As far as her aspirations of becoming a successful author are concerned, Shaylynn Wilbon is already showing a lot of promise.
Wilbon, 16, recently released her first book — which she describes as "fantasy fiction" — titled This I Promise, which is self-published through Author House Publishing. The 144-page book — which is available in hardback, softcover and e-book format — can be found at McNally Robinson and online at amazon.ca, authorhouse.com, barnesandnoble.com and chapters.indigo.ca.
Without giving too much of the story away, the Royalwood resident said the premise of the story is "when Rose accidently frees Seth from a room on the third floor of her house, and he starts throwing what appears to be fire at her, she is thrust into a world of magic and wonder."
"However, she learns that her whole life — who her parents are and who she is, or rather, what she is — has been a lie. Rose discovers that she is a Fire Populous, one of four kinds of Populous," added Wilbon, a Grade 11 student at Collège Béliveau in Windsor Park.
"When Rose is later betrayed by her parents and saved by Seth, she begins to question everything. Who are her friends? Who are her enemies? Is there anyone she can trust?"
Wilbon said writing the book was a personal project based on a passion for literature that spans her lifetime.
"I’ve always loved stories. They fascinate and captivate me. My parents read to me a lot when I was little and I started reading a lot by myself when I was able to. Like reading, when I write, I can see the story happening in my mind. Sometimes when I am reading or writing and I forget where I am, I sort of join my characters on their adventures," she said.
The teenaged scribe said she tried writing a book several times when she was younger, but without an original idea, she would "give up on them" after a while. That changed two years ago.
"At 14, I came up with an idea for a book, at 15 I finished it and now at 16, I have it published," she said.
Wilbon also keep the fact she was writing a book to herself "for the longest time."
"I only first heard about the book this morning," laughed Veronica Gillis, an art teacher at Collège Béliveau, noting her student’s secrecy is in keeping with her "very humble" character.
Without knowing about Wilbon’s literary sideline, Gillis noted her student’s growing confidence in art class.
"She’s been asking more meaningful questions in class, questioning her own creativity and pushing herself. She’s definitely been thinking outside the box lately," Gillis said.
And to highlight Wilbon’s passion and productivity, she is already almost halfway through writing the book’s sequel — although, for now, she remains tight-lipped about the details.
To learn more, follow Wilbon on Twitter @shaylynn830.