The concept of Guardian Kayden started around ten years ago during my time at college as a means to cope with the busy lifestyle and constant stress.

I was recovering from a decade of time lost and a lot of pain and trauma, trying to find meaning and purpose. Being in deep depression and my mind in dark corridors for many years; with loss of purpose and loss of a sense of self.

I was afraid of never getting to be creative again and never having a dream that I believed in for a long time. I didn’t even believe in myself or what I could be able to do.
Then I gave it to the Lord and asked for something to hope for again; a dream to follow, and a purpose. Something to spend my time on creating to encourage and motivate others, so that the life I lived up until then wasn’t wasted and that I could contribute.

It all came from a dream I had that was so intricately detailed and full of enough information to start the story—from names, places, base plot points—it all came in one moment that I’ll never forget.

But it really took on depth and meaning in my life as my father was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Over the course of his fight during chemotherapy, I would always play my series with an e-reader in the clinic, and it was a special moment. Most patients in the clinic were there by themselves, and when I played the text to speech reader, the whole room got silent as people seemed to listen in. But what mattered to me was it gave my dad and me comfort to be enjoying our time together. I’ll always remember the moments we shared and the jokes we made, and I’ll always cherish them all.

He would help me edit my series, and originally, it was something I never intended to share with anyone else. After fighting the stomach cancer, he eventually became diagnosed with colon cancer, too. During his radiation therapy, toward the end of his round—he told me to publish it. That if we enjoyed it, someone else could.

He told me: “God gave you a gift. The message in this story could reach the right person at the proper time and place. Put it out there. I believe in you, Kimmy.”
That was one of the last things he told me while in his coherent mind.

I’m so thankful for the confidence he gave me to give it a try and put it out there, because otherwise, I never would have.

Over time, I shared it with my mom and sister, and together, it became something cherished within our family.

Guardian Kayden originally was published as an illustrated novel book one and part of book two released over the course of 2022 on Tapas. But after a publishing deal got finalized, the order of events in the story and timeline was reconsidered and it was decided to rewrite the whole of the series starting from a new book one. The plot and characters are the same, just the order things happen and the types of events have changed. With one of the biggest changes being highly improved writing and plot structure, most characters come into the story a lot sooner, in this new version.

Some of the key changes include:
  • Improved writing style.
  • Changed POV to first person/present tense to be able to get inside Kayden’s head as he starts his journey.
  • Quicker character addition.
  • Full cast of season one in book one unlike before.
  • More refined plot structure and now everything in the book has a purpose/reason to exist.
  • More emotional depth in characters as well as in plot/higher stakes.
  • More of the events key to the plot happening in book one/season one.
  • Clearer message and theme/tone of story

Even though much of the structure has changed, and it’s not exactly the same exact scenes and timing of the version I spent with my dad… I know he’s been with me the whole way during this process, and that it’s found its true purpose and structure after all this time. It just needed to be honed and crafted in the right timing, as the Lord helped me improve my writing and plot structuring skills, as well as my art.

I had originally been on a 10ish year hiatus from illustrating due to depression, and writing this story brought me back to wanting to get back into it.

I’m forever grateful for my dad—for spending the time and energy he had to help me write something I love; to follow my dreams. I am forever grateful for my mom and sister who have done the same—and they all believed in me to go out of my comfort zone and try to believe in myself again for the first time in over ten years. God bless them, and all the time and love put into this project from their own hearts alone, but also to my readers who have stayed with me along this fun and amazing journey along my time on Tapas. After all the illustrations are finished, GK will be published in printed and ebook format, which is something I truly don’t deserve, but I am thankful from the depth of my hearts, for the encouragement and love along the way of this path and through this journey.

I pray this series inspires others and encourages those who don’t believe in themselves to change their mind. Your dreams are there for a reason. You have a purpose. Redemption of time lost is possible, and it’s up to us to find meaning and direction to fight all the odds to succeed and find our purpose. To follow the calling put on our hearts and to choose our path. To be unafraid to take risks and follow your dreams to see them through. You have a pulse; you have a purpose. You are here for a reason.
God called you to be who you are, where you are, now it’s up to you to keep growing and see it through. You didn’t make it all this way for nothing, and the best you can do is keep trying and keep moving forward.

I hope you enjoy the journey through Guardian Kayden, and that any of it inspires you to want to create too, and follow your own dreams and passions for creativity. For a reminder that it’s never too late, and that you can do what you put your mind to with shining results. Never give up on yourself and never give up hope—reach for the stars and never let go. <3

– Kimberly/Tethyka Rinehart

An encouragement wallpaper my good friend suggested to make, featuring Future Kay from the LGK comic adaption.