one framed cast photo from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” does psychic readings at the Ballard Farmers Market. She also specializes in readings, healing and spiritual counseling for people and pets.
Every summer, her nephew Sammy visits from New York where his family lives. After one trip a few summers ago, Sammy was sad to be saying goodbye. Young told him she would write him a story, and that’s how “The Boy with Golden yes” was born – one chapter at a time.
“It was just for fun, just for him,” Young said.
The first draft was written entirely through emails from Young to Sammy, who was an inspiration for the main character, Rupert, as well as the model for the book’s cover (much to his continued embarrassment). Sammy even provided a number of the big plot twists found in the book through ideas he would mail back to Young.
Eventually, “The Boy with Golden Eyes” was self-published by Young in August 2010.
As much as Sammy was an influence on the book, which tells the story of a young boy growing up in isolation before venturing into the wider world to do battle with evil kings, it has also been shaped by Young’s experiences growing up with psychic abilities.
“There’s a lot of me in there,” she said.
When she was a child, Young said she had a lot of intuition, but it was mostly about bad things, such as death. Young didn’t like it and tried to squash her gift. It was difficult picking up the subconsciouses of everyone around her, she said.
In “The Boy with Golden Eyes,” Rupert feels led to do things or like people are talking to him, cajoling him to action.
“I’ve often had that,” Young said. “I’ve felt guided the same way myself.”
Rupert must learn to trust his abilities and figure out who he is, which is something Young has faced. She said she has put some of her experiences into a fiction book so people can choose to believe them or not.
While living in Japan, she was taught to turn her psychic ability on and off. It was the best thing that could have happened to her, she said.
Now, she can turn on the ability to do a reading or write a chapter of the book and then turn it off again.
“I consider it a gift, but I don’t understand it,” she said, comparing it to math geniuses in her family. “It is just omething I have.”
Whether she understands it or not, the same abilities that allow her to read people and animals allow her to tell the tale of Rupert.
“I just sit there and it comes through,” Young said. “It’s the same kind of energy.”
She said it feels the same to do a psychic reading as it does to write a chapter; it’s getting information from a character as opposed to getting information from a person. She said she is exhilarated and exhausted after both.
And, just like with her psychic ability, it can be hard to turn “The Boy with Golden Eyes” off.
“The story keeps coming,” Young said. “I have no idea how it’s going to end.”
Young is already working on part four of what she sees as a five or six-book series. Part two and three are waiting for editing and publishing.
In addition to its win at the Los Angeles Book Festival, which honors books deserving further attention from the publishing industry, “The Boy with Golden Eyes” has caught on with readers near and far.
Submitted by Michael Harthorne, KOMO Communities Reporter
(Read the excerpt of “The Boy with Golden Eyes” the book's website)