OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — This week’s young achiever hails from Blue Valley West High School. Sixteen-year-old Jillian Dunlay is a published author, having a final product to show after two years of writing and editing.
“Ever since I was little, I would always read books and write books, like little short stories and it just escalated from there,” Jillian told FOX 4.
The Blue Valley West High School sophomore is doing something quite rare for a 16-year-old.
“When I was around 10 or 11 or so I told my parents that before I’m 18 I wanted to publish a book,” she said.
She was serious, and at the age of 14 she buckled down and began working to make it happen. The finished product — “Untamed” — is a dystopian book about five teenagers who learn a secret about themselves. They come together to fight the forces that are trying to conquer the world.
The book came out this year and is sold on Amazon and Jillian’s website.
“The positive feedback has been so amazing – I am just very humbled by it,” she said.
Jillian’s passion for writing began at an early age.
“When I was in elementary school, I had a gifted teacher who really got me in to writing and creative writing,” she explained.
She says she was only 6 years old at the time. Fast-forward 10 years, and she’s a published author who is now working on her second novel.
Jillian plans to be a novelist and wants to pursue a major in creative writing after high school.
She has other interests as well, and is a member of the color guard, writes for her school newspaper, is in numerous honors courses and recently won a Kansas Authors Club award for “Untamed”.