Sophomore wants to get it ‘write’


Emily Franke

[heading size=”18″ margin=”0″]Miller hopes to graduate early to become an author[/heading]When she was younger, sophomore Kailey Miller didn’t like writing, even though she loved making up stories. She said she just couldn’t find the words to explain what she wanted to say, and once she could find the words she found herself writing only short stories, never anything longer. However, the summer before her freshman year, Miller had a new story to tell that would change her goals and her future.
“That [summer] was kind of a rough time for me because my parents were going through a divorce, and so [writing was] kind of like a coping mechanism, a way for me to escape everything that was happening and go into a world of my own,” Miller said. “I started writing the book then. I tried writing a big novel before, but I’d never gotten beyond a few pages.”
After just more than a year of writing, Miller has produced about 75 pages of text and 11 chapters of her novel. After first coming up with the prologue for her story, Miller said she started to think about the main character, a girl named Camry, and how to set her up in the plot. Set in the future, Miller’s novel narrates the troubles of an outcast religious group that worships the Greek god of Sleep, Hypnos. A company called Zephyr has created an insomnia serum that eradicates the need for sleep in humans to increase their productivity, Miller said, and this is a problem for the society’s beliefs. Miller finds religion, especially why people believe what they believe, incredibly interesting.
“There’s a girl whose job it is to sort of slow down their progress, which basically means destroying Zephyr as much as possible and killing the workers and things like that, which is, of course, illegal,” Miller said. “She gets caught and brought to a facility where she over the course of seven days is interrogated. At the end of the seven days, she is supposed to be taken by Zephyr lab workers and experimented on, and that’s not really what happens, but that’s what the plan is.”
Since starting her novel, Miller said she does most of her writing at breaks from school and reads through what she has and makes small changes when she can time during school. Between school, band and homework, she also said she was too busy to join NaNoWriMo, a club dedicated to National Novel Writing Month where members write a book during the month of November.
However, Miller said she has felt enough support and encouragement in her writing that she thinks it would be possible to graduate early, finish writing and try to get her novel published. In the next year, she plans to take all of the required courses, along with AP English Literature and band, so she can graduate at the end of her junior year.
“I want to finish my writing and then go to writers’ conferences and meet up with publishers and editors and agents and other authors and hopefully get a publisher and an agent and eventually publish my book,” Miller said. “I want to work during that time, too, to support myself during all of this, and if my book is a hit then I will go off and figure it out then, but if it’s not then I’ll go to college and figure out what I did wrong and then try again afterwards.”
While Miller has not yet discussed this idea with her guidance counselors, she has brought it up with her parents, who she said are not as supportive as she would like.
“They don’t think I should do it. They don’t want me to miss being a senior and all of that, and they think that I’m making important decisions too early,” Miller said. “I have a whole year to think about it, basically, and they don’t like that I’m so sure about it right now.” Miller said she thinks her parents are justified in their reaction, but she still wants them to support her dream of graduating early to become a writer. “
I plan to [talk to my counselors] sometime, probably a little later[after] everything is calmed down and I can focus more on what I want to do with my life. … I don’t really need that much time to get prepared,” Miller said. “I’ll work on being successful in the classes that I take, and I’m going to try to open up more time so I can work on my book because I haven’t really been able to work on it.”
By Emily Franke
Feature photo by Caylea Erickson