Foundation Academy senior self-publishes her first book

Ariel McMillan published her first book, “Pathfinders Rebellion,” over the summer

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  • | 12:21 p.m. September 8, 2017
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WINDERMERE At 17 years old, Ariel McMillan is a published author. 

She started writing her book, “Pathfinders Rebellion,” four years ago knowing that, one day, she wanted to see it published.

“If I hadn’t had this summer, I wouldn’t have finished it,” said McMillan, a senior at Foundation Academy. “I spent all my time working on that book.”

As a long-time fan of anime, McMillan said the original inspiration for her story came from watching the Japanese animation for many years. Her love of science fiction and dystopian novels, particularly those by her favorite author Amanda Hocking, also played a part in the development of her story.

“Pathfinders Rebellion” is set in 2055 and follows the story of Quest Landing, a teenage girl who is determined to reveal to the world the evils of a gaming corporation.

When McMillan initially began writing, she knew it would be more than the short stories she had written before.

“I just had a feeling that it would be a book,” she said. “This one was different. And when I started writing, it took on a life of its own.”

As she developed the plot and characters, she realized she would need to figure out the ending - something she hadn’t envisioned when she started writing.

“Towards the middle, I had to sit down and write down different scenarios,” she said. “Then I had to pick one.”

The writing process alone took years, which McMillan attributes to her writing style.

“I can’t do it in one fell swoop,” she said. “I have to come back to it. I have to take breaks. It’s a work in progress.”

And by the time she completed her book, she realized that the writing style within the book had changed.

“At the beginning it sounded like a 13-year-old was writing it, but by the end I had matured more as a writer,” McMillan said.

After competing “Pathfinders Rebellion,” McMillan said that she spent most of her summer combing her book for mistakes.

“I went through it three or four times before I hired a professional (editor),” she said.

When the editor send her book back to her, she said the pages were covered in red edit marks.

“It was such a challenge,” McMillan said about the editing process. “I actually got sick of my own story. I couldn’t wait for it to be done, but it was all worth it in the end.”

McMillan decided to self publish through Smashwords - an online platform for e-books. Already, a small handful of people have downloaded copies.

“If I could meet every one of them, I would thank them so much,” McMillan said.

If nothing else, McMillan said she just wants her readers to enjoy the journey.

“I want them to feel good and feel the enjoyment I had when I wrote it,”  she said. “I think I’ve done a good job, and I hope people like it.”


Contact Brittany Gaines at [email protected].


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