GREENVILLE — A thought that came to a sixth-grade girl in a dream has now been published as a book that is being sold online at both Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
Courtney Rausch, 17, a senior at Greenville High School, took that dream she had six years ago and made it into a book that contemplates reality versus science fiction.
“Believing” was published on Nov. 22 by Xlibris Corp. and was at 223,956 in sales rankings this morning, according to Barnes and Noble’s website.
She started writing down the story just for fun, but it began to grow out of her control, she said.
“The story matured as I did as a writer,” Rausch said.
The story involves seven friends who go to a private island, Rausch said. The characters are drugged and wake up having experiments done on them with no recollection of time.
Rausch said the dream she had six years ago involved the characters being in a field in Kansas and battled the difference between what is reality and what is not.
As Rausch began to write, she said she based the characters on some of her friends.
“The characters became their own people,” Rausch said. “I had no control over it.”
Because of the characters, she is afraid of what people might think of her. Some of the characters are vulgar and speak their minds.
Rausch noted that it is the characters’ thoughts and not hers.
“My job is just to write the story down,” Rausch said. “I hope people don’t think bad about me.”
Writing the story down is harder then she thought it would be, she said. There are things she would have changed or done differently.
“Writing is never perfect,” she said.
Looking back through the book, she said she would have gone into more detail about the back stories of the characters. As the reader goes through the book, she said they have to pay close attention to pick up on clues about the each character’s past.
When Rausch realized she wanted to take the story to the next level and get it published, she had her teachers and friends edit the book for her.
Mitch McMahon, Greenville High School English teacher, was one of the teachers who edited “Believing” for her. She said she owes him a lot of credit because he took time out of his schedule during the summer to edit her book without pay.
“I tell my ninth-grade English students that once you’re my student, you’re always my student, that I’m always available to help them with writing of any kind,” McMahon said.
Rausch’s project was a challenge though, he said. McMahon copyedited the book over the course of several months and conference with her regarding the book.
“If I remember correctly, I suggested she simplify, eliminate some characters that I thought weren’t clearly defined, and introduce the conflict a bit earlier,” he said.
Rausch’s stoutheartedness, time and effort that went into producing the novel of such scope and her ability to follow it through to the end, McMahon said, is what impressed him the most.
“To find that high level of focus and motivation in a 15-year-old is rare,” McMahon said of Rausch.
To get the book published, Rausch said she went through a self-publishing company knowing that a bigger company would take more time.
She paid for a specific package that got her book online, gave her five copies to hand out, business cards and bookmarks.
Rausch said there is a possibility for another book in the future.