By Alejandro Lucero, Copy Editor
Abigail Belcher, a senior here at James River High School, has been mastering her talents in writing by both completing two books and getting them published. She has been part of the creative writing class, and has expressed her feelings and identity by using the art of literature and composition as her medium. Both of Belcher’s books are available for purchase online on Amazon, and you can order them and read the stories for yourself. She personally recommends that you read Sunsets and Sandcastles, whose first chapter is available on Amazon for free for a sneak peek. I have begun reading her book and I personally like it. If you’re looking for a new book to read, support our local author.
Alejandro Lucero: When did you publish both books?
Abigail Belcher: I published my first book, Dear Catherine, in June of 2012, and the second book, Sunsets and Sandcastles, in June of 2013
A.L: What’s your motivation to keep writing and publishing?
A.B: My motivation for writing is more for myself than anyone else. It is the satisfaction of taking ideas and splattering the page with words strung together that only I may claim as my own.
A.L: How did you feel about the first book you wrote/published? And second one?
A.B: My first book was nowhere near as advanced as my second. I learned from a lot from my mistakes the first time around, and I am proud of both of them, but especially my second.
A.L: How does the second book differ from the first one?
A.B: Sunsets and Sandcastles differs from Dear Catherine in the fact it has multiple stories to follow, whereas Dear Catherine was only one plot. Also, the second has deeper characterizations and hidden meanings and interpretations of life throughout.
A.L: What made you take the chance to go ahead and write books?
A.B: Writing has been my passion since I’ve been able to pick up a pencil. I’ve written so many short stories and poems, and I’ve loved it, but I always knew I wouldn’t be living up to the full potential of my gift if I didn’t at least take a chance to take countless ideas and fill the pages of books.
A.L: Were you influenced by anything or anyone to write? If so, how?
A.B: I always thought writing was just a hobby; I had no idea I was any good at it or even that people enjoyed reading my writing. In eighth grade, Marina Bletsos (now a senior) continuously told me what a great writer i was, and she was always asking to read my poems and essays for English class. She made me realize that maybe I could turn my passion into more than just a hobby, and she was right.
A.L: What are your plans for future books?
A.B: I have many, MANY ideas for future novels, but my goal is to pick one and begin writing by October. Hopefully, I can have my third book published shortly after graduation.
A.L: What inspires you?
A.B: Music definitely inspires me, or the breeze that whispers quietly while I’m sitting outside. I always have one or the other while I’m writing; Music gives me ideas when I’m stuck, and the wind reminds me that I’m not alone during the process of writing a book, because sometimes writing a novel can feel like the loneliest thing in the world.
A.L: What has shaped your writing style?
A.B: I think the things that have happened in my life and my friends’/family’s lives has shaped my writing style. I take pieces from our individual stories, happy and sad, and use them to create something magical. I believe sometimes the only way to heal something painful that has happened in my life is to write about it; I believe that through writing comes the power and promise of healing.
A.L: For how long have you been writing?
A.B: I started writing more than school required me to in fifth grade.Through the years, I’ve filled up journal after journal, and if anybody knows me well enough, they know that for Christmas or for my birthday I am going to ask for another journal.
A.L: Is there a third book coming up?
A.B: My hope is that there will be a third book published in 2014. Senior year is going to be crazy busy, but if you haven’t got time for your dreams then how important of a passion can it be to you?