Teen of the week: Young author shares her faith through her writing
VINCENT–She’s only 17 years old, but Warren High junior, artist and author Abby Werry already has her first published novel, “Anywhere But Here,” on the market. The daughter of Ryan and Rachel Werry of Vincent, Abby, under the pen name Abigail Rayne, writes to share her faith and hopes her works will be a help and inspiration to others. “Anywhere But Here” is Abby’s first marketed book, but she has written at least four previous works, as well as a variety of other writings she often shares online at wattpad.com, receiving feedback from readers across the nation and from as far away as China and Africa.
Question: How did you come up with the title “Anywhere But Here” for your book?
Answer: It’s basically about a 15-year-old boy, Sawyer, who had a bad home life, so he ran away. He wants to be anywhere but in that situation. Another family eventually takes him in and teaches him about compassion, Christ, and that there is purpose in his life.
Q: Was there something that inspired you to write about that subject?
A: I’ve heard about kids who had a bad family life. Although I’ve been blessed with a great family and realize how lucky I am, I have felt some restlessness in my life at times, which I think helped me identify with the main character. All of my writings deal with faith. God gave me the ability to write and a platform, so I want to use it to glorify Him.
Q: Have you always been interested in writing?
A: I’ve been writing since I was 13 years old. But when I was much younger I loved art and would draw pictures for my mom. Then I would tell her a story to go along with each picture. Now I’m always thinking of new stories to write, I see potential stories almost everywhere. My teachers have also been a great help, especially Barb Schafer and Lisa Turrill, both have taught English and were really encouraging. They would stay after school to help me.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
A: I’ve been inspired by a lot of Christian authors like Ted Decker, C.S. Lewis and Sadie Robertson–she’s about 19 or 20 years old, but very outspoken about her faith.
Q: Was it difficult to find a good publisher for your book?
A: Lime Group is the publisher. A friend at church told me about it. She has a friend who works for the company, so I contacted Lime Group and they decided to publish my book. They coached me through it and helped with editing, but I was fully involved through the whole process. They also allowed me to do the cover art and some sketches of the characters at the beginning of the book. It became available through Amazon.com on Aug. 22 of this year.
Q: How is “Anywhere But Here” doing?
A: I’ve sold 35 copies so far in the first few weeks, and I’m getting some great feedback. It has really been a blessing, and I hope God will use this book.
Sam Shawver conducted this interview. Teen of the Week is a weekly feature spotlighting area teens who are making a difference. To nominate a teen, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
¯ Age: 17.
¯ School: Warren High School.
¯ Year: Junior.
¯ Residence: Vincent.
¯ School activities: Track, student council and Spanish Honor Society.
¯ Family: Mother, Rachel; father, Ryan; sister, Allison; brother, Mason.
¯ Future plans: Attend Ohio University to study creative writing and script writing.
¯ Online: Read some of Abby’s works at wattpad.com under her pen name, Abigail Rayne.