HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Harrison County teenager is hoping to make her mark in literature. She recently published a novel that takes readers into a magical world filled with mystical characters and exciting adventures. The young author says this may be her first book, but it's not her last.
15-year-old Kaitlyn McKnight's new science fiction novel "Zodiac Saga One" is displayed on a table in the family room. The young lady said she has always had a talent for writing.
"I like to write stories that are kind of fictional, kind of mystical and kind of like funny at the same time," said Kaitlyn.
The story of Kaitlyn's journey as an author started when she was 12-years-old. While sitting in class at Temple Christian Academy in Gulfport, Kaitlyn wanted to get ahead on her writing assignment. So, she decided to write a short story.
"I started to develop this huge plot in my head. Then all of a sudden, this story that was supposed to be only one page long turned into five pages and ten, and it just kept going," said Kaitlyn.
The plot involves a boy who leads his friends and foes on a series of adventures. Their mission is to find the temple of Zodia and prove that the Zodiac gods do exist. Kaitlyn gave her characters unique personalities and features based on her research on the horoscope symbols.
Kaitlyn kept the story to herself until one day, her older sister found the file on Kaitlyn's laptop. Their parents read it and decided to spend their own money to publish the book.
"I couldn't believe it. I started crying. I was like, I actually did it," said Kaitlyn.
The first 100 copies were sold mainly to family and friends. Another 100 copies are on order. Kaitlyn believes her book will have a big impact on young readers.
"I feel like they can put themselves in this boy's shoes. He goes through hardships, as we all do. He feels a special bond with people he hasn't even met, and I just feel as people pick up this book, they will feel a bond with me as I feel a bond with them," said Kaitlyn.
Kaitlyn is now moving on to the next chapter in her life. She is working on the second book of the series.
Kaitlyn's book is now available through Barnes and Noble. You can also order a copy through Kaitlyn's website.