Most college students begin school hoping to be able to enjoy college life, pass their classes and graduate with a degree that will help them land their dream job. But one Ramapo student has had the privilege of getting her first book published even before graduation. Ramapo senior Lauren Santaniello’s book, “Death of Ignorance just got published and is not yet released in stores. The first book of what is to become a trilogy, “Death of Ignorance” tells the story of anti-hero Alex, who is trying to continue on in the years after his father’s murder. “It [the idea] just sort of came to me one day,” Santaniello said. “I was a senior in high school and I was going on college visits…and I just began thinking about everything, you know, life is beginning to change, where we are going to [and] somehow my mind just started focusing on people and about different kinds of people…and somehow this character, a sort of anti-hero popped into my brain.” After coming up with the idea of this anti-hero, Santaniello began writing, what she thought was going to be, a short story. “I wrote the prologue which is the first scene you see, Alex trying to commit suicide, and before I went any further, that’s all I knew. I thought it was going to end up as a short story,” Santaniello said. “You have this character, you see him in the beginning [and] he’s in the process of cutting his wrists and the last thing you face is darkness so I thought I was going to end there.” However, the story didn’t end there and soon became a full story. “Somhow I just kept going and I just couldn’t seem to stop,” Santaniello said. “I wanted to find out what happened next to his character and it just started to go from there.” The road to getting published, however, was not free from obstacles for Santaniello, especially when it came to learning about the world of publishing. After her friend, David Horner, suggested she submit the book to the publishing company he was interning for, the process to getting the book published began. After sending a one page summary of her book to the company, they asked to meet her in person. “After meeting them, they asked about the book and the storyline, then they wanted the manuscript, so I gave them the whole manuscript,” Santaniello said. “The way it works is the lowest person on the totem pole sort of reads it and then it goes up and if everyone likes it, then it goes to the publisher who will read the whole manuscript and decide whether or not they want to publish it.” After not hearing back from the publishing company for months, Santaniello finally heard back last October. “I received an email that they wanted to give me a publishing contract by November,” Santaniello said. “I got the contract and signed it and it’s been going ever since.” “It’s a struggle because I know nothing about the publishing field and I’m constantly trying to figure out about what do I do now, what can I do,” Santaniello said. “Obviously there is a contract you have to follow, you can’t breach contract…so I’m learning.” Throughout the publication process, Santaniello had support from her friends and family. “A lot of my friends, they actually volunteered to read the first copy before I sent it into the publisher to check for spelling errors or anything like that,” Santaniello said. “I think the problem with me, with my dyslexia, how I can’t always [and] I don’t realize that there’s a spelling error here, a spelling error there, so they were really helpful to point that out.” “My first book is dedicated to my parents because they’ve been through it all with me, with my learning disability and letting me major in literature.” Santaniello also has the support of a great publisher to help her in getting her books published. “I know its hard for people who write books, finding a publisher isn’t easy and for someone who believes in you,” Santaniello said. “Luckily I have an amazing publisher, her name is Eve Adams, who really feels that she saw something in my work, [and that] it can go somewhere. You need someone to believe in you and I really have that with her.” With the support of her publisher, family and friends, Santaniello gave words of advice to other student writers. “One person told me if you really believe your story is worth telling, you can’t give up on it. If you have characters if you have situations that you feel people should know about [and] care about then you can’t give up,” Santaniello said. She also had words of caution for students who are looking into getting published. “For people who are really passionate about writing, wait until you’re done with school because there’s a lot of work that goes into publishing more than I originally anticipated. It’s your heart and soul, it’s your entire life and it’s difficult as a college student,” Santaniello said. “It’s a lot about balancing but it’s a full time job, so if you’re really committed to it then I would definitely suggest waiting before you progress, but don’t give up. “No matter how stressful everything may be or is, writing is my passion and I would never give that up because I feel that writing is my outlet and you really need to be committed to it 100%.” “Death of Ignorance” has been released on several sites and can be purchased on blurb.com, smaashwords.com, barnesandnoble.com and createspace.com.