Stacy Barron and his wife Carrie say their family has always been close. Which is why they were surprised to learn their daughter, Keara, had been keeping a secret from them.
“It was just mind-blowing. It blew us away,” Carrie said.
“I didn’t expect that from someone as young as she was,” Stacy added.
Keara, now 17, was in eighth grade at the time. Behind closed doors, usually after school and late at night, she would sit at the computer and dive deep into her own world.
“I’ve always wanted to so why not now?” she asked. “So, I did. I sat down and just wrote a book.”
Nevermind that most middle schoolers dread English homework.
For seven months, Keara wrote until she completed a two-part fantasy novel at the age of 14.
“I just knew in my mind I wanted to do it,” she said. “Maybe far off when I was older, but I didn’t expect I was going to do it when I was so young.”
This whole idea started in about the third grade. Keara had read books like “The Hobbit” and figured, somehow, she could create her own fantasy world.
“I don’t know what authors do,” she admitted, “I don’t know how they plan books. I’m just going to try to figure this out. So I was kinda just stumbling blindly through it.”
Keara’s brother was the main editor. Her parents were tipped off to her secret project when they overheard the two talking about the book.
“We would hear ‘em discuss it,” Stacy said.
“And discuss the story plot,” Carrie added.
“They would talk about it and we knew something was up,” said Stacy.
They got the book published and it’s now being sold online. So far, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, it’s inspired Keara to turn the page to her next project: a trilogy.
“It was such a fun experience writing it and I’ve kind of uncovered a passion of mine, and I discovered I want to keep doing this,” she said.
And if life before high school is any indication, whatever comes next is going to be one good chapter.
© 2017 WFAA-TV