Carolin Petersen self-published “Broken Compass,” her first novel, this summer through Amazon’s CreateSpace. (Sarah Gawdin/The Progress)

Chilliwack teen publishes first novel at 16

Using a self-publishing site, Carolin Petersen was able to publish her first book at 16-years-old

Carolin Petersen has always been a lover of the written word. However, after first enjoying the stories of others, her imagination quickly took flight and she began crafting her own epic stories.

“I always knew I wanted to be a writer,” said the soon-to-be high school senior. “I started with fan fiction, which was easier because the universe was already created.”

When she was 10-years-old, Petersen read the Inheritance Cycle, a young adult fantasy tetralogy, and learned the series’ first book, Eragon, was written by Christopher Paolini when he was only 15.

“So my 10-year-old-self said, ‘Before I’m 17, I’m going to publish a book.’” And that’s exactly what she did.

Just under two months before her 17th birthday, Petersen opened a box and pulled out the first printed copy of Broken Compass, her first novel.

Beginning with a one-page draft she wrote last summer on her 16th birthday, Petersen began slowly flushing out her story idea and adding flesh to its bones during the last half of 2017. Then, in her second semester of Grade 11, she took a creative writing class that gave her the opportunity to turn her story into a 30,000-word book.

“Broken Compass” is the first published work of Carolin Petersen, 17, of Chilliwack. (Sarah Gawdin/The Progress)

Starting her days at five in the morning, Petersen said she’d write for hours before school, on her laptop during the bus ride to school, and during any spare moment she could find.

“I worked on my first draft every moment I could: if I wasn’t eating, sleeping or at work, I would be writing,” said Petersen.

In less than two months, from the end of January to the middle of March, Petersen was able to complete the writing of her novel’s first draft and then sent it off to her beta readers the day before spring break.

From there, says Petersen, it was lots and lots of editing. And based on the feedback provided by friends, family, and her beta readers, Petersen was able to finalize the first edition of her book and send it away for publication.

“I used CreateSpace on Amazon (to publish my book),” explained the teen-aged author. “I did all kinds of research about matte vs. gloss … the colour of pages … and using unique (cover) art.”

And she couldn’t be happier with the final product, which features cover art by Rose Khadka, a friend of Petersen’s.

Arriving this past July, Petersen says she could barely contain her excitement as she and her mother drove into the United States to pick them up.

“My heart was racing as we crossed the border,” said the young author with a smile on her face.

Eager to see the final version of all her hard work, Petersen says she quickly cut away the box’s tape and pulled out the packing paper to reveal the first copies of the first edition of Broken Compass.

“I was so happy (to receive them),” she said. “I was on a high for the next three days I was so excited.”

Based in a world of her own creation, Broken Compass tells the story of four unlikely heroes who work together to not only save their land, but their world from chaos and destruction.

“They’re rebelling against society … (and) the Emperor,” Petersen continued. “And together, they fix the moral compass of the entire kingdom.

“It has a happy ending but an open ending,” she added.

And while she’s not sure if there will be a sequel to Broken Compass, Petersen says she’s already working on a trilogy with a friend and plans to apply to the Okanagan College’s writing and publishing program.

“I’m a writer, but also, I like to help people,” said Petersen, who believes her project may have been more difficult to complete without the help of others because she “really struggled” at times.

“But I’m so happy (with the results!)” she exclaimed while looking at a pile of her books.

Broken Compass can be purchased on Amazon.ca for $8 USD.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Tourism Chilliwack reveals beautiful new brand

Awe-inspiring video was unveiled before hundreds of ommunity partners Tuesday

Retirement after owning Main Street Barber Shop for 38 years

Phil and Trudi are looking forward to travelling and spending time with family

Faulty wiring blamed for Chilliwack barn fire Sunday morning

One civilian injured attempting to extinguish blaze on Ballam Road

GW Graham seniors bow out of football playoffs as juniors move on

The senior Grizzlies fell to the John Barsby Bulldogs in a AA playoff game last Saturday.

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema leads Canada to FIFA U-17 World Cup quarter-finals

Canada has gone 2-0 in the tournament with wins over Colombia and the Korean Republic.

VIDEO: Two officers of B.C. Legislature escorted out amid investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read