Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Impressive Debut Novel by 14-Year-Old Author

I've been working with A G Press for a little over a year now, and have edited books including Joseph Simoneau's Chez Francois and Nathan by Cheryl Pillsbury. In the meantime, I've also started editing for eXcessica Publishing and fit in a few side projects on my own. Thus far, all of my authors had been adults with much writing experience under their belts.

Then I read a debut novel written by a 14-year-old. I was blown away.

Jennifer Tokarz, a high school student, wrote Disappearing Light Hides True Evil, a young adult paranormal novel. It's about nineteen-year-old Angel and her younger sister Skye. Angel likes to tell Skye their grandfather's stories about the strange people--wizards, according to their grandfather--who live on the mountain. Then Skye suddenly disappears, and Angel sets out alone to find her. Her quest puts her in great danger, but she also finds she empathizes with a most unexpected creature.

What blew me away about Jennifer's book was not only the story, which is unlike any other young adult paranormal I've read before, but also her writing itself. Jennifer writes like I couldn't until I was twice her age. Sure, I had to correct some mistakes, but I have to do a lot of corrections on adults' novels, too. Sometimes grown-up writers say all the men have "bears" when they mean "beards"--Phineas Magnus, I'm looking in your direction! I'm not saying this book was perfect out of the chute, but no book ever is. It was still an astonishing effort from one so young. Who says young people don't care about reading and writing anymore?

Stephenie Meyer, watch your back. Marlene Perez, Rachel Vincent and all you other grown-ups who write paranormal stories for young adults and up, you've got some serious competition in this 14-year-old wonder.

Buy Jennifer's amazing book for $11.95 in paperback from the A G Press Bookstore.

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