DHS student mixes fantasy with reality

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Anita Renfroe

DHS Junior Kate Jolley

When reading teen fiction, many don’t question why the books are written by adults. For one student, adult writers never got the ending right. Coming up with her own, junior Kate Jolley decided to write her first fantasy novel The Illanian.

“I had the idea of the book in my head for a year. It wasn’t until page 200 that I told my parents I was writing it,” she said.

It didn’t stop there, though. Jolley currently is working on her second book. “I didn’t expect it to be a trilogy. I was on page 300 of the first book and was like, ‘Yeah this is going to have to be more than one book.’”

In the The Illanian, the main character, Sabrealle, fights against Ballanear, who is trying to release monsters from the Abyss. The Abyss is a pit that goes into another world and if released, would swallow her world whole. Sabrealle is trying to stop it.

Upon finishing the book, Jolley let her friends and teacher read it. She heard nothing but positive feedback.

“She has a mature way of writing in the book that I didn’t expect,” math teacher John Hudson said.

Jolley sees her book as more than just a book – she sees it as her baby. “It’s really cool to see peoples’ reactions to it, and when I go back and edit it, and I’m reading it, it’s like I know what’s going to happen. It’s kind of like going through a scrapbook and seeing your kids.”

With the excitement of writing a book came the hard work and mishaps of editing. “One time, when I had finished the first book, I was going to edit it and it was only showing 415 pages when there should have been 457 and I was freaking out! My dad remembered that I had a copy of it on my flash drive so he was like, ‘Why don’t you just save it on the computer as a file from the flash drive,’ and I was like ‘Good idea!’”

Jolley is currently on page 330 in her second book. “I think the second book will take a shorter time to write than the first, because I know the characters better, and I have more of a sense of what I want to happen next.”

Though the book isn’t published yet, Jolley is currently looking for an agent. “I have an app on my phone with agent listings called Directory of Literary Agents. It’s so exciting!”

Until it’s published, the book will not be available to read.