Basalt budding writer Brooklyn Koski is 15, and now on Amazon
October 10, 2013
If someone would have told Brooklyn Koski that she would have her first book published before she was old enough to acquire a driver's license, she probably wouldn't have believed them.
Koski is scheduled to read from her latest novel, "The Weatherman," at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 at the Basalt library. It's her ninth novel but the first one she decided to have published as an ebook on Amazon.com.
Koski labels the novel as teen fiction, set in medieval times with a healthy dose of fantasy throughout the story. The story takes the reader through myriad emotions as the main character grapples with many issues, including the loss of her father, an evolving relationship with a close childhood friend and a strange phenomenon that will keep readers guessing who this weatherman really is.
Not bad for the sophomore from Basalt High School.
Koski, 15, has been putting stories together since she was a second-grader at Basalt Elementary School. Her second-grade teacher, Dolores Bravo, had written an autobiography about her experiences living in Ecuador and read parts of her book to her class.
"It was so inspiring to know a real author," Koski said. "Listening to her made everything very real and made me realize that maybe writing was a possibility for me."
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Koski, 7 years old at the time, was then inspired to write a five-page novel and hasn't stopped writing since then.
The only thing that slowed her creative writing was dealing with epilepsy, a condition she had lived with since she was a toddler.
"Brooklyn had to deal with as many as 100 seizures every day," said Tammy Koski, Brooklyn's mother. "We weren't comfortable at all giving her drugs we didn't know a lot about."
The Koskis searched for alternative solutions and found what they were looking for in 2003 through Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, where Brooklyn participated in a test group that was introduced to the Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures. The modified diet allowed her to stop taking her medications in 2004 and reduced the seizures to no more than 15 a day.
As of 2010, she became seizure free.
The path the Koskis took and the success they found motivated Brooklyn's father, Michael, to publish a book about their success with the modified diet. Watching her father put together his book inspired Brooklyn to also continue writing, but now with a goal of being published.
Perhaps the biggest source of Brookyn's writing inspiration came from her cousin, Olivia Koski, 15, who lives in the Blue Lake neighborhood. The two have been best friends all their lives and have been co-writing with each other since the two were in fourth grade.
"Olivia is very artistic and creative," Brooklyn said. "We always bounce ideas off each other. She's an amazing writer. I don't know if I would have written 'The Weatherman' without Olivia's inspiration."
Olivia said seeing her cousin get her work published on Amazon is great inspiration to continue writing.
"I'm very happy for her," Olivia said. "That motivates me to continue writing. I would love to have something of mine published someday."
In "The Weatherman," the main character is Sybil, a young woman who overcomes many challenges throughout the story. She comes from a common background and has a pessimistic outlook on life. But as the book evolves, so does Sybil.
When asked if she sees herself in Sybil, the author admits that perhaps she does, but it wasn't a conscious decision.
"I wanted Sybil to grow as a person in the book," Brooklyn said. "I also find that I tend to grow as I write. Maybe there is a little Sybil in me."
The feedback for "The Weatherman" has been positive. The e-book became available two months ago on Amazon and has sold around 70 copies. After her reading at the Basalt Library later this month, she'll also be available to talk about the process of getting published through Amazon as well as how to find someone to do cover artwork.
On Oct. 17, she's arranged for a free download day of "The Weatherman" through Amazon.
"I want to let the local people here in the valley have a chance to read the book free of charge," Brooklyn said. "I'm not in this to make money — yet. It would be nice to eventually support myself through writing."
She's currently working on a new fantasy novel as well as a script that she is planning on entering into a local playwrights festival. Brooklyn also left the ending of "The Weatherman" open, just in case she decides a sequel is in order.
"The positive input for 'The Weatherman' has been incredibly inspiring," she said with a broad smile. "A follow-up is definitely a possibility."