Noah Bunyan

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

Noah Bunyan is your typical 15-year-old. He dabbles in drawing, enjoys peddling around on his bike and loves hanging out with his friends. But in his spare time, he’s writer. A good one. Six of his books have been published. And more are on the way.

The 10-grader, who lives on Okinawa with family and attends Kubasaki High School on Camp Foster, first began writing seriously when he was six.  Since then, Bunyan has published five graphic novels in his “Lightning Man” series and one novella, The Island of Monsters.

The son to a mother who is a teacher in the Department of Defense Education Activity system, Bunyan has spent his entire life living in military communities, including ones in Hawaii, Germany, Guantanamo Bay and Italy. 

Proud of his accomplishments and a person who likes to share his experience and knowledge, Bunyan is making a trip to the mainland to talk with fellow students at Yokosuka Naval Base from Feb 8-12. 

Bunyan will discuss drawing comics, the writing process and how to publish a book during visits to Kinnick High School, Yokosuka Middle School, Sullivan’s Elementary School and Ikego Elementary School.  

“He loves to share his creations and teach students to draw and create comic books and novels,” said his mother, Jen Bunyan. 

Stripes Okinawa recently sat down with the young author to discuss his books and ambitions.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your books?
A. My books are for elementary, middle and high school students and anyone who likes graphic novels or mysteries. My first novella, The Island of Monsters, which came out at the end of 2015, was my first writing of mystery stories. I like mystery and suspense and writing so people can visualize what I explain. I have a great agent now. I got one after writing inquiry letters as my mom asked me to. My agent is Darin Jewell, who lives in the United Kingdom and he found the publishing company, Acorn Books for my novella. He is very smart and worked at Harvard and Cambridge. He often guides me in my writing.

Q. When and how did you start writing books?
A. I started drawing when I was six with my Grandma Jo when she came and visited me in Italy. I came up with my first superhero with her and then started writing about Lightning Man when I was eight.

Q. Who is Lightning Man?
A. He is a superhero who always wins over evil. He got his powers when a mad scientists tried to build a weather machine and the lightning from the machine struck him (Bob Spark) and gave him superpowers. He is now Lightning Man. His dog and cat also got powers in following sequels. I write and draw all of my books in comic book style or graphic novel.  I go through the editing and publishing with my publisher and work collaboratively to finalize my books.

Q. What are your plans/hopes as a writer?
A. I want to continue writing, and in college, I want to major in creative writing, movie making and business. My plans are to write more graphic novels and novels as I get older.

Q. Could you give us brief introduction of you, your family and your life?
A. I have mother and a 13-year-old sister. A dog, Luna, and cats, Chester and Smoky. We all live together on Okinawa. My Dad lives in Hawaii. We see him when we go to Hawaii and he visits some times for Christmas. One of my favorite things to do is read and draw. I also like to ride my bike and hang out with my friends. I really like old movies, like Frankenstein.

Q. How do you think being in the military community helps or challenges your writing?
A. I have always attended DODDS schools and really like the military lifestyle. My Uncle Tim and Grandfather on my mom's side are both retired USMC Colonels. Our military service members are the real superheroes of the world. I like that my mom is a DODDS teacher because I get to travel to many countries and enjoy their culture. It has helped me in creating stories.

Q. What would you like to tell or share with the students during your visit to Yokosuka?
A. I want to talk about how I became an author and how I come up with my ideas for writing books. I want to tell them about getting published and having books sold in Barnes and Noble and on”

Q. Is there anything else you think that is important for people to know/understand about you and your books?
A. I want other children to do what I did. I have written and published six books and just finished my next Lightning Man graphic novel. It should be out this summer.

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