The journey of The Jamie Johnson Series began way back in the early 2000s when I was working as a soccer journalist. At that time, I was lucky enough to be meeting and interviewing some of the best players in the world. I had the privilege to sit and chat with players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and David Beckham, fuelling my passion and interest in this beautiful game. Then, one weekend, I was with a friend of mine and she happened to tell me that she was looking in bookshops to try to find a soccer novel for her godson who was just about to have his birthday. This boy was crazy about soccer and a soccer novel seemed to be an ideal gift. There was just one problem: there weren’t any. Taking in this information, my mind seemed to be full of fireworks, cluttered with questions and brimming with excitement. 'That’s ridiculous!' I thought. 'I’ll have to change that! I’ll write a soccer novel... in fact, no, I’ll write a series of soccer novels!' The next question was: how? This was just around the time that the Harry Potter books were becoming a phenomenon. I liked the idea of following a kid’s journey from school all the way through to him fulfilling his dream. So I decided to write my own series of books, tracing the story of one normal kid in school and his journey to becoming a worldwide soccer sensation! The stories would be realistic and based on my own experiences. I would include many of the tales and facts that I had learned about the top players in the game and the obstacles they overcame to achieve their goals. The kid would not lead the perfect life—and he certainly wouldn’t win every game. But he would be completely in love with soccer, with enough talent and dedication for us to believe that maybe, just maybe, he would have a real shot at turning his dreams into reality. I would also encourage the readers to get out there and play themselves. By including soccer tips and skills within the stories, I wanted people to be inspired to improve their own game. So that is the story behind The Jamie Johnson Series. It all began with the search for one birthday present for one boy in England. Since then, things have taken off in a big way. The books are currently being turned into TV series in the UK and now we are lucky enough to be bringing them to the States. These are the books I would have wanted to read when I was a kid and Jamie Johnson is exactly the kind of player that I wished I could have been.
Author D.C. Freedman
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