HARLINGEN — Books provide a doorway through which readers can travel to faraway places, meet interesting people, and have exciting adventures.
They can also afford young adventurers the chance to use writing to create the person they’d like to be and embark on daring missions.
Katelynn Rentería, 16, is one such adventurer. The Early College High School junior spent a year creating and developing the life of Kay Verdant, the protagonist in her novel “The Other Side of the Law.”
The novel was released this past week by Sarah Book Publishing.
Katelynn sat on a bench at Texas State Technical College admiring her first novel and struggling to find the words.
“I can’t even explain how unbelievable it feels,” said Katelynn. “It’s a dream some never thought would have happened.”
Curiously, Katelynn had just gotten out of her college-level composition class at TSTC, but she spoke about Kay Verdant and the writing process like an instructor.
In the book, Kay, a high school sophomore, goes out on missions with her brother and a friend. One case involves apprehending an art thief. They work for an organization which gives them cases to solve, sort of a revamped Mission Impossible arrangement. Their school knows what they do. When Kay and the crew are out fighting crime, school officials tell everyone they’re out on a sports event. But it’s Kay who has the real crime-fighting moxie.
“I have always loved Batman and other superheroes,” she said.
She wanted to create a rather unconventional superhero, a high school student with no special powers, just her own grit and determination to fight crime.
Like many authors, she put something of herself into Kay.
“She’s the person I want to be,” Katelynn said. “She’s courageous, adventurous. I want to be what she is.”
Katelynn has been writing for as long as she can remember. While she seeks originality, her novel began the way they all must, with an idea. And from that idea, notes. And notes, and notes, and notes …
Finally, as a story unfolded, she showed it to her mother.
“She said, ‘This could be something. This could be a book,’” Katelynn said.
With such encouragement, she began pouring ideas onto the paper. Sometimes they rushed toward her a little too fast.
“I had all these ideas and I had to slow them down,” she said.
As the momentum increased, she told her teachers about her project and they gave her advice.
Many of her previous instructors going all the way to pre-kindergarten weren’t all that surprised upon learning her book would be published.
“They said, ‘I knew it,’” she said.
She hopes this first novel can be the beginning of a series. Eventually, though, she would like to study law. With all the diverse experiences of people in the legal field, perhaps she will become Kay Verdant after all.
Parents’ names: Patricia and Reynaldo Rentería
Favorite subjects: English and science
Professional ambitions: Attorney or law professor. Would like to use her legal expertise to help people who have suffered injustice, including those who have been wrongly convicted.
Favorite quote: From “Be Who You Are” by Dr. Seuss: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
Favorite author: James Dashner, author of “The Maze Runner” series.
Favorite super hero: Flash
GET THE BOOK
“The Other Side of the Law” is available at Amazon.com and sarahbookpublishing.com
It’s also available for digital down load on Kindle, Nook, Apple iTunes and the KOBO app.