Author Carol Larese Millward to young writers: 'Never give up on yourself'

February 14, 2011|By COURTNEY BRADFORD | Pulse correspondent
  • Submitted photo Carol Larese Millward has published a young adult novel, "Star in the Middle," that deals with teenage pregnancy and its aftermath. Carol Larese Millward has published a young adult novel, "Star in the Middle," that deals with teenage pregnancy and its aftermath.
Submitted photo

 In Carol Larese Millward's novel, "Star in the Middle," teen mother Star raises her child while also dealing with the everyday stresses that come with being a teenage girl. On top of that, the baby's father absolutely refuses to admit that the baby is even his.

Millward said the main point to writing her first young adult novel was that she wanted teenagers to be more aware of teen pregnancy.

"I wanted to raise that awareness," Millward said in a telephone interview from her Elkton, Md., home. "I wanted to explore the issues facing teen parents using fictional characters, hoping teens would get a glimpse of how hard it really is."

Millward, who previously lived in Hagerstown, said her entire inspiration for this novel was based off of her previous experience working with teen moms at the Washington County Family Center in Hagerstown.

She said coming up with her characters was not an easy task either; almost as difficult as writing the book itself. She said she formed the characters by mixing together young adults she had met in her profession.

 "Star really made herself known to me; and then I was very surprised. I've always heard writers tell me that their characters talk to them," Millward said.

Getting published can be hard work. Millward offered a few tips for those hoping to become authors.

"It takes the ability to be rejected," she said with a laugh. "You really need to believe in yourself and what you have to say. When writing essays in schools you know how teachers tell you to remember who your audience is? Well, in creative writing you have to do the same thing."

She said the hardest thing about being an author is finishing the novel and waiting for the publisher to respond to it. "You want the book to be accepted," she said. "Writing can be very personal at times; it becomes a part of you in a way."

If you see Millward at a booksigning, come and say hello.

"I love meeting young adults," she said. "I love going out to bookstores and schools. I love the way the novel and the characters pull questions of the book."

Millward encourages teens who love to write to find ways to write.

"Never give up on yourself, keep a journal, and write what you're passionate about," she said. "Don't be afraid to share your ideas and explore them. Keep writing and reading."

Millward offers one more piece of advice to aspiring young authors: "Never be afraid to do silly things with words."

Want to buy?                        

"Star in the Middle" can be purchased online at

For more information about author Carol Larese Millward, go to www.carollaresemillward .com

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