Area teen becomes published author while still in high schoolWritten by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
Jesilyn Holdridge always wanted to be a published author before she graduated high school.
“That was my main goal,” Holdridge said. “Nobody’s ever done it before and I’m kind of an odd ball a little bit. So, I just wanted to be different.”
On Feb. 23, the 17-year-old Brooklyn, Mich., high-schooler will attend her first book signing for “Blue,” a book she went about getting published herself.
“I didn’t know anything about how to get published or anything,” Holdridge said. “I used to buy the really big writer’s market books. They help a little bit. I figured out how to write the cover letter and everything … Finally I searched online and found Tate Publishing and they liked me apparently.”
She heard from Tate Publishing & Enterprises LLC, a company based out of Oklahoma, three days after reaching out to them.
“I felt so happy,” Holdridge said. “I cried. My whole family cried. It was amazing.”
Holdridge said she didn’t think she would ever be published, even though it was what she was striving for. She was published well before her goal’s deadline; she graduates in 2014.
Despite her age, “Blue” touches on a mature topic.
“It’s about a girl who’s sexually harassed and raped in high school and she kind of just has to deal with it,” Holdridge said. “I saw a friend going through it and I decided to write about it because I really hated what she had to go through.”
Holdridge said even though the two situations are similar, the characters and plot of “Blue” are “totally fiction,” but her friend knows about the contents of “Blue.”
“She’s really proud of me for getting it published and out there,” Holdridge said.
Holdridge wants the book to serve as inspiration for anyone going through a similar situation.
“I just want them to feel like they’re not the only ones out there,” Holdridge said. “They’re not alone in this.”
Holdridge traces her love of writing to when she was a child. She said she would always make up her own stories.
“I always had a wild imagination,” Holdridge said.
After high school, Holdridge plans to go to Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., to get a degree in writing. Down the road, she hopes to own her own publishing offices.
Before long, she also wants to be published again. She has five books already written that just need editing.
“I mostly write about real life,” Holdridge said. “I don’t usually do fantasy or anything.”
Of the authors Holdridge reads, she admires J.K. Rowling the most.
“She can draw you in in just the first couple sentences,” Holdridge said. “And she doesn’t need that big hook, she just already has it in her, and I think that’s just amazing.”
Her book signing is at the Barnes & Noble, 9605 Green Oak Village Place, near Brighton, Mich., at 1 p.m. Feb. 23. Holdridge’s 215-page book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and on the Tate Publishing website.