Young Author Gets Her Break
Prolific teen prodigy Verity Buchanan
By Ross Boissoneau | Nov. 16, 2019
Poor Fred Thorne didn’t deserve this, and neither did his sisters. When their home burned down and their great-aunt died, he was forced to take them through the wild to the refugee home, and there were so many perils along the way.
You can find out what happened to them by reading “The Journey,” but Central Lake teen Verity Buchanan already knows what happened to Fred and his sisters Sandy and Marjorie. After all, she created them. Her debut book, published last month, tells of their adventures. More than just a coming of age tale, it also includes elements of fantasy and magic.
“I’ve always been a big reader. I’ve been writing since I was six. I had all these stories in my head,” said the daughter of an Orthodox Presbyterian pastor, the oldest of eight children.
So that makes 13 years she’s been writing, and the 19-year-old said she has found her vocation. “Yes, this is definitely what I want to do with my life,” she said. And with four books and two novellas already completed and accepted by her publisher, who’s to say she’s wrong?
“I was trying to find an agent for a while. I took a break while in high school, and wondered about self-publishing,” she said. That’s when a friend suggested she look at independent publishers. So she contacted Ambassador International, a small Christian publisher based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Greenville, South Carolina. Three days later, the publisher got back to her and said it wanted to publish her books.
“It was a shock. I was kind of walking on air for about a week,” Buchanan said.
While she had designs on furthering her studies in college, she said she’s not so sure of that now. “Maybe college isn’t for me,” said Buchanan, who also enjoys playing piano and harp. She said because she was home-schooled, she was able delve deeply into her favorite subjects. “It was a literature-based curriculum. Because of home-schooling, I had time to pursue writing.”
As did other members of her family. “Actually quite a few of my siblings write. My sister Mercy is the co-creator of the fantasy world,” Buchanan said, including writing much of the back story behind the novels.
She describes the books as high fantasy with a focus on ordinary people. “Not kings or generals or people with special powers. It’s more the small people of the world.”
While that’s certainly the case with the first book, she said she got a bit more extravagant with the second. “It’s very different. It’s got all the fantasy tropes: the big bad guy, the quest for a magical artifact that will save the day.” She’s already submitted the second book set in Legea to the publisher.
The voracious reader said she enjoyed reading many different subjects, including mysteries, horror and others. That is, until she came across J.R.R. Tolkien. “I was doing a lot of genre-hopping until I read “Lord of the Rings.” It’s been mostly fantasy since then.”
Until she makes her fortune writing, she’s working at Rubingh's Dairyland, a centennial family farm in Ellsworth. She said her family has been very supportive.
Buchanan said “The Journey” is available at Amazon and major retailers. She is working on getting it stocked at local bookstores.