GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Some Gulfport High students got to meet the writer behind the words of a popular young adult fiction novel Tuesday.
Alys Arden is a New Orleans native, who hopes her story to success will encourage others. She spoke to students of Gulfport High’s publishing and writing cohort, sharing her story to becoming a published author.
“We get to see from someone firsthand the publishing process, the writing process, how you can start and finish a book and all of the trials throughout it," said student Reaghyn Newbill.
Arden didn’t start out as a writer. She began writing her debut novel The Casquette Girls as a hobby, with no thoughts or intentions of it becoming published or even read.
“I went to school for completely different things, and I was very involved in the arts and theater. I had never written anything. I didn’t go to school for writing. I was not an English major. I don’t have my masters," she said.
The Casquette Girls, a vampire novel set in New Orleans, is now just the first of what will be a four-book series.
The young adult fiction writer hopes her journey will inspire young aspiring writers like those in this group to put pen to paper.
“If you’re a young person, thinking about writing, or an old person, just do it," said Arden.
And those are words of advice that these students are taking to heart.
“For my own writing, I would probably take away that it’s a lot easier to get in and not procrastinate and try something than it is to procrastinate and hope it comes to you later," said Newbill.
“I just want to make sure that kids know if you want to do something, work hard for it, and do it every day, and get up and you make your own dreams happen," said Arden.
Arden’s books are available on Amazon. The third book in the series “The Cities of the Dead” was just released last week.