About the Author
Jacky Leung was born in West Palm Beach, Florida to the most amazing non-stereotypical Asian parents you will find this side of the United States. Seriously. His parents always sought to expand and widen his mind through the arts and sciences. While Jacky was never an astute reader, but his creative mind began with a funny cartoon show called Mummies Alive! which sparked his interest in Egyptian mythology. Before the Internet, folks had to use this archaic thing call encyclopedias to learn about the world. Through learning about other cultures and their mythologies, he broadened his understanding of both the world and himself. Learning was an all-time key component of his upbringing, by the time he started 3rd-Grade, he knew basic Chemistry and Physics.
Fantasy was never a genre that interested Jacky, but Science Fiction was something of a wondrous blend of amazing and hopeful. He was a devoted Animorphs fan growing up, eventually expanding into mystery genres due to encouragement from his mother. During his teenage years, he went full emo and spent my years reading and writing poetry. Yes, he was that emo kid. Excelling in math and science was his trademark, but writing trashy poetry was his hobby. In high school, he underwent a Computer Science magnet program under the mentorship of a great and wonderful named John Slattery. Mr. Slattery would later pass away due to a heart attack several years after Jacky had graduated college, unable to ever thank the man who helped him reach for higher horizons.
The world of creativity and imagination opened up when he first played Dungeons & Dragons, specifically 3rd Edition. He eventually carried his love of the game and storytelling while studying at the University of Central Florida, initially studying as a Computer Engineering major. About part-way through his matriculation, he suffered a quarter-life crisis of identity and took a break from university life. Eventually, he regained the determination to finish getting a degree, settling as a Psychology major with the hopes of becoming a Clinical Therapist. His heart and intentions were noble, but ultimately the life of academia began to wear down his resolve and outlook on such a life path.
Never truly stopping or moving forward, during a long and difficult time of his life, he had a dream one night. While conversing with some friends in a local Starbucks of the details and pieces of the dream, it was mentioned to him that they would have loved to read it as a book. The spark was lit and the path was set before him finally. He swore to write the story for their friend the best way he knew how, luckily it was close to November for NaNoWriMo. He believed he was capable of the monumental task of writing an entire manuscript within 30 days and over 50,000 words. During this time, Jacky had also started a Dungeons & Dragons blog for himself and the players, eventually wishing to spread their fun across the Internet. The discipline of blogging gave him the courage and tenacity to write the novel while building the blog and his online presence. By November 30, 2015, his first manuscript was sitting at 52,000 words! By the week before Christmas, he had finished the entire narrative for the manuscript with a total of over 80,000 words. The easy part was finished, the hardest part was ahead of him.
Ciphers to Neverland is the official title of the upcoming first novel to be published. Jacky initially plans to self-publish the story, believing in himself and forging his path ahead. Though some help in marketing is always appreciated.
Jacky still runs and maintains his D&D blog, DeathByMage, creating fantastical worlds and monsters to delight and traumatize players of all ages. He has written materials for Dungeon Masters, players, and even channels his storytelling into short stories in his Anthology from the Land of Magic column. You can support him on his Patreon where he continues to write short stories and RPG content expanding from D&D and into other RPG genres.