EDMOND â€” At 14, when girls can be preoccupied with clothes, makeup and hanging out with friends, Mikayla Holden is busy writing a sequel to her first Western novel, which was published this summer.
Holden began writing â€œAddy Loveâ€ when she was only 11 years old. She said she can't remember a time when she wasn't writing something.
â€œThere are a few other books that I am hoping to publish sometime,â€ she said. â€œThe others are just fun stories to write to get my teenage emotions out.â€
After two and a half years of writing and another year of editing with help from her mother, Cathy, Holden's 224-page book was published by KidPub Press.
Holden was first exposed to the Western genre after her sewing teacher gave her some books in the â€œCode of the Westâ€ series by Stephen Bly.
â€œI started reading it and I automatically fell in love,â€ Holden said.
Her novel tells the story of Addy Adams, a 16-year-old girl living in Kentucky in the 1800s. After her mother dies, Addy finds herself having to raise her younger sister at the same time she has fallen in love with a young man named Ned.
â€œShe loses her faith in God and doesn't know what to do after her mother dies,â€ Holden said. â€œAfter she puts her faith in Him, all of the horrible things that had been happening to her turn into miracles.â€
Holden has five more books planned in a series that will focus on Addy's daughter.
â€œI'm about 100 pages into book two,â€ she said.
Holden said she tries to write about eight hours a day, but she said inspiration for stories strike in unusual places.
â€œI get these spurts of inspiration and that's when I write,â€ the homeschool student said. â€œThat's why I always carry a pen or pencil. If I'm at a restaurant I'll start writing on a napkin.â€
Holden's father, Mike, said his daughter has tried several ways to express who she was or what she was feeling while growing up.
â€œThe writing happened in a very nonstructural environment,â€ he said. â€œTo sit down and just type and to just let her thoughts go onto the page was natural for her.â€
Holden will sign copies of â€œAddy Loveâ€ at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway in Oklahoma City.