Publishing is Not Just for Adults, Part One

They range in age from fifteen to eighteen, coming from different states and backgrounds, but they all share one thing in common: they are published authors.

Xulon Press is proud to present some of our younger enterprising writers; fledgling Christian authors who juggled not only writer’s block and character development but also schoolwork, tests and social activities, all while working to publish their first book.

I was able to interview each of Xulon’s teen authors to obtain a glimpse of their experiences self-publishing their first books, as well as becoming writers at a young age and what they feel God will “write” next in their life stories.


Destiny Pedroza

Stats: 17-year-old high school senior in California

Book: Dive – a novel about a make-believe mermaid world and the culture differences between a human girl and the merman she rescues.

Xulon Press author Destiny PedrozaXulon Editor Blair Townley: Tell me a little about your book and the process to write it.

Destiny Pedroza: The book shows the differences between the human and merperson cultures. My cousin was obsessed with mermaids growing up and mentioned I should write a book about them. I love to read and have been inspired to write after reading books like The Hunger Games and Divergent.

During school, whenever I had free time, I would plan out what I would want to happen in the story next. I would set aside a block of time and just write as much as I could on paper, fixing the mistakes later. I would write a chapter or two a day, and then edit the book. This would be done late at night, after doing homework or after spending time with family and friends, as that was the only free time I had.

BT: How long did it take you to write Dive, and how was the self-publishing process?

DP: It took about six months, as I made up all of the merpeople culture. My mom read the first draft and said it was a good book. The publishing process was actually super easy, especially with my parents helping me the whole time. After I wrote the draft, my dad helped me submit my story to Xulon Press. The whole process went so smoothly, and it was definitely a good experience.

BT: How does it feel to be a published author, and what are your upcoming plans?

DP: It is definitely crazy to think that I’m a published author. I keep telling my friends, “Guys, my book is about to come out soon, that is so crazy.” I haven’t thought about promoting my book [which is to be published soon], but I will definitely post it on Facebook and tell my family and friends to spread the word. I left the story open for a second book, but we will see what happens. It would be fun to write as a career, doing something that you love to do for a living. I am planning to go to college for business, but I’m keeping my options open [when it comes to writing].


Macy Cochran

Stats: 15-year-old homeschooled student in South Carolina

Book: Cybil’s London – a novel about Cybil, a young girl living in London, and how a visit by child prodigy pianist Melody changes the future for both girls and Cybil’s brother Adam.

Xulon Press Author Macy CochranBlair Townley: How did you come up with the idea for Cybil’s London?

Macy Cochran: I had a dream about Cybil’s London on October 24, 2013 and started writing the first chapter that morning. It took me a month and seventeen days to write the story, and I even put on the cover “Inspired by a dream”. I was writing a few times throughout the day, and everything came together. I never had writer’s block, which I am currently struggling with for my second book. Some famous authors I’m inspired by wrote their books while they were in college, such as Veronica Roth [who wrote the Divergent series], and it’s inspiring since I was writing my first book at 14 [now 15].

BT: What did you do to prepare the book for publication? Has it sunk in that you are a published author?

DP: Whenever I would finish a chapter, I would let my dad [Chris Cochran] read it. A few friends also read it, and they would give me some suggestions or compliments that really helped. I didn’t really know what to expect with publishing a book, because I had never written a book before. Everything came together in the end, though. I’ve been asked how I feel being a published author, and I have to say it feels pretty good. To have my book in my hand and know that I can do it is the inspiration to keep me writing my next book.

BT: Will there be a continuation of Cybil’s London, and do you plan to pursue writing as a career?

DP: No continuation for Cybil’s London, as it is more of a stand-alone book.I started writing my second book the day after I finished Cybil’s London, and it was kind of hard to write because the main characters are completely different in both books. Cybil is sort of based off of me, so that was helpful to think what I would do if I were in the same situation. As for future plans, writing is a hobby now, but I would like to write full-time as a career. I have no plans on stopping now!


There are even more interviews to share so please visit Xulon Press blog’s next posting to learn more about teen authors Lauren Lotter and Samuel Yuen.


About the Author ()

Blair Townley joined the Xulon Press family as a Staff Editor in May 2013, helping first-time authors prepare their treasured manuscripts for publication. Prior to Xulon Press, she previously worked as a staff writer/editor for several Central Florida-based magazines over the past decade. What Blair enjoys most about writing and editing is getting to help others share their stories, helping others see themselves as the unique individuals God created them to be.

Comments (6)

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  1. Good for these young people. Becoming an author in their teens. Wow!
    It’s exciting no matter when it happens.
    Whether you are young or you think young.
    It is a blast doing something with God’s help, that you never dreamed of until you went for it.
    and never gave up.
    I love the support they are getting from their parents. They will go far with a support group to encourage and push them forward

    • Thank you, Barbara, for your endearing compliment, and it is amazing to think these young authors are publishing their first books when they are also thinking about college, first jobs and their future careers. Please visit Xulon Press Blog again this month to see two more amazing teen authors publishing their first books as well. God Bless.

  2. avatar Blaanchard Basilwa Bankete says:

    Hello Blair Townley, just wanted to salute you and say congratulations for the new position at Xulon Press as a first time author with xulon press, hope everything will be right with you in helping us, congratulations ,

    God bless…

    Rev Blanchard Basilwa Bankete

    • Thank you, Reverend Bankete. I actually have been working at Xulon Press for a year now, but I hope that I have been able to help all our authors achieve their dream of publishing their book. Thank you again for your kind words and hope I will be able to help you as well for your next book. God Bless.

  3. avatar Brit Hester says:

    Hello, I actually was wondering how to get a hold of one of the teen authors from this article. Macy Cochran. I’m the Community Business Manager from Barnes and Noble Spartanburg and I would like to have Macy come do a book signing with us for our B-fest. If there is any information you could give me that would be great. Thank you.

    • Good Morning Brit,

      Thank you for reading our blog about Macy Cochran and several other talented teenage authors we have at Xulon Press. I will pass on your message to our marketing department, who will get in touch with Macy’s parents and give them your message. Have a blessed day and thank you for appreciating this talented young lady. God Bless.

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