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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Falcon student publishes book

In January, Whitney Hatfield, a senior at Falcon Virtual Academy, received word that her book ìIn Loving Memoryî was going to be published. The book follows the life of a young woman dealing with the struggles of trying to find her place in life.Hatfield said getting published came as a surprise, but being an author has been her lifelong dream. ìIíve been writing since first grade, and Iíve got over 40 books stocked up,î she said. ìIím glad to finally get it started and get it off the ground.îThe path to getting published began in November 2012, when one of the creating writing teachers at the FVA offered Hatfield and a few other students an opportunity to meet a published author and get tips on writing and illustrating. To secure a time with the author, Hatfield said each student had to submit a sample of his or her writing.ìI submitted a complete manuscript,î she said.Two months later, Hatfield found out that Eclectic Galaxy Press wanted to publish her manuscript.Hatfield said the education, along with flexibility, at FVA allowed her to complete the book. ìIt took me nine months on and off to actually write it because I didnít go back to it every day,î she said. ìIn traditional school, there was a lot of fluff work in the track I was on, and I couldnít get much (writing) done. Here, there is a friendly atmosphere. I can focus on what I need to instead of having that fluff in the way.îIt can be difficult at times for a writer to get started and keep focused on a book, Hatfield said. ìAs time went on, I found that I had more free time, and I was able to work on it more. Any time I see something out of a movie or read something that gets me thinking about other things, I feel compelled to write. Sometimes, I just have a random thought and I just build off of it.ìWriting has been a good creative outlet. Some days I just need an escape from reality. If itís not that, then sometimes I just get compelled to get it done because thereís so much information in my head.îGraduating in May, Hatfield said, ìIím looking into college so I can get more writing tips on grammar and things, so I can expand.î However, with her publisher already asking if she has anything else in the works, Hatfield said writing is her focus for now.

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