OHS student publishes first novel


Emma Rushing

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

In 2017 when Emma Rushing was just 11-years-old, she undertook a “series” endeavour: writing her first book.

Four years later, the soon to be junior at Oakville High School has published that book, and released it March 30.

The 344-page novel, titled “Sea of Atlantis: Book One,” is the product of years of rewrites, edits and revisions.

Sea of Atlantis: Book One

The book follows Coral, a 13 year old foster child, who bumps into a strange person claiming to be her brother. He brings Coral to the city of Atlantis and to a newly discovered family who she becomes determined to protect.

Rushing ended book one on a cliffhanger because she has the whole series planned out already.

“I have the first drafts of the next four books already done,” Rushing said, although she isn’t sure when book two will be released due to edits that need to be made.

She said she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t interested in writing and storytelling, and it provides a sort of self-therapy for her while also being her hobby and passion. Rushing said it helps, specifically for times she’s angry, because she can add in a fight scene.

According to Rushing, editing is by far the most stressful part of the writing process, and she estimates she read the first book start to finish about 30 times, but “it felt closer to 4,000.”

“I would want to change everything by the end of it because it all sounded so cliche to me because I had read it 100 times,” Rushing said. “I was like ‘Emma, you just need to read this seven more times and then it should be good.’”

Rushing said editing is a group effort which can include her friends and family. Her friends provide input from a “reader’s perspective,” while her grandma offers other types of editing advice.

The main character, Coral, is loosely based on Rushing to help keep the story grounded.

“I started writing a full-on book when I was 11 and I wanted to make sure the character was realistic, so I’m like ‘OK who is more realistic than me? I’m an actual person,’” she said.

Rushing said the overall best part of publishing a book is the fact that some of her favorite scenes will be read and experienced by other people.

“There are certain scenes I adore, and certain scenes where I will grab my book off the shelf and reread them and just remember how much fun it was to write them,” Rushing said. “It’s nice knowing other people will get to read those.”

Her favorite scene in book one is between Coral and a friend, where the two silently realize they have each other’s backs.

Rushing isn’t sure yet where she would like to attend college, but her hope is to become a full-time author when it’s all said and done.

‘Sea of Atlantis: Book One’ can be found online at certain retailers.