Published May 8, 2023
BY GRAYDEN MILLER
“For me, writing is something I have to do,” says CHS junior Q Tavener. “You know how people just have to play music or play sports? Writing is in my blood.”
Loosely drawing off the unique quirks of the high school experience, Tavener released “Oddball,” her first published fantasy book, at age 15 and continues to get a head start on her dream job while working on her upcoming trilogy.
Her newest book, “The Moon-Eyed Prince,” a young adult fantasy story in the early phases of publication, tells the tale of four kingdoms at war, searching for their lost prince in order to put an end to their conflict. Once the lost prince unites the kingdoms, a new problem arises: Should the prince be executed for uniting the kingdoms, or should he rise to claim the crown and reign over them all?
Although the committed writer officially released a novel two years ago, Tavener wrote her first unofficial book in fourth grade at around 60 pages. By fifth grade, she had a series of five novellas well underway, averaging at around 100-150 pages each.
The writer’s father, Richard Tavener, recalls that his daughter’s unusually strong writing skills were recognized by teachers from an early age.
“Around fourth grade, she started to show some pretty promising writing,” says Richard. “She’d written a story and submitted it to the teacher who called us and said it was written so well, she was afraid that it might scare some students.”
In the start of her writing career, the 17-year-old’s earlier works were written sporadically. She now maintains the importance of planning and schedules, dedicating time to world building or character development but straying away from organization when she gets in the flow of writing.
“Getting the ideas and words out on paper in the moment is, to me, a lot more important than how much sleep I get at night,” says Tavener. “That sounds harsh, but I’ve been in situations where I forget an idea, and then it’s gone forever.”
Q’s father explains that writing has always been something that Tavener has done of her own accord, in spite of the skeptics.
“She does this completely on her own,” he says. “She’ll be gone for hours at a time, and we know when she’s in. When her head is in it and she’s got the story going, we’ll just leave her alone.”
Despite the commitment to her craft, the CHS student explains that being a young writer comes with its own problems, and that when she tells people she writes books, they don’t quite understand or believe her.
“A lot of people don’t take me seriously because of my age,” says the writer. “I don’t take offense to it because I get it, but I wish people I look up to and respect would take me more seriously.”
Utilizing the same process for what will be her second self-published novel, Q Tavener explains that being a published young author doesn’t just include writing books, but also involves a process of marketing, hiring an editor, and shipping her novel. Throughout the journey of publishing a book, the fantasy adds that connections are crucial in becoming a successful writer, and that the key in getting “Oddball” sold at local bookstores in Pacific Grove and Carmel was the correct connections.