Author visit at OAHS

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Last Thursday, all students at Orcutt Academy attended an assembly hosted by the local reading association and conducted by author Kevin Nielsen. Below are  the highlights of his presentation as well as an exclusive interview.

“Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night telling itself stories.” This sensational quote by Jonathan Gottschall is one author Nielsen shared with us during the assembly on Thursday. To Nielsen, both hearing stories and telling them is important in the life of an author, so he spends most of his time watching movies, reading, and writing. His debut book, Sands, in its 2015 debut sold over two-thousand copies in initial release. Now he has three books under his belt (Sands, Storms, and Resurgent Shadows).

When interviewed after the presentation, Kevin revealed that his inspiration lies with his family. His family life and day-job as a real estate agent in Utah give him the ideas and the means to write his books. Sands is his bestselling, but Resurgent Shadows is his personal favorite. When asked why, he wasn’t entirely sure. Mr. Shaw, who has read the latest book, suggested that a cause might be that the plotline Resurgent Shadows is much more complicated and unexpected.

Kevin also shared that writing and publishing a book is not as easy as it seems. He put a lot of hard work into writing each one and the editing process was grueling. One of his books went through seven rounds of revisions! He emphasized in his presentation that the most important part of any book is the opening line. He read a few famous opening lines, and then followed with one from his own book, Resurgent Shadows. His opening lines paint a beautiful yet harsh scene of a post apocalyptic world and a boy named Caleb. Overall his presentation was inspiring and informative about the life of a rising author.

Believe it or not, this assembly was Kevin Nielsen’s first promotion of his book outside of his home state. He loves to meet new people (in fact it is his favorite part of being an author), and seemed thrilled to visit our school. He said that the students “hopefully liked it,” in regard to his presentation, and looks forward to other opportunities to travel and promote his books.


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