Students collaborate on science fiction series

Story By: Lauren Baker, A&E Editor, Art Director

Fresno City College is known for being a widely diverse campus, full of individuals working towards their dreams. For many of us the road to that dream is a long one with no shortage of hardships on the way of getting there.

For FCC student Jamie Gilliland and her friends Marissa Welsh and Jeff Pish, dreams of being an author, artist and publisher are already coming into fruition.

Gilliland has always been fond of writing and being creative from a young age. “I discovered my passion when I was in fourth grade when my teacher started having us write essays and short stories in class,” said Gilliland.

“My teacher Mr. Espinoza called me and my parents in, and I thought I was in trouble. But he told my parents that he was surprised that I had written what I had because of the gore

(I wrote a horror story) and the unexpected use of big words.”

Since then, Gilliland has nurtured her love of writing creatively, developing timelines and characters with her long- time friend Marissa

Welsh, who creates the concept art for Gilliland’s stories and often sparks the inspiration for other projects as well. “She[Welsh] helps me come up with a lot of the stories. Half of the stories will be hers, but I will do all the writing. She gives the characters a personality and I kind of just stick everything together,” said Gilliand. Welsh also assists with proofreading the writing and approving. “Even though I lead with writing, I couldn’t do any of it without her.”

Jeff Pish also brings a love of drawing and writing to the mix, but together with Gilliland, started an independent  company called “Z-Ghost”, which primarily transfers art onto merchandise. However, Pish and Gillliland are using Z-Ghost to publish the group’s latest novel, “Oblivion: Out of the Darkness”, which is set to be an ongoing science-fiction series.

“It’s written with a pre-teen audience in mind, so there will be a smaller page count. There’s so much to fit into one book, so there will be a series,” said Gillliland.  “I don’t want kids to be intimidated by a big, thick, book, but it’s still got a lot going on, story-wise.”

The first title of the “Oblivion: Out of the Darkness” series will be “Genesis” and production on the second and third installments are already underway. “The book will be published on our website and we hope to extend that to Amazon as well.” Said Pish. The book is scheduled to be released early next semester and merchandise is already available for purchase on the Z-Ghost website.