Local author inspires fellow adult writers

Anne Riley (Left) addresses a crowd at the North Shelby Library on how to publish a book. (Contributed)

By KATIE GUERIN / Community Columnist

Writing a book is an enormous endeavor. The long hours, research and general dedication to working on something that may never be published is a daunting proposition.

One local woman has made her dream of becoming a published author come true.

Anne Riley, high school Spanish teacher by day, has just published her novel “The Clearing,” and it is earning her rave reviews.

Her debut novel is paranormal fiction aimed at young adult readers, but it has also resonated with adults.

The story finds protagonist Natalie Watson reeling from the death of her parents and her burgeoning relationship with a mysterious boy and the unexplainable events that follow.

Recently, Ms. Riley visited the North Shelby Library to discuss her book and to detail the process of becoming a published author.

A crowd of 30 people gathered to learn how aspiring writers find the right literary agent and the importance of persistence in the face of rejection.

Having a great story is only one piece of the puzzle and another is composing a captivating letter that encourages an agent to give an unknown author a chance, Riley said.

As Ms. Riley noted, “Getting a literary agent sometimes seems impossible, but it’s not.

With the right letter and the right story, anyone can get an agent’s attention and take one more step toward their dream of publication.”

She stressed the necessity of having an online writing presence such as a blog or other examples of an author’s ability to convey thoughts through words.

She stressed that the Internet is also an excellent way to find and research literary agents.

Judging by the attentive audience and thoughtful questions, there are a number of writers in the Shelby County community.

Ms. Riley is currently working on her second novel, “Synthesis” which she plans to submit to publishers this summer.

Katie Guerin can be reached by email at katie.guerin@gmail.com.