A ‘Rapid Shift’ into Fiction


Senior Justin Groot writes
and publishes his own books

Why did you start writing A Rapid Shift?

I’ve been writing books my whole life. But this is the first one I’ve actually finished. I wrote it last November for National Novel Writing Month. But I was never intending on publishing it until I decided to do the IU Honors program overseas in Germany. I knew I needed a good fund raising activity. And so that’s where this came into play.

Can you give a short summary of the book?

Well, you know, it’s a pretty complicated book but it focuses mainly on seven teenagers who find out they have super powers which would be really great for them except that they are also being hunted down by a bunch of like super-powered assassins.

Are you happy with your  finished piece?

I didn’t like the first edition, which is why I actually went back and edited some more and removed some of the filler I put in, because I originally had a word count requirement, so I had to go fix some of that stuff. So eventually, I ended up with a second edition which has now been republished and is now available for purchase.

What other books have you written?

I wrote a couple short stories before this that won some money at the public library. And I wrote a piece that was kind of rushed for a contest at school. So I’ve had most of my success in short stories up to this point. I’ve never finished a novel except this one.

How do you publish your books?

It was actually a pretty easy process. I learned about a site called Createspace.com and the site lets you self-publish things. Since it is affiliated with Amazon.com, all your stuff goes up on there too, which meant that now anyone who searches Amazon.com for my name will see all my books.

Do you plan on continuing  your writing?

Definitely. Actually it’s in the works. I’m on page 25 or 30 right now. It’s the second book in the series. It should be released around Christmas.

What advice do you have for other teen writers?

The trick is really just to finish stuff, because it’s really easy to start a book. It’s really easy to start a thousand books, but to finish one is what distinguishes you from other teen writers.

How did you get the cover of your book done?

The first time I drew it myself and that’s why it kind of looked bad. The second time, I got a real artist, Méghane Masquelin. I got her to draw the cover and that’s why it looks a lot better now for the second edition.

Do you want to pursue writing as a career?

I definitely do but I recognize that it’s a pretty difficult thing to pull off, you know. It’s hard to make a living as an artist or a writer. I’m definitely going to be majoring in International Studies or Relations, business or something like that.

By Michelle Yun
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