When asking a young college student what they did over the summer, I can bet you $20 that their first answer wouldn’t be writing a book. However, you win this time because that is exactly what my answer would be.
No, I’m not kidding. Over the summer of 2021, I wrote a 149,907-word book with a prologue and epilogue (doing that math was actually the worst part of the entire process). But what can I say, when inspiration strikes, it strikes.
This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment thing – well, I can’t say that because I did decide to write it in the early hours of the morning when I couldn’t sleep. However, I have been planning to write a book ever since I was in fifth grade.
As a young girl, I always loved fantasy books and the adventure that they bring. When I was in fifth grade, all through middle school I became obsessed with the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley. No matter who I was talking to or what the conversation was about, somehow I would find a way to include the book series in every conversation.
I don’t know if it was the comedy or the sarcasm that the older sister in the series had that hooked me but all I knew was that one day I wanted to write a book too. I made a goal that before I got to college I would complete my first book.
When I say that writing the book wasn’t a complete spur of the moment thing, I am talking about the choice that made me actually start writing. In reality, I already had all the characters planned out.
At this point in time, I had already created my own little world with a group of four main characters and their families and friends. I even had short stories written in my notes that surrounded my four main characters and their lives, so making the jump to an actual book wasn’t that difficult.
One random night, at probably two in the morning, I grabbed my laptop and started writing the first of four character prologues that started my book. I had no plan of direction for where I wanted it to go, all I knew was that I couldn’t forget whatever idea popped into my head after listening to a random song.
After I finally got some sleep after my very late night, I read the chapter back to myself and realized that I could really take what I had written somewhere. So for that entire day, I laid out an entire book filled with main plots and subplots, descriptions of characters and their love interests, a bunch of research on NASCAR racing and of course, making multiple writing playlists to fit the characters and chapters.
I started writing the book at the end of June and I finished it in mid-August; August 20 if you want to be exact. When I was done, I recall blasting Ribs by Lorde and of course crying out of a little bit of relief but also out of happiness.
It seemed almost surreal that I finished an entire book before move-in day for my freshman year, but I did it, and I even edited it all with some help from one of my friends.
Now, you’re probably wondering if anyone besides myself has read this book, and the answer is yes. One other person read the book and that was my friend, Mallory, who also doubled as my editor. She had special permission to read the book and my other short stories because she actually came up with three of the characters in the book and allowed me to use them. Fun fact: two of the three are a part of the main group of four.
Will I one day allow other people to read it? Probably, but right now it still has to go through more edits before it’s officially ready.
For now, I’m going to keep the book and my short stories to myself (and Mallory) but hey, maybe one day you will see my book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble.