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THE PROS & CONS OF BEING A TEENAGE AUTHOR

Kieryn Nicolas had her first novel published when she was just fifteen years old.

 

 

                                                                 photo by Darren Weimert

Here’s what the teenage author of the YA spy adventure, Rain, has to say about THE PROS & CONS OF BEING A TEENAGE AUTHOR

Pros.

1) I get to watch people's jaws drop as I tell them I'm a published author
2) Writing constitutes as work
3) I get to meet awesome people through the writing network

Cons:
1) There's a lot of work that isn't writing and, while fun, is very time-consuming
2) Even when you're published, the publishing world isn't easy to navigate
3) I still have to do homework

I’m not sure when I first decided to be a writer. I mean, I was always a writer. I wrote constantly growing up. I have notebooks upon notebooks of story starts and drawings of characters. Also, my little sister and I used to play pretend, where we would imagine and act out stories. I always added narration, like “…the Minian jumps to the dock and yells, ‘Come stop me!’ and we race after him!” I think this was my precursor to writing.

However, it was in fifth grade that I decided I wanted to be an author. I had an amazing teacher that year, and we incorporated writing into every unit. History, math, science, even recess. (Well, I did.) And in English we wrote stories. Long stories. Real stories that lacked page limits. I took the lack of page limits to heart. From then on I was constantly working on some story idea or another. People would give me weird looks when I’d talk about the “novel” I was writing.

“You write novels?” they’d say.

I’d nod. “Yeah! The one I’m writing right now is about…”

They’d listen for a while, then say, “Wow. You’re crazy.” Or, “How do you do that? I hate writing.” Or even, “I love page limits,” to which I’d respond, “I love page minimums.”

(By the way, page limits are a horrible idea. If anything do a word limit, not a page limit. I tend to use dialogue, and when formatted correctly dialogue takes up a whole new paragraph, so I fill up pages more quickly. So therefore page limits = cruel.)

After Rain was accepted and then released by Echelon Press, the reactions went from disbelief to stunned disbelief. “You published a novel?” they now say.

I’ll nod. “Yeah! It’s about…”

They’ll listen for a while, then say, “Wow, you’re crazy. I want to read it!”

Before I was “officially” an author, a few of my friends would ask if I could write them into a story. “Can I be a character? Can I be that fairy? Can I save the day?” And usually I’d say, sure, I’d throw them in. I based characters off of real people sometimes, though usually unintentionally. My friend Katie has a bad history with her characters—they’re mostly evil. Like one in sixth grade, named Nervom, who eventually destroyed the world (don’t worry, there are other worlds in that story). I mean, destroying the world is bad enough. But to add insult to injury I named her Nervom.

 After I was “official,” however, everyone wanted a character. “You can even kill me if you want. In your story, I mean,” they’ll offer. I took some of them up on this (I was writing an action thriller. No spies in that one, though, unfortunately). Then I realized I couldn’t possibly base characters off of everyone. Sorry, guys.

Also, another thing that’s changed? My parents don’t hint that I should “do other things” (aka go outside or do laundry or eat) as often anymore. Not that they discouraged my writing before or anything, and they still remind me to do silly things like homework…which, by the way, teachers still assign, despite me being published and all. What’s with that?

Kidding.

Kind of.



Aside from writing, Kieryn Nicolas enjoys Taekwondo and swing dancing. Her favorite place to be is browsing the YA section of Barnes & Noble (or the library, or any bookstore). She has many more novels in progress.

You can find Kieryn online at her website:
www.kierynnicolas.com
She also has a blog:
www.kierynnicolas.blogspot.com




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Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
bogwitch64
Aug. 12th, 2010 12:48 pm (UTC)
An impressive young lady. Congratulations, Kieryn

(Sorry, Jon, but you HAD to know I'd get my sparkle back.)
jongibbs
Aug. 12th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
Lol, where did you find it?
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Aug. 12th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
nathreee
Aug. 12th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC)
Am I a bad person for being insanely jealous?

Well, maybe if I had actually sat down to finish the novels I wrote in high school, I'd have a chance to be just like her. Kudos to Kieryn for being able to do what many of us can't.
sandy_williams
Aug. 12th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
I'm insanely jealous, too! But congrats, Kieryn. That's super cool.

I'm wondering why I didn't finish anything in high school. I don't think I was seriously trying to be an author back then. I think I was just kind of messing around and writing because I liked it.

I'm wondering if things would have been different if the internet had been around back when I was in junior high/high school. I mean, it WAS around, but it wasn't around like it is today. I didn't get a connection (dial up, UGH!) at home until I was a junior in hs. BUT, if the net had been as awesome then as it is now, would I have realized it was possible for ME to write a book? Would I have put my butt in the chair and actually had the determination to finish it, revise it, and submit it?

(no subject) - nathreee - Aug. 12th, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 12th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nathreee - Aug. 12th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
mylefteye
Aug. 12th, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
I wish I possessed Kieryn's nous at her age. Actually, a s tiny fraction of her nous would have been nice. :)
jongibbs
Aug. 12th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC)
Most adults can't write a novel, much less find a publisher who'll take a chance on it.
brian_ohio
Aug. 12th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
Great interview... I'm very impressed. Kieryn sounds very smart.

Jon, will you interview me in a few years? You can title the post...

'The Pros and Cons of being a debut Octogenarian Author'
jongibbs
Aug. 12th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
You have eight limbs? No wonder you type so fast ;)
coneycat
Aug. 12th, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
She sounds like a delightful kid! I just read the Amazon preview of her novel. I think... I must have it. (Hey, it was Spy Kids that made me a fan of Antonio Banderas. I am a sucker for a juvenile secret agent!)
jongibbs
Aug. 12th, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
Spy Kids = :)
hildebabble
Aug. 12th, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)
Good for her! I hope this kicks off the start of a good career.
kierynnicolas
Aug. 12th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Thanks for the comments everyone! And thank you Jon for hosting me on your blog!
jongibbs
Aug. 12th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you!
You're welcome, Kieryn :)
kmarkhoover
Aug. 12th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
that was cool, thanks for sharing
jongibbs
Aug. 12th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
It's both inspiring and jealousy-inducing to see young writers moving on :)
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Aug. 12th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
Especially the ones you didn't like ;)
ladysaotome
Aug. 12th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
Wow - that's great. Congratulations, Kieryn!

You're another Gordon Korman!
a_r_williams
Aug. 12th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
Good for her! May she experience much success!
jongibbs
Aug. 12th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
I believe she will :)
phoenixfirewolf
Aug. 12th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
Wow, Congrats! Way to accomplish your dreams!
jongibbs
Aug. 13th, 2010 10:25 am (UTC)
And she's only just getting started. Just think, twenty years from now we can say, 'We knew her when...' ;)
(no subject) - phoenixfirewolf - Aug. 15th, 2010 01:35 am (UTC) - Expand
bodgei
Aug. 13th, 2010 10:52 am (UTC)
wow! Congrats on getting published at such a young age.

I will say I feel kinda old and slow, I didn't even start writting until I was 30 (I'm not counting things I had to write for school)
jongibbs
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, Elizabeth, you're still a long ways ahead of me :)
kierynnicolas
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks again for the well wishes everyone! I'm certainly hoping this is just the beginning.... :)
(Anonymous)
Aug. 13th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful post! Congrats to you Kieryn on your success and I hope you keep on enjoying writing and publish many more novels!

I imagine your family and friends are so very proud of you, and I hope you are proud of you too :)

I want to be like you when I grow up :).. oh wait.. that won't work.. hmmm

Jen Wylie
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











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