Community Profile: Western Garfield County Teens Use Online Games to Publish Children’s Book

Young authors Sophia Wilson, left, and Luana Poston hold their book, ‘Spider Friend’, as they sit on Poston’s porch in Silt on July 23.
Ray K. Erku / Independent Post

Luana Poston and Sophia Wilson never expected an online game to lead them to write a children’s book.

It was 2020, and Wilson and Poston were playing a Roblox role-playing game that lets users create their own characters. The two college students and friends, now 13, developed one of their characters as a spider.

Family friend Brett Lark, book editor, YouTuber/producer, and Aspen High School graduate, once suggested Poston consider writing a book.

“I guess the spider thing that me and Sophia did just popped into my head, so that’s how it started,” Poston said.

Lark’s publishing company, Brett Lark LLC, started in 2018 and has so far published a handful of books, including a life coaching book written by Poston’s mother, Andreia. All are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

“I think that’s really cool,” Wilson said. “I mean, we’re still young, and you don’t see a lot of young people posting stuff.”

Wilson and Poston’s book – “Spider Friend” – is about two sisters (Poston and Wilson claim they are sisters in real life). The sisters’ task for the day was to clean up, and while they were cleaning up, they encountered a spider, which they would eventually befriend.

“I guess the moral is to understand that we don’t have to kill every bug, because some of them are necessary,” Poston said. “Especially in the summer, spiders can be very useful.”

The twist comes when the reader learns that the spider was actually a human boy that a witch turned into a spider for his disrespect.

“We kind of came up with the idea for ‘Beauty and the Beast,'” Wilson said.

Wilson and Poston grew up together in western Garfield County, with Wilson attending Rifle Middle School and Poston attending Two Rivers Community School in Glenwood Springs.

When Lark originally suggested Poston write a children’s book, the first person that came to mind was Wilson. She needed help writing and editing the story.

“That’s when I came into the picture,” Wilson said. “At first it was nothing, so we started adding a bit of stuff, which is where some of the other characters came into the book.”

Poston said they were a good mix.

“Because I love to write,” she said. “It’s just that when (Wilson) comes on the scene, she’s really good at peer editing. I think after that it all really ties together.

Writing a children’s book seems difficult. Developing a screenplay on its own is a difficult task, but Andreia Poston was surprised at how quickly Luana and Wilson told her they were exercising their literary prose for an editor.

“I left for work and when I came back, ‘Mom, I wrote a book,'” recalls Andreia Poston.

She also talked about Lark providing what has become an indelible opportunity for Luana and Wilson.

“It’s amazing that they have something to show for the rest of their lives,” she said.

Turning 13 and already having their names on the cover of a book available for purchase on Amazon is a feat few have accomplished.

That’s why Garfield County Libraries publicly showcase their work. Both are scheduled to premiere at the Silt Branch Library at 6:30 p.m. on August 18. In addition to meeting the public, Wilson and Luana participate in a children’s writing contest offered by Lark. Lark is currently accepting entries from children’s book authors by messaging him on Instagram, @brettlark.

Writing a story is hard, young writers agree. In order to write more, they need all the confidence and conviction they can get.

“To make a continuing story, we would have to think of a whole new kind of genre,” Luana said. “I think it definitely takes some work, and I feel like if it gets a lot more recognition, that’s when we’ll really start thinking about it.”

About Dorie Castro

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