Student becomes novelist after years of hard work

Elizabeth Sacks came up with a story idea 10 years ago and recently got it published.

Sacks, who is majoring in Graphic Arts at South Plains College, published her first novel on Feb. 14.

Sacks, who uses her pen name, said she has been writing most of her life. She said that she would come up with stories before she was able to write them down, and her mom would write them down for her.

“I made up a story about Daniel and Danielle,” she recalled. “It was about two twin brothers, which now I realize that Danielle is a girl’s name. I’ve just been making up stories ever since.”

The 23yearold Sacks started writing stories before she read her first novel. She was writing stories like a script.

“I just had all this dialogue and character names,” Sacks said. She started understanding how stories worked when she started reading novels. The first novel she read was “Little Women.”

“My dream job would be to make movies,” Sacks said. “But as I write, the more I love it.”

She explained that not being able to make movies is one of the reasons she got started writing.

Sacks also mentioned that writing is also a way to express what she is thinking, “and I think we need more good books in the world.” She says that she had a hard time finding novels which were age appropriate, and because of that she  wants to write books for people to read, “because I think reading is important, and any age can read them because you don’t have to fear what’s inappropriate inside.”

Sacks went on to confirm that her novel, titled “Matthew Calbrin,” is written in a way that she said she believes any age group would enjoy. She also mentioned that her editor wants her to target it more to kids who are still in grade school.

“I try to make it interesting enough that all ages would like to read it,” Sacks said.

Since Sacks is a student and works as well, she said it took her a while to get her novel out.

“This particular book took me 10 years to write,” she explained.

Sacks started writing the book in 2008 in a spiral notebook. Then she expanded it and rewrote it on her iPad. Then she rewrote it a second time on her laptop. However, those would not be the only times she rewrote her book. She said when a publisher picked her up, “they went over it, and my mom also went over it. It has been gone over several times.”

“As far as finding the time, sometimes my priorities are a bit mixed up,” Sacks said, adding a laugh.

She said that she will write her stories before homework sometimes. On other days, though, when she does put homework first, she said that she will stay up late at night and write.

“Just anytime that I have a free moment,” said Sacks.

Sacks said it took two years to get her book published.

“A part of that was my fault,” Sacks said, “because the editor left comments on things and some of them were negative. I have never had negative feedback on my story before, so I was just like ‘what am I going to do?’”

Sacks said she got discouraged because it did take a while to get the book published, and she started wondering if anybody would ever read her book.

The book is about Matthew Calvin, who lives in a fictional kingdom in 1795.

“He’s new to the capital city and is involved in a murder plot against the royal family, but doesn’t know it,” explains Sacks. She adds that Matthew meets a young woman who is in the Royal Army, “which you know, in the 1700s there were no women in the Royal Army,” and they fall in love.

Sacks mentioned that her inspiration for this particular story was the movie “Barbi and the Three Musketeers.” However, she said that her story is nothing like “The Three Musketeers.”

Sacks announced she will have a book signing at the SPC Student Center on March 20 from 11a.m. to 2 p.m., when people can also purchase her book.

In her free time, Sacks says that she enjoys watching movies, reading, or hanging out with people she knows when she is not in school, at work, or writing.

“I was homeschooled,” Sacks said, “which is probably part of the reason why I do like writing, because I read a lot for school. My favorite subject was history.”

She mentioned that her favorite historical time period is the Revolutionary War, and that her book is set in the 1700’s because she enjoys history.

Sacks was born in Lubbock, but her family moved to Meadow, Texas, when she was around 10 years old.

“If you enjoy writing, if you have a story in your heart, just write it,” Sacks said, offering advice for anyone who wants to write a book.

She adds, “I’ve held onto my first love, that’s what you have to do. You’ve just got to hold on to your first love, because there’s a reason why you love it.”

Sacks mentioned that you don’t have to sit down for a long period of time to write a story. You can write in a notebook while you are eating lunch, or while you are in the car.

“If you don’t do what you love,” Sacks said, “you’re probably not going to be very happy.”