Student releasing published novel
Sophomore Danielle Myers hopes to return to London, the setting that inspired her novel.
Photo credit: RACHEL EVERS/The Falcon.
Danielle Myers’ science-fiction novel to reach stores in September
By ASHLEY BOUCHER , News Writer
Published: February 8, 2012
While many students spent their high school afternoons playing sports, practicing music or with friends, Danielle Myers spent hers writing.
Myers, a sophomore at Seattle Pacific, will release her first published novel in September. Ignite tells the story of six teenagers who form a rebellion against a post-apocalyptic, European tyranny known as The Empire.
“My editor calls it a futuristic Robin Hood,” she said.
Now calm and thoughtful, Myers said she was imaginative as a child, and she especially loved hearing and telling fantasy stories.
“I wanted to be a writer pretty much as soon as I found out books had authors,” she said. “[I am] in love with the Peter Pan idea, and inside, I just never want to grow up.”
Creating stories is her way of staying young forever, she said.
J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis inspire her, she said, because they combine “faith, truth and human experiences and put them into something that matters.
“[I like] the way their stories speak to the human experience and to a truth about life,” Myers said.
Like many writers, Myers said she finds inspiration in her surroundings, and she uses characteristics of people she knows to add to the characters in her books.
Though none of her characters are explicitly based on any of her friends, Myers said she thinks her younger sister will always inspire a minor character in her books.
She also uses overheard conversations and real-life situations to add to her writing.
Ignite is not Myers’ first novel; her first, The Weight of Two Worlds, was completed her junior year of high school. It was at this time she began contacting agents and publishers, only to encounter a lot of rejection.
“There was a lot of disappointment, but sometimes, there would be little encouragements in between the rejection[s].” Myers said. “People would be really nice and say to keep trying, that my writing was really good but they just couldn’t publish it right now.”
The rollercoaster of disappointment and encouragement gave Myers valuable experience in the real world of publishing.
She said that even though it was hard to hear so much rejection, she is grateful for the experience.
Finally, in the spring of last year, Myers heard back from Leah Brown, senior editor at Raintown Press, a small startup publishing house in Myers’ hometown, Portland, Ore. Brown asked to see other work, and Myers presented the then-half-finished Ignite, previously called The Flames.
“Leah liked it, and we signed a contract with half a book, which is so rare.” Myers said. “I was elated.”
Ignite is now in the second-to-last round of editing, which Myers said is the most tedious part.
“It’s just going through lines, fixing grammar, taking out paragraphs,” she said. “But every once in a while, I’ll remember that in two months, I’ll be looking at cover designs, and in three months, I’ll have an advance copy in my hands, and I’ll get really excited.”
Despite the monotonous aspects of releasing a book, Myers said she sees herself writing long-term.
“Books have been so important to me for so long; it’s something I want to do,” she said.
For her fellow young authors, Myers said the most important thing is to not give up.
“Write a lot,” she said. “It gets tedious, but just keep doing it. Don’t give up if you think something is great. And while you’re waiting, keep writing.”
Even though being a writer is not the most lucrative of careers, Myers said the final outcome is what is really important.
“It’s worth it for holding something in your hands that you know you created a whole world, and [that] other people will enjoy it,” she said. “Even if just one other person enjoys it, it’s worth it.”