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Sandy Journal

Indian Hills Student Publishes First Book

Feb 27, 2015 02:09PM ● By Julie Slama

Second Book Ready For Print

An eighth-grade student at Indian Hills Middle School is now a published author. Cheyenne Selig began writing her first book last year as part of a creative writing class assignment.

“Our teacher Mrs. (Sue) Ranglack told everyone they would be writing their own novel, and they could make up their own story or get an idea from someone, but they had to be the one to write it,” Cheyenne said. “I had a friend who had a good idea and wanted me to use it, so I did.”

Cheyenne worked on the novel during class time, on her own time after school and in the evenings. She developed a main character and a secondary character, and when it was time to collaborate with her classmates, she incorporated some of their input into her novel.

“One idea was for a third character to be introduced, so I created a side plot which worked out better for the story. Most of my classmates really liked the story a lot, but when my teacher read it in front of my class, it embarrassed me. But my friends thought it was amazing that I published it,” she said.

The medieval fantasy “Shadow Hunters” centers around Shadow, a fearless dwarf who has talent with a sword and her boyfriend, the courageous Tadpole. Their peaceful lives are disrupted with the arrival of Birch Tree and the mysterious, countless stories of Birch’s murderous past. In the story, Shadow and Tadpole realize that their lives will never be the same.

“In book one, a battle begins, and it has a suspenseful ending, and that is where book two begins. I’m working on the third book right now and it will include a full-scale battle or war,” Cheyenne said.

Cheyenne self-published the book through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, and it became available in December through Amazon for $5 or on a Kindle for $1. She hopes to have the second book, “Shadow Chasers,” available by this spring and finish writing “Shadow Fighters” by the end of the school year.

She also is writing a historical fiction novel about the Titanic for her creative writing assignment this spring and is already developing an idea for another historical fiction book.

“I don’t do sports or clubs, so I have the free time where I like to write and read. I also write songs and would love to be a full-time author and songwriter when I’m older,” Cheyenne said.

Her principal, Floyd Stensrud, said that they have let the entire student body know about Cheyenne’s accomplishments and have ordered copies of the book for the school library. It also has motivated him to try to publish one of his papers in an educational journal.

“She’s inspired me to work on my own proposal to publish something I’ve written,” Stensrud said. “We’ve appreciated how she’s taken an assignment and made it into something more.”