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Local

Dixon teen publishes books for young readers; more in works

DIXON – Kayla Bonnette originally began writing just to get things off her chest.

Now the 19-year-old has two self-published books, and more in the works.

“I just sat down at my computer one day and I started writing,” Bonnette said.

Bonnette, a 2013 Dixon High School graduate, publishes with CreateSpace, an independent publishing company. Her books, one published in July 2014 and the other in January, are available on Amazon.

Her stories are a combination of personal experiences and her imagination. The first book, “The Long Road,” ($7) is about teens Miranda and Brittany, who meet two boys, and must try to juggle their love lives and their friendship.

“They have to figure out how to keep their relationships going, and they find out these guys are not who they say they are,” Bonnette said. “It’s basically a teen romance book.”

In “The Perfect World,” ($8), another novel for teenagers, Alexandria must learn how to live in the shadow of a drug-addicted father who’s never been a part of her life. Meanwhile, Carter shows up and falls for Alexandria, and she thinks he is the greatest, but he doesn’t know what he has gotten himself into.

Before she sends her stories to CreateSpace, Bonnette lets Ann Rex, her grandmother, edit them.

“She writes to get rid of her frustration and to share her experiences with others,” said Rex, a retired Washington Elementary School first-grade teacher. “Once I edit her story, I send it back to her to read again.”

Bonnette has two children’s books in the works; one is a Christmas story, the other is about a student who gets bullied.

“I was baby-sitting one day and we were making up stories, and I just decided to write them down,” Bonnette said.

She’s also working on another teen-oriented book and an anti-bullying book that will include real-life stories.

“There is a bunch of people who came to me and they want their story told,” Bonnette said.

When she’s not writing books, Bonnette helps her mom Tracy with her day care.

Since she’s still a budding young author, sales have been slow so far, but she’s not discouraged.

“I just want to get my name out there so people know I’m here, and I will continue to write.”

Up-and-comers wanted

Do you know of any young people in the area who are doing something fun or unusual with their lives? Who are plotting an interesting future? Who might be on track to save the world, or at least better a piece of it?

Let us know. Post a tip on our Facebook page, send us an email at news@saukvalley.com or give News Editor Kathleen Schultz at call at 815-625-3600, ext. 5535.

Excerpts from Kayla's books

"The Long Road"

“Becoming what you want to be in life may take time. It may not be easy. Set your goals high and go after your dreams.” That’s what Jason’s father told him the morning of his first day of his senior year in high school. 

Jason didn’t know what he was going to do with his life. At this point he really didn’t care what he did. All he cared about was spending time with his girlfriend, Miranda. She used to be the typical high schooler, just trying to fit in and not cause any trouble. All that changed the day she met Jason. Jason was the “bad boy”, and Miranda had fallen in love with him at first sight. She would do anything for him. That would get her in trouble. 

Miranda had known what she wanted to do with her life since she was a very little girl. She wanted to help animals. Jason, on the other hand, didn’t like that. He didn’t want Miranda to have a plan. He wanted her to do whatever he wanted her to do so they didn’t have to stay tied down to one area for very long. Jason wanted to travel and do whatever he pleased.

"The Perfect World"

Having to live in her parents’ shadow wasn't easy. Alexandria never knew if she was good enough, or if she was doing things right. Alexandria didn't want to end up like her father. The drug scene, which sucked her father in, was the area she avoided at all costs. Alexandria looked a lot like her mom. She had the red hair and the “model” like body. Alexandria tried to think she looked nothing at all like her father. She didn't want any reminders of her father in her life.

“Hey guys!” Alexandria said to her group of friends as they were walking to the high school cafeteria.

All of Alexandria’s friends were cheerleaders. They didn't hang around anyone who wasn't a cheerleader, and they didn't date anyone who wasn't big into a sport.

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