Jen Barton has been writing — off and on — for her whole life. But it wasn’t until a long car trip with her daughter and daughter’s friends that her novel came to life.
The four girls came up with characters for themselves and the superpowers they wanted to have in a story. Then, they asked Barton to write it.
Barton, a California resident who attended high school in Spring Grove and lived in the area after college, wrote the middle-grade fantasy novel, “Fiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell,” in six or seven months, spurred on by special circumstances: One of the girls who had been on the trip was in remission from cancer.
After releasing the novel in September, Barton entered America’s Next Author, a social writing contest. She’s currently competing against 12 others for a spot in the top three, a “battle round” that ends today. [Update: Voting has been extended until 10 a.m. Dec. 13.]