Falling in love with Dear, Autumn

Senior independently publishes her first novel

Cole Filer, MWHS Wildcat News Editor-in-Chief

photo courtesy of Maya Dykstra
Senior Maya Dykstra poses with her first self published book Dear Autumn,. Dykstra worked to publish the her book for abouut six months. “There is something about holding the finished product in your hands,” Dykstra said. “It really shows that anything is possible with enough patience, imagination, hard work and coffee.”

Hard work, dedication and seeing a task through are all qualities that are needed in order for one to be successful. Success can be measured by a variety of things, however success can never be made without an initial objective. For senior and self published author, Maya Dykstra, her objective was to publish her first novel.

Some students have dreams, others have reality. Working day in and day out to accomplish her goal, Dykstra is one of those students.

“A dream of mine is to walk into a Barnes and Noble to see my name on the cover of a New York Times Bestseller book,” Dykstra said. “If I can do that in 10, 15, maybe even twenty years from now my life will be complete.”

Like all dreams, to see them become reality, takes plenty of hard work. Dykstra had toiled, without fault, for six whole consecutive months towards publishing her first book titled Dear Autumn, a fairly large step towards fulfilling her dream.

“A couple times in the middle of the night I would sit up wide awake and have to write an idea down so that I could write about it the next day,” Dykstra said. “I would write, on average, five pages per day. The whole process took me 6 months, making my official due date July 19th. The overall book is 180 pages and is made up of 25,000 words. I also got to create the book jacket and cover using my graphic design knowledge.”

The website Maya had used to help publish her first book, bookbaby.com, was exposed to her through her best friend senior Kenna Frank, who had also funded the publication of Dear Autumn.  

“I wanted her to be able to publish Dear Autumn, for her birthday,” Frank said. “I showed her the website and gave her the money to publish her first book as a birthday present.”

Despite the insane dedication and hard work she had put in towards publishing her novel, at the end of the day crossing the finish line and being able to say that she had accomplished her goal was well worth her time and energy.

“There is something about holding the finished product in your hands,” Dykstra said. “It really shows that anything is possible with enough patience, imagination, hard work and coffee.”

Dykstra had always had a love for books and reading, she used that same love for literature as inspiration to write her own work.

“I love to read and that love for books really started in middle school around 7th grade,” Dykstra said. “I think just reading so many great books by so many amazing authors rubbed off on me and inspired me to create a work of my own.”

Dykstra’s Dear Autumn, a romance novel about two lovers at the crossroads of their lives, has a gripping plot that she hopes readers can relate to.

“My book is about a girl named Autumn who is experiencing her last week of high school when she meets a guy that she never really noticed before,” Dykstra said. “It is more on the romance side than anything else but what can I say, I’m a sucker for a good love story.”

Through her love for writing, Dykstra hopes to inspire a new generation of writers and to rekindle a much needed interest in literature.

“Writing in general is so important,” Dykstra said. “I feel like the enjoyment of literature is fading as every new generation is born, I want to do as much as I can to prevent that. I can’t imagine a world without books in it. My hope is that my work inspires someone to write their own story, whatever that may entail.”

Through publishing her first novel, Maya Dykstra has officially taken her first step towards accomplishing her many dreams and aspirations. Although she still has plenty more hurdles to jump before fully achieving her final goal, Dykstra’s constant hard work and dedication may place her right where she wants to be