A sophomore at Hayes High School recently had her first book published, and she’s already working on the next book in the series.
Coral Stewart, 15, said she started working on her book, “The Curse of the Wolf: Queen of Animal Island,” back when she was in the sixth grade, and she really began focusing on it during the pandemic. She said the book was completed and edited last year. It published on Amazon on Dec. 7.
Stewart said her book is a fantasy novel “about a girl’s journey to fulfilling her destiny without trying to destroy the people she loves or destroy herself.”
“It started out as just some idea in my mind that I wanted to get out like all my writing has been,” Stewart said. “I’ve started many books when I was younger and never gotten around to finishing them, but this one stuck with me. (The protagonist) Kiata stuck with me.”
Stewart said she wrote the majority of the book during COVID and while she was being treated for a health issue.
“(The book) served as a creative outlet for me and pretty much kept me sane,” she said. “During my treatment, I honestly didn’t know how things would turn out and writing about these amazing battles that Kiata won and overcame, it made me feel like I could, too. I also have always loved books. Escaping to another world when reality hits hard. I wanted other people to view my books as the safe place I always pictured it as.”
Stewart said she hopes the book “brings peace to young teens’ lives,” and she’s pleased to have completed and published it.
“I am honestly so proud of myself because there are not many 15-year-olds who can say, ‘I’m a published author’,” Stewart said. “I think this was an amazing accomplishment, and I think it’s okay to say that because it’s not me tooting my own horn, it’s me recognizing my successes. It also warms my heart that I have created a world that I used as an escape and a coping skill being published because maybe other people can find sanctuary and escape within Moctova (the book’s setting).”
Stewart said writing another book is “definitely” something she wants to do and considers her book the first in a series. She said she is currently writing the second book now and wants to have it published by December of this year.
No matter how her next book turns out, Stewart said she hopes the fact she was able to publish a book encourages others to pursue things they are interested in.
“I just want to tell people to not give up. That sounds so cliche, but it’s really true,” Stewart said. “If you set your mind to it, you can do anything. I mean look at me last year. I was in the hospital fighting for my life. I wrote about this awesome warrior queen because that’s what I was trying to be and it helped. I didn’t know what would happen in my life, but I did in Kiata’s. It gave me a sense of control and relief. No matter what the chapters in your story are, you still get to decide the ending. And I say make it a good one.”
Stewart’s book is currently available on Amazon.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.