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Local teens have their first books published

August 4, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - At just 15 years old, both Talitha Black and Kayla Wartner are newly-published authors.

Black and Wartner, who regularly attend the Marshall-Lyon County's Teen Writing Club, recently had their books published through CreateSpace,'s publishing arm.

Black wrote a fantasy novel, titled "Darksabre," while Wartner penned a book of poetry "The Past that Defines Me."

Black will have a book signing from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, in the community room at the Marshall-Lyon County Library. Both books are available through Amazon and at the teen section at the library.

Black, who reads books of all varieties, from fantasy to classics to science fiction to non-fiction and everything in-between, said the idea for her novel stemmed from her main character, Jackal Darksabre.

"Jackal was inspired as I read a story my friend had written about a winged assassin," Black said. "Then I was thinking about Jackal as I was working on my various schoolwork and chores and had an idea for a scene. That scene, with relatively few changes, became the prologue for 'Darksabre.'"

In her poetry, Wartner said she kind of likes to write about things she experiences.

"So when my mom had cancer, I wrote about how I felt," Wartner said.

Five years, ago, Wartner's mother, Mary Jo, battled breast cancer. Wartner said she started writing poetry to get through that trying time.

"I was afraid for her, I didn't want it to be too bad, that she would die," Wartner said.

Both girls wrote during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) last November. Black said she was grateful she finished the 50,000-word goal in the 30-day timeframe.

"As for the difficulty for meeting those daily writing goals, sometimes It seemed like I would finish quickly, and some days it felt like I would never get there," Black said. "In order to write 50,000 or more words in 30 days, you have to write 1,666.6 words a day. I made it my personal goal to write 2,000. So every night, after I was done with my schoolwork and chores and various other activities, I sat down at the computer and wrote for several hours. Often, I was up quite late."

Wartner's book of poetry ended up being 40 pages, she said.

"I had some nature poems in there, poems about family," Wartner said. She also had a few poems in her newly-published book about friendships.

Wartner said the forms of poetry she uses in her writing are free verse and rhyming. Plus, writing poetry isn't too difficult for her.

"If I have inspiration, it's pretty easy," Wartner said.

By writing, Wartner said it's easier to work through her feelings.

"I like how I can write my experience and feelings through words," Wartner said.

"Darksabre" is an adventure story involving banished assassins, evil warlords, freed slaves, family loyalties and a long journey, Black said.

"Jackal Darksabre was banished when he was convicted for the murder of his best friend," Black said. "He meets a slave girl named Phoenix. Together they journey through the land of Erisate and each finds out the other is hiding more than they thought."

Black said she had a feeling of relief when she finished her novel and it was published.

And both Black and Wartner said they got a lot of support.

"My friends and family were telling me how proud they were," Wartner said.

Both girls are continuing to write. Wartner said she's writing a book titled "Living My Dream," about a girl, who is an ice skater, that wants to live her dream. Black is writing a sequel to "Darksabre," which she hopes to mostly complete before school starts later this month.



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