Louth student, 14, gets ‘rave reviews’ for her debut novel

A 14-year-old Louth Academy student has published her first novel for young adults - a fantasy tale of two different worlds torn apart by betrayal, forbidden love, and family drama.

Louth Academy student Abbie Bryson (14) has written and published her first novel ‘The Wings That Follow,’ which is available now on Amazon. EMN-210104-103813001

‘The Wings That Follow’ by Abbie Bryson is already receiving rave reviews from readers on Amazon, and has earned the praise and respect of English teachers at the Academy.

Alison Brown, Curriculum Leader For English, said: “Abbie is someone we will all have heard of in years to come because you don’t write something like this at 14 without immense talent.”

Abbie, who is a student in Year 10, said the novel is the culmination of years of wanting to write a book, but never quite having the stamina or concentration to stick with it. She wrote the 40,000-plus words in ’The Wings That Follow’ in just three months, followed by a couple of weeks of editing with the help of her mum.

Abbie’s debut novel, 'The Wings That Follow'. EMN-210104-103833001

She said: “I have been writing since Year 8 and I always said I was going to write a full-length novel, but I would get a few pages in and give up.

“I wrote this in the autumn when we were all doing lessons at home because of the pandemic.

“It was before remote learning was fully introduced and you could set your own work schedule, so I used my spare time wisely

“I have always liked paranormal/fantasy stories and really enjoyed The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.”

Abbie used her Art skills to illustrate the book. EMN-210104-103823001

Abbie’s story centres around two complex characters, and the cover blurb sums it up: “Murder was never a part of Murdoc’s plan. But when his world collides with Robyn’s he sees no other option. Robyn Skinner was never in the best position to begin with, her choice of boyfriend left a lot to be desired. When she sees a mysterious winged figure following her, her life begins to change. But does it change for the better?”

‘The Wings That Follow’ is aimed at young adults aged 13-plus, and deals with real issues that affect teenagers today.

Abbie said: “It is a family drama with a lot of hope and promise in it and shows how one person can protect you and change your life.

“It does contain some swearing, but it is not gratuitous, and I kept it to the dialogue not the text as I felt that would be unnecessary.

“For instance, when the character Dylan swears it shows he is a person who doesn’t show much care in life.

“The story does deal with serious issues that actually affect young people, such as manipulation and control.

“I think it is important to show reality even in a fantasy novel, otherwise it is purely a children’s book.

“The characters are drawn from real life so that the reader can relate to them, but the book definitely calls out bad behaviour.”

Teacher Alison Brown agreed: “I have read this novel and I am a very harsh critic. I usually find myself writing ‘unlikely’ in the margins, but I genuinely could not believe what a light touch Abbie has. There are many meaty issues in this book and they are dealt with really well.

Abbie is currently studying for her GCSEs at Louth Academy. Creativity is her biggest inspiration and, along with her school work and her novel, she has found time to set up her own online business ‘Abbie’s Art Palette,’ which can be found on Facebook.

A keen artist, she sells coloured-pencil drawings and cards depicting dogs.

Abbie added: “I am studying Art and Business GCSEs and I love drawing so I thought why not set up an online business.

“I have just finished illustrating a children’s book for someone else, and I am now writing a second book which I hope to illustrate myself.

“I did draw the wings that run throughout this current novel too.”

Teacher Alison Brown concluded: “I urge people to read this book. Abbie had a clear audience in mind and once you begin reading it is hard to put this down.

“She is someone to look out for in the future.”

• ‘The Wings That Follow’ is available now on Amazon. You can find it under Young Adult Fiction, or by searching for her name and the book title.