Student becomes published author
Brady Durkin, a sophomore at Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS), is now a published author.
He is one of nine teenagers across the nation, from California to New York, who share their testimonials of life during quarantine in the book “QuaranTEEN.”
“I thought that writing about my quarantine experience would be a great way to express myself,” Durkin said.
Owners of the publishing company Scriptor Publishing Group, based in Kansas City, Kelli Watson and Greg Justice brought the concept of “QuaranTEEN” to life.
“The idea for this book came about soon after quarantine began. At that time, Greg and I realized that although everyone was impacted by the shutdown, teenagers had a unique situation. It seemed important to give them a voice and to allow them to share their perspectives. We also realized the importance of capturing the historical moment,” Watson said. “The main purpose of this book is to share a perspective of the world-wide pandemic as seen and experienced through the eyes of teenagers.”
Durkin began the process of brainstorming and writing in June.
“I think one of the biggest challenges I faced was that I had so many different ideas in my mind, so at first it was hard to get one idea down. However, I created a mind map and that really helped me narrow down what I wanted to write about,” Durkin said.
Throughout his chapter, he focuses on how working out and keeping himself healthy and building a closer relationship toward God helped him cope through the isolation.
“In my chapter, I focus on my personal experiences. I really got the opportunity to express myself, the issues I faced and what I learned. I also really emphasize the importance of empathy. We were all in a very difficult time and many of us probably felt very isolated and it is crucial that we all empathize with each other,” Durkin said.
He worked countless hours and worked on a weekly basis with the publishers before submitting his final copy in early July.
“I’m most proud of his commitment to writing and rewriting his story to make it exactly as he wanted. He worked for months and took the feedback of the publishers and learned how to express himself through his story. Brady has always set big goals for himself and it was fun to see this one come true,” mother Melanie Durkin said.
The book came out on Aug. 25 and hit number 1 in three different categories including “Being a teen,” “Children’s studies” and “Education philosophy and social aspects.”
Not only did the book launch successfully, but the nine students decided to donate the proceeds to two organizations which they chose together: Center for Disease Philanthropy, Covid-19 Response Fund and Doctors Without Borders. To date, they have donated $1,000 to these organizations.
While this may have been the first book Durkin wrote, it will not be the last.
“I’ve always been interested in writing. It’s a great way to express yourself. I think this was a great way to get started into the world of writing,” he said.
Alongside his passion for writing, Durkin participates in varsity lacrosse, JV football and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at SRHS.
Throughout Durkin’s journey, he was able to grow as a person and writer.
“One sign of a good writer is when they are able to bring a level of vulnerability to their effort. It is hard to do, and many authors shy away from being personal. But Brady took the challenge and stayed true to himself. That is very hard for any author to do … and especially one who is a teenager. His maturity shows in the way he opened up and shared about the most important parts of his life – faith, family and fitness,” Watson said.
To purchase the book, visit amazon.com.