Writing the next Iliad during full-time studies

Kelsey Armour was assigned a few pages of a book in her Grade 9 English class and told to continue the story for a few marks.
Up until that point, Armour wasn’t into reading or writing. She completely surprised herself, however, after writing up an additional 15 pages, instead of the assigned two or three necessary for the project. The simple assignment turned Armour in a completely different direction – she’s now working on the second book of a three-part series.
“I wrote the 15 extra pages and said ‘I have to make a story,'” said Armour.

The fourth-year student takes on a full class schedule and is a part-time employee at a restaurant and says this keeps her busy.

This ties into one of the main themes of her book, Broken Heart: surviving almost anything that can be thrown your way. In a way, Armour can relate to Ruby, the book’s main character, something she wants her readers to do. The second book marks the return of Ruby’s estranged father, who kidnaps her.

The 21-year-old history major has already sent copies of her work to several publishers in Canada, but hasn’t heard anything back yet.

Armour says she’d love to be paid to be an author, but realistically hopes to get her Ph.D and someday return and teach at STU.

“Writing is more of a hobby, I’d love to be an author but there’s not a lot of money in it. The main problem is school and being a part-time worker, and having other passions like history – I want to write essays too,” she said.

Jeremy Altman is another STU student and has been working on his book since he was 14 years old. Now at 21 and in his last year of school, Altman is about to send the 10-book series titled The Chosen, off to publishers.
He also works a part-time job, as well as teaching Taekwondo in between.

He says the book’s main character is complex, which is connected to how busy his life is.

The story revolves around main character Ron, who deals with demons, prophecies and 15th century settings.

“I want my readers to be scared to an extent, when Ron’s going through this he himself doesn’t even know who he is anymore. He finds himself going to some places that are fairly dark and at the same time he’s trying to make the right choices,” says Altman.
There are other narrators besides Ron as you delve deeper into the series. Altman says it’s not just young folk who can relate to his story.
Altman filled up old Hilroy notebooks with his first draft in the days before he had his own laptop. He’s still got them stashed under his bed and said it’s something any young writer should do when writing their masterpiece.
“You never know what they might turn into.”

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