Student author self-publishes mystery novel

Anna Taylor
Assistant Features Editor

When she was in middle school, Tabitha Greer, freshman from Garfield, Ky., started writing her first story and what would eventually become a published novel. With the imagination and creative mind of someone above her age, Greer started putting pen to paper.
“I was sitting on the couch at my grandma’s one day,” she said. “I was reading a book, I got bored reading it so I stopped. I sat there for about 15 to 30 minutes and I started writing the plot to my first novel. Before I knew it, I had about 100 pages written.”
Greer said writing her first book took a year and a half. She wrote out the characters’ traits and thought of every detail of their personalities and thought of them as though they were real people. Some of the characters’ traits were inspired by traits of real people she knew.
“I’ve taken bits and pieces of the personalities (of people I know) – things I like and things I don’t like ­– and I’ve molded them into my story for each of the characters,” she said.
Her novel, titled “His Death Sentence,” is about a young girl who witnesses her best friend being murdered by her brother. The girl in the story is the only witness and has to testify in court and puts him in jail. The story goes on as the murderer chases after the witness.
“It’s kind of demented,” she said about her novel. “It’s a little twisted in the end. It’s (also) bloody, I’m not going to lie.”
The novel is set to be released around the middle of September or beginning of October. A book signing is being planned to be held in the Curris Center in October.
Greer wrote “His Death Sentence” when she was in seventh grade but started playing softball and took a break. Due to health problems, Greer gave up playing softball when she was in high school and picked back up where her writing had left off.
After dropping softball, Greer said it took her around six months to get her story edited and finished before sending it to a publisher. Greer knew a local editor, Betty Whitworth, who edited her story.
Although her passion is writing, Greer chose to major in pre-vet this semester.
“I know I’ve always loved working at vet clinics and things like that but I’m just pretty much just trying it for this semester,” she said. “If that’s really all I want to do then OK, I’m going to.”
Greer is working with AuthorHouse publishing company, located in Bloomington, Ind., to publish her book. Though they are printing the copies of the book, Greer said she considers herself a self-publisher.
She said with self-publishing she does not have deadlines to meet and is basically her own little business. She compared her self-publishing to free-lancing.
“Through self-publishing, you control everything from the front cover, what the font looks like, how much you want to set your prices, where you want to sell your novel and everything,” she said.
Greer has set goals for her novel and upcoming projects. She said she would love her novel to be made into a movie and be on the best seller list.
“I would like for my first novel to be on the New York Times Best Seller list, but with me just now having my first novel published, it’s going to be hard to get my name out there because nobody knows me and I’m new,” she said. “I kind of have an advantage because I am new; I have new material.”
Her parents have been supporting her journey through publishing her writing. Greer’s mother said she puts all she has in everything she does, especially writing.
“I have seen (her writing mature) over the years ever since she started writing her first novel back in seventh grade,” her mother, Stacey Greer, said. “She has so much heart and quite the imaginative mind. If she wants to become an author, she will somehow, someway.”
Greer enjoys writing murder-mysteries but she also wants to experiment with other genres, too.
“I would like to stick with murder-mystery and horror and, of course, I would like to do love stories; a series about love and love/drama/suspense and I also write poetry,” she said. “I have a poetry novel that I am working on right now at the moment also.”
Greer said she names Jane Austen as one of her favorite writers because she is a female who pursued her passion through writing.
“I see myself in her because she went for what she wanted,” she said. “She took all of the pain and humiliation for being a woman who wanted to write and they judged her for that.”
When her first novel is released, hardback and paperback copies will be available at Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, the University Bookstore and various other bookstores. Greer also managed to get her novel made into an e-book, making it available for Amazon Kindle and other e-readers.
Greer has a second novel being edited currently and she is working on her third.
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