Carmel senior publishes short story to Amazon to make a profit

Somewhere, right now, a self-proclaimed writer is saying, “Yeah, I’m going to finish and publish my story any day now, whenever the time is right.” Months, years will pass, and nothing will happen.

Carmel High senior Zac Buzza has broken the trend by publishing his short story “Scapegoat” April 20 through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to be consumed by the e-reading public for a download price of $2.99.

After writing the 17-page story for an assignment in English IV, positive feedback and encouragement from English teacher Mike Palshaw gave Buzza the idea to share his story in a professional setting.

“I wrote the story. I got 100 on the assignment,” Buzza explains, “and in Mr. Palshaw’s final comment section, he said, ‘Wow, this is really good, it reminds me of some of the really good science fiction short stories I’ve read over the years. Let’s talk a bit about how you can make some money.’ So I thought, I’ll go ahead and publish it. What’s the worst that can happen?”

So Buzza took Palshaw’s advice and titled the story, submitted his name and other contributors, designed his own cover and ultimately published his suspense thriller to the Kindle book store, free of charge.

As outlined in the online description, “Scapegoat” follows the actions and inner-monologue of a “gay actor [who has found himself] hunted by the mafia after backing out of a lead role and being replaced by his ex-boyfriend.”

A writer by practice since the fifth grade, Zac Buzza knows that “Scapegoat” will always be his first publication, but far from his last.

“Regardless if it sells well or not, I think I’m going to make a full-fledged book out of [‘Scapegoat’],” Buzza says. “I like the characters. I like where the story is going. I just need to fill in a couple of extra missing pieces.”

Buzza goes on to emphasize his love of writing that’s been prevalent throughout his life: “It’s fun being able to control people’s emotions without having to know who they are or ever encountering them. It’s something that’s always appealed to me.”

-Anna Gumberg