Wyano teen author is published
Natalie Kohuth was given a scholarship to spend three days at a writing seminar, but she wasn't sure what she was going to write.
Now, she's published what became of those three days in June 2011.
Called “When It Comes To Forgiving You ...,” the fictional story is closely related to her experience with her father and mother, and the emotions she felt as she was growing up when her parents got divorced and her father suffered from alcoholism.
“If there's something that I can say that helps one person, that's all I really want,” said Kohuth, 16, of Wyano.
A book-release event was held at the Turkeytown Fire Hall on Wednesday to launch the publication of the book. Family, friends and teachers were all invited to the gathering.
About half of the 200 books her family pre-ordered were spoken for before the event.
Sherry Kohuth, her mother, said she was proud that Natalie accomplished such a feat, especially when they got to see the finished product.
“Everyone wanted it in their hands, so we passed it around,” she said.
The Yough sophomore has written poetry in the past and became interested in the seminars when her mother was attending a similar class online.
After a lengthy application, including letters of recommendation from her English teacher and school board president, it only took a few weeks for the Kohuths to receive word back.
“It was ‘OK, I'm doing this' and boom, we were along for the ride,” Sherry Kohuth said.
Natalie Kohuth was sent to Sedona, Ariz., for the seminar, where 20 other people were also enrolled.
She said she enjoyed the process of developing the novel.
“It's different to have your own thoughts down on paper, different than writing an essay and having someone else dictate what you have to write,” Natalie Kohuth said.
It has since improved her abilities to write quickly and concisely on those high school essays, she said.
She has a brother, 12-year-old Alex, and continues to keep a full schedule of activities, including softball, cross country, and dance, until she graduates intending to pursue psychology.
Natalie Kohuth plans to give a portion of the proceeds from every book sold to the Blackburn Center in Greensburg and other organizations that deal with alcoholism.
The books are available directly from the Kohuths by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is also available at Amazon and at nearby Barnes & Noble stores, where she plans to schedule some book-signing events, along with dates in local libraries.
Natalie's grandmother, Carol Kohuth said this was an important subject for her to tackle.
“She's always been extraordinary beyond her years,” Carol Kohuth said. “She has an awful lot of compassion for every one else ... We've always told her, you can be your own person.”
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 724-836-6660.