Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
LEHI — A Lehi teen will soon see her published name in bookstores.
Sarah Humpherys, 17, signed a national publishing book deal when her fantasy novel, "Stone Cold," was published in New York. As a senior at Lehi High School, she is roughly half the age of the average author receiving their first publication.
Humpherys said her earliest memories include a desire to write.
"As a toddler, before I could even spell, I would tell my mom my story concepts and ask her to write out my ideas. I would then draw the matching pictures," she said.
The teen said she has always loved to read.
"In elementary and middle school, I would check out a new book every day," Humpherys said. "I would go home and read it, then come back and get another book. The librarians are my friends; they know me by name."
At age 15, Humpherys started writing her now published fantasy novel, titled "Stone Cold." She worked with writing coach and New York Times best selling author Angie Fenimore.
Humpherys used the pandemic quarantine to edit her manuscript, which she pitched to a New York publisher.
"He replied immediately! I was told to expect six weeks to hear back from a publisher," the 17-year-old said. "Once I heard him tell me yes, I thanked him and then threw the phone on the bed. My best friend Kayla and I just screamed at the top of our lungs."
She laughed and added, "I looked down at the phone and I thought, 'Oh, I didn't hang up.' So maybe he heard us scream."
Humpherys signed her professional publishing contract in December.
"This is a very daunting business to get into. A whole lot of people are never published and always rejected, so this feels like a dream come true," she said.
Humpherys described her novel as a 300-page fantasy experience set in medieval times, with a touch of romance. She said the storyline appeals to youth as young as 10, and adults, too.
"Stone Cold" is currently available on Ebooks. It will be sold in stores after the release date in mid-January.
Recent numbers from the Authors Guild Foundation report that less than 22% of aspiring writers get published nationally.
Humpherys said her family has been there every step of the way in support.
"My dad is such a rescuer. He helped me see my inner potential. He even took writing classes with me as a form of encouragement," she said.
The Utah County teen shared advice for aspiring writers, saying they should look for mentors to meet and a young author's academy to join.
"It's been a lifetime in the making. There were moments when this achievement seemed so unrealistic — but I am here now!" exclaimed Humpherys.