Author Guest Post with Keara Barron (Shadow of the Sacred Islands)
Today we're excited to share a guest post from Keara Barron, author of Shadow of the Secret Islands!
My love for creative writing started without me fully realizing it. Sitting at a shabby desk in the back of a first-grade classroom I was introduced to figurative language. For some reason, I was enamored with similes, metaphors, personification and wanted to try my hand at them immediately. My love of writing was born.
All throughout elementary school, I penned short stories whenever I had the opportunity. Almost all of them were awful – though they make for a good laugh now. They were unique but quirky, scribbled down on one or two pages of loose paper. At one point, I wrote at least 30 short stories about the adventures of a community of fish. Totally inspired by a virtual fish tank- computer game, Isaniquarium. I named my main character Mr. Cute.
Literary genius that only a mere ten-year-old could fashion.
Reading further fueled my passion for writing. I loved to delve into new worlds, discover characters, and experience adventures, that couldn’t exist in real life. As I continued to read throughout, I became more inspired to add something of my own to the world of literature.
Once again sitting at a shabby desk in the back a classroom, I decided to write a book and get it published. It was in my eighth-grade year, right before I turned fourteen, that the idea for a book came to me and quickly grew in my mind. I planned the plot, the basis for my characters, outlined a few chapters, and began to write. After seven months, I completed the first draft of my debut novel, Shadow of the Sacred Islands.
One of the things I have learned through my close friends and personal experiences is that there are a ton of young adults like me—teens who love writing and are aspiring authors. So many of them are trying to write a book right now. I hope that by publishing a novel at such a young age, I have inspired others that carry the same dream I had, to pursue their ambitions of publishing a novel. I actually have a few tips for them as well:
1. Read, Read, Read. And Read Some More
We’ve all heard this piece of advice before, and odds are you’re an avid reader and are already doing this. But I have to say it again just because it’s so essential for young writers. It is imperative that you read lots of books, both inside and outside your preferred genres. Reading will expose you to different writing styles, which may help you acquire your own. It also gives you plenty of examples of ways authors develop characters, utilize plot twists, and use clever figurative language. So on and so on, you’ve heard it all before, right? But maybe even more importantly, reading will foster your love for literature and inspire you to write your own stories.
2. Don’t Be Discouraged at Being Discouraged
There will come a time when you feel uninspired, can’t focus or have self-doubt. It’s probably already happened. This is extremely common for writers, as we know all too well that writing isn’t as easy as it seems. So whether you’re feeling discouraged because of rejection or writer’s block, just know that it’s okay to feel this way. It will pass. Push through and keep writing.
3. Just Keep Swimming—Or Writing, Rather
Unfortunately, I’ve read a few condescending articles about teen authors, some claiming that we don’t have enough wisdom or experience due to our age. In my opinion, that doesn’t have to be true. Maybe our writing isn’t going to be bestselling material right off the bat, but I don’t think we should doubt our skills just because we “don’t have enough experience.” So what if you don’t have as much wisdom as the typical adult writer? Your content can still be mature and plausible. So keep your head up and keep writing, and improvement will follow.
Be patient—another common piece of advice. Try not to rush anything, from planning to the actual writing to the publishing process. Give yourself time to develop that exciting idea of yours. You don’t absolutely have to be published at a very young age either, and if you can’t sit down and write that novel, don’t worry about it but don’t give up. There are benefits for waiting, such as improvement in your writing. Just remember that you have plenty of time.
Meet Keara Barron!
Meet Shadow of the Sacred Islands!
- Shadow of the Sacred Islands” opens on the small country of Lux, home to the overlooked and unassuming city of Elementa. This humble town holds more secrets than once thought when residents come under attack by a dark force that wields sinister magic. Four magicians-Korina, Sage, Elijah and Teressia--are chosen for the dangerous mission and must find the source of this threat’s power on the Sacred Islands. Upon their arrival, they discover this menace possesses the ability to destroy their beloved home and everything they hold dear.