Holly Springs students help author craft teen novel

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The book is called "Night Divers," and it's an inspirational teen novel about five blind teenagers.

Some Wake County students will be able to see their work in print and on bookstore store shelves very soon. A group of teens at Holly Springs High School worked as copy editors on a teen novel for a local author.

Creating new chapter titles and reworking lingo to sound more authentic, the students are penning changes that will be immortalized in print.

The book is called "Night Divers," and it's an inspirational teen novel about five blind teenagers.

"It was originally centered around the coach that was teaching the five teenagers how to swim," the author, Mark Mathis, said. "And it immediately became clear that the novel needed to be about the kids."

It's a taste of the real world for the high-schoolers who are getting a sink-or-swim shot to try out the career they dream of.

"I went to an English classroom and asked the kids 'so there's a table with a pile of pizza and a couple of books -- which do you choose?' " the school's career counselor, Steven Herrick, said. "And so when the kids actually raised their hands about the books I went 'sweet, those are our kids.' "

"I've had English projects, you know, English assignments, but to do something like this, editing a real book that's going to be published," said 17-year-old Anna Southwell, "it was like amazing."

"I'd really love to be an editor or publisher when I grow up so I really enjoy reading the book and making edits," Emma Fry, also 17, said.

Some of them gracing are the pages of the cover too.

"That's really neat," Camden Shrout, 17, said of modeling for the cover. "I'm going to enjoy that."

After months of editing, the book (based here in North Carolina) is getting ready to hit shelves this summer.

"Seeing it now and its end, I know that this was the book it was intended to be," Mathis said. "I just needed some young people to show me."

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