Teacher pens teen novel

Published 8:30 pm Friday, January 4, 2013

Suffolk early childhood educator Kelly Anne Blount has written a fantasy novel for young adults, “Grishma,” which she hopes will supplant “Twilight” and be picked up by Hollywood.

Move over, “Twilight” — a first-time Suffolk author says she can “definitely” see her young adult fantasy novel becoming Hollywood’s next sensation.

Kelly Anne Blount, 29, by day an early childhood special education teacher at Florence Bowser Elementary School, started writing “Grishma,” which she describes as being like “Twilight minus the vampires,” in her spare time in May.

“I have always enjoyed reading and writing,” she said. “It was always a passion, but I hadn’t sat down and given it a serious try. (Then) I thought, ‘I think I can do this.’”

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She finished her fantasy novel in six months. It was promptly picked up by a publisher and will, Blount hopes, be released as an e-book initially in early February.

“It takes place in another world for the majority of the story,” she explained. “I was kind of struggling with where to set (the rest of) it; I ended up just keeping it vague.”

The otherworld setting, called Necoh, is “a magical place where people and these magical creatures connect. The main villain is actually completely created in my mind, as are a lot of other important parts of the world of Necoh. It isn’t drawn from mythology.”

Blount hopes the novel, 282 pages in its electronic form, will sell well enough to make it into print, and she also hopes it will eventually make it to the silver screen for older teen and young adult audiences.

The book is actually the first in a future series, she said, adding, “A trilogy is planned … I’m working on a sequel now.

“I’m definitely hoping for success. I can definitely see this series turning into a major motion picture.”

As a new author, Blount said she was helped a lot by joining a critique group. “Every other week we submitted work to each other,” she said.

“I submitted 20 pages every other week. One girl was really good with grammar; one girl was really good with work choice; one girl was really good with ‘showing, not telling.’

“It really was extremely helpful, because they each provided me with a different kind of service.”

On Friday, Blount, who has enlisted a publicist, held an online “Meet Kelly” event on Facebook.

It was to include games and giveaways and offered a chance, she said, to communicate directly with the book-reading public.

“I’m hoping to have a book-signing event once I get some feedback,” she said. “I have really done my research and I really hope that it pays off.”

Find about more about Blount’s book, which will be available from Amazon, at www.kellyblount.com.