The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Photo Courtesy of Maddie Mertz

How would you describe your book in one word? “I would describe [“Rebuilding Atlantis”] as adventurous because so much happens in the main character’s life over the course of the book,” senior Maddie Mertz said.

Maddie Mertz

With mermaids, evil fairies and fallen kingdoms, “Rebuilding Atlantis” is a magical fantasy story following main character Ariana through her discovery of another world. “Rebuilding Atlantis” written by senior Maddie Mertz has been in the works since she was in the sixth grade. 

Rebuilding Atlantis was a story that I came up with in the sixth grade and just couldn’t put down. Eventually, it got so long that I realized it had the potential to be a book and I decided to seek out an editor and a way to publish,” Mertz said. 

After writing one page a day for the entirety of her sophomore year, Mertz decided to reach out to an editor, sophomore Katie Evans. 

“I had been wanting to get into editing for a long time, and [Mertz] happened to need some editing done on her book. It was mostly a coincidence, but I’m glad it happened. I hadn’t technically committed when I first started reading it, but the first few pages sealed the deal for me,” Evans said. “I read through it several times and marked if things were inconsistent, didn’t make sense or if there were any spots where grammar needed fixing. It wasn’t terribly hard, because [Mertz] is already an amazing writer, but it was definitely a learning curve. At first, I was afraid of being too mean and nitpicky, but by the end of it I had settled into the process pretty well.”

With the help of Barnes, Mertz was able to publish and upload her story to Amazon Kindle where it is now available for purchase. 

“Publishing the book honestly felt like a relief,” Mertz said. “I had been working on it for so long that it felt like all of my hard work had finally paid off.”

Both Mertz and Evans plan on continuing their journeys as writers: Mertz as an author and Evans as an editor. 

“I want to [continue editing]. However, I do happen to be only 16, which tends to be a deal-breaker. I’m actually in the process of looking at online contracting stuff, so who knows, maybe I’ll get to help out with more stuff soon,” Evans said. 

While she has not had Barnes since her junior year, Mertz still recommends that other students take his class.

“I asked [Barnes] to help me with “[Rebuilding] Atlantis” while I was taking a different English class, but my favorite memory during my junior year is probably our vocabulary Kahoots,” Mertz said.

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