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Student publishes first novel at 18

Valarie Roberts, a COCC student and newly published author, smiles as she talks about her writing experiance. She started her first novel, “Ivory: The Reluctant Vampire”, at age 14. (Patrick Iler The Broadside)

Cedar N. Goslin
The Broadside

Valarie Roberts is an 18-year -old Central Oregon Community College student currently majoring in biological science. She is also a young novelist.
Ever since she was 11, Roberts has enjoyed writing short stories. To her, writing was not only a hobby and passion, but an escape and a way to express and understand her own feelings.

“I think the thing that inspired was in middle school I got in a bit of trouble because I had such an over-active imagination,” said Roberts. “So instead of getting into more trouble, I decided to write down what was going on through my mind.”
At 14, she began her first novel, “Ivory: The Reluctant Vampire.” The project took her about three years in all, though her writing of the novel went on and off as she sometimes “got bored with it.”

Despite the fact it was hard and sometimes tiresome work, Roberts said she was determined and excited to complete the book.

“I finally wanted to do something that was more permanent… much bigger than anything I had ever taken on,” said Roberts.

She finished writing the book when she was 17 and by the time she was 18 it had been published through Two Trails Publishing.

As the title suggests, Roberts’ first book is about vampires—a topic she says she chose for no particular reason other than that’s what she felt like writing at the time.
“I tend to write how I feel,” said Roberts.

She said that the struggles of Ivory, the main character, to decide her place in the world reflected her own inner-conflict as she tried to decide on a career.
Even now, Roberts says she is uncertain about what career path she’ll choose to take. Originally, she was planning on going to school for forensic science, but now she’s exploring other options. Whatever she ends up doing Roberts is certain that she’ll continue to write and that her writing will continue to reflect who she is as a person and where she’s at in life.

“This was kind of like a test run for me. I believe I can offer something new and exciting other than the same-old same-old genres and boring stories that have happened a million times,“ said Roberts.

A great deal of Roberts’ inspiration came from her grandfather, who always encouraged her to keep up with her writing. Writing is something that Roberts took up because she truly enjoys it and is passionate about it.

“The main message I want to send out is that you’re never too young or old to do something you enjoy,” said Roberts. “If you enjoy doing something then do it.”

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