Frosh Author Publishes Fantasy Novel

Genie Lee and Joelle Nelson

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Freshman Lydia Osborn was a published author before she began her high school career. Osborn wrote and self-published her novel, Ideal, in May of last year while finishing up middle school.

According to Osborn, her writing began with short stories and snippets when she was a child. She was inspired in part by the Harry Potter series. Her own book is a “dystopian fantasy, and it’s set on a different planet where there are magical people, warriors, that fight these evil solace creatures,” she said.

Osborn published her novel through “Create Space,” an app owned by Amazon that allows writers to self-publish their work.

Osborn’s English teacher, Dan Doyle, said, “Not surprisingly, she’s a very good student. So her book, it has that fantasy, Harry Potter-esque stuff to it. The story itself was pretty conventional, none the less for a middle-schooler being able to write a 290-page book, which is pretty impressive anyway.”

Doyle keeps a copy of Osborn’s book in his classroom. While Osborn is not the 1st of his students to publish, she is 1 of the youngest.

Osborn said, “[Doyle]’s been great. The year started off a little rough because it’s so much harder than regular English, but it’s gotten a lot better and I think he’s really helped my writing and I’m really grateful.”

Librarian Sarah Morgan knows Osborn through her book club. “When I 1st met her, she said that she wrote a book and she gave me a copy. Soon after that, I went to Orinda Books and they had a whole pile of them on display with a sign by them that said, ‘Local Author!’ and so I thought, ‘wow, she’s like a legit author,'” said Morgan.

Osborn said she had the idea to write the novel for several years. “I’ve always been fleshing it out and I wanted to write it down to have a physical copy to attribute to the ideas I have just for fun,” she said.

The best feeling, Osborn said, is “being done with it and the feeling of satisfaction when you finish a piece, because it’s kind of hard being bogged down in the middle and you don’t really see an end to it, but then you finally finish it there’s a bunch of satisfaction there.”

She hopes to write 5 more books in the series for a total of 6. “I’m almost done with the second book now so that should be coming soon and I have some other ideas. I’d like to keep it around as a hobby,” said Osborn.

 

Excerpt from Ideal:

Leif’s gaze moved down and landed on the gauzy white bandage that was wrapped tightly around Mara’s upper left arm. “What happened? Did the thing hurt you?” he asked. The amount of bandage on the arm suggested that it had been a serious cut. Mara quickly slapped her hand over it, looking slightly guilty. “Mara, what is it?” Leif said, his voice dropping a few notes and he deep green eyes leveling to look straight into hers.

            She removed her hand and pulled a small tab. The whole bandage fell off, revealing a chunk about the size of a half softball missing from her arm. The bone was almost showing through the thin layer of muscle that remained. She looked t him, hoping he would understand without her having to tell him. Of course, he didn’t. He had no idea how her specialty worked. Mara chided herself for being disappointed in him. To him we must seem like the weirdest family ever. I need to cut him some slack, she thought.

            She looked directly at him as she spoke. “You were in a trance, another world, and I couldn’t just let you stay there, so I tried something that someone once told me about my specialty. If I implant some of my fog into someone’s heart in just the right way it can jolt them out of anything, even wake people up from comas.” She paused for a second. “So I turned into fog and flew through you. I gave you a bit of my fog and it woke you up.” She finished quickly. It was a relief to get it off her chest but she looked at him cautiously, afraid of how it would affect him. “It’ll grow back soon. I went to see a healer when you were all settled in. She said it’d be about two more hours and it will be back to normal.”

            At first he just stared at her. Then he said slowly, “So when you gave up part of your fog, you gave up part of yourself.” She nodded.

            “Well, is it still inside me?” he asked, glancing down curiously at his chest. Mara shrugged, a look of helplessness on her face.

            “I don’t know. I’ve never done this before,” she said quietly, “and . . . I don’t know how it will affect you.”

            Leif sat up and reached forward to put a hand on her good shoulder. “You saved my life. Why? You could have been rid of me forever. I mean, I’m just the guy who’s asking you to give him money. Why in the world would you want me alive?” It was a rush of words that came pouring out of Leif’s mouth before he really had a chance to think about them. She looked up at him suddenly. Of all the things she had been prepared for him to say, this was not one of them.

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