Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Novel from former CPC student

When 15-year-old Hazel Kevlihan would come in from her day at Cross & Passion College last spring, she had more than homework on her mind, writes Brian Byrne. She was also writing a novel for the young adult market.

The result is 'Two Lies and a Diamond', which is now available to buy on Amazon. It tells the story of five teen-aged con artists and thieves who travel around Europe, duping the wealthy and elite.

"I wrote the first draft of 'Two Lies and a Diamond' last year, starting in early April and continuing throughout the summer," Hazel says. "I would sit down at the kitchen table every day after school and try to write at least a chapter. I started out with a basic plot line, but as I continued to write, the story took greater shape and eventually it seemed like the characters were speaking for themselves."

The fact that she was in Transition Year at the time was a 'definite help', Hazel says, and she is also very thankful to both the school and to her English teacher Mrs Dredge for being very supportive of the project.

"I have her, as well as the TY Coordinator at CPC, to thank for giving me the opportunity to meet Hazel Gaynor, an internationally successful Kilcullen author, who came to speak at our school and gave me tonnes of excellent advice going forward."

Now 16, and living in Tanzania since last August — she has an Irish father and her American mother has to travel a lot for her work — Hazel and her two younger sisters spent three years living in Kilcullen, hence her attendance at CPC. She has always been interested in reading, and admits that 'even as a little kid I would always have my nose in a book, even when walking around and barely paying to where I was going'.

She figures her interest in writing comes from that reading background. "Stories have always been a big part of my life, from Harry Potter to 'War of the Worlds', and I suppose I just wanted to contribute a story which other people could get lost in.

"I have always been fascinated by heist stories, the kind of 'Indiana Jones' or 'Ocean's 11' type narrative that keeps you hooked, and resonates with the small part of all of us that wants to 'make it rich'. Really, I just wanted to write the type of story which would make people lean back in their seats and think 'that was pretty cool'."

Well, with a book of her own on Amazon's global platform is pretty cool itself for any 16-year-old. And there's probably more cool stuff to come.

This article was first published in The Kildare Nationalist.

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