A Young Writer’s Mind


Katie Barker’s novel, Until The End.

One Grandview student is already on a brave journey to getting her stories, and her voice heard in a more immense way. Sophomore Katie Barker has already published her own fictional book called Until the End. 

Barker hadn’t realized that a snowman would spark her entire career.

“I wrote a narrative story on a snowman in the third grade,” Katie Barker said.

Although the snowman was the beginning, she found bigger inspiration in the role models that surrounded her.

My dad loves James Rollins, Jodi Picoult, and Marie Lu,” Barker said. “I used to love her books in 3rd grade.”

The styles of other writers soon made a lasting impact on Barker’s stylistic choices.

“Marie Lu does this thing where [she] switch [between] characters,” Barker said. “That’s always how I’ve written ever since I read those books and I’ve been told I have a very specific tone which is similar to that of James Rollins.”

Yet, the negative effects of Barker’s busy schedule leads her to neglect her passion on a larger scale.

“I get home from school and then I do [a] little and [only] if I feel like it. I don’t write unless I feel like it; I don’t have a schedule for it.” Barker said. “There’s times where I’ll go a week without writing or I’ll [write] everyday, or four times a day.”

Organization is not something to always rely on, for it can become stressful and sometimes it’s just easier to go with the flow.

“My process is to not have a process. I kind of bounce back and forth between things,” Barker said. “I’m not very structured when it comes to [my writing].”

These overwhelming responsibilities cause Barker’s time to become sparse and hard to manage. 

“There’s so many things that people want from me right now like I’m supposed to be at school and I’m supposed to be working and doing my homework and actually doing well on tests,” Barker said.

With all of the expectations thrown at her, she tends to give in to the pressure of being an author and a student.

“While I’m also supposed to be writing and marketing and showing up to meetings and not falling asleep in them and it’s just a lot going on and it kind of sucks sometimes,” Barker said.

Creativity isn’t something that comes naturally, as struggles often arising even when it seems that everything is under control. 

“Before I wrote this book I had a  year long episode of writer’s block,” Barker said. “That sucked because it’s my only form of expression.”

Even with all of these obstacles, Barker uses writing to help gain a deeper understanding of her emotions.

 “I don’t really talk about my problems, I just write about them,” Barker said. “When I get mad at someone, I’ll write it out and then delete it all because it sucks.” 

Barker has created her own standards for how she wants her book to affect the reader and the impression she wants the reader to have.

“I want them to feel every emotion possible because I want them to cry. If it can make someone cry, that’s how you know you wrote a good book,” Barker said. 

Even negative emotions are seen as a positive response.

“If it can make someone angry or upset or just slam the book shut,” Barker said. “That’s when you know. So just all the emotions possible because it makes me feel better.”

The support system she has is what motivates her to continue her deep interest in writing.

It’s insane. My parents are crazy supportive about it,” Barker said. “Ever since I was little, they have bought me notebooks to write in.”

Healthy surroundings helped maintain Barker’s dream in becoming a famous author. 

“My dad submitted my manuscript, so he was the one that pushed me to do it,” Barker said.

Writing soon became Barker’s hobby and something that she could fall back on.

“I feel like I’d get really bored because writing is the only thing I know and it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do,” Barker said.

Writing has had a multitude of effects on Barker’s character, and who she is today.

“I have formed a deeper connection with myself,” Barker said.

The mysteries of the future for Barker’s writing won’t reveal itself, but her drive for success will lead her to the top. 

Her deep admiration for writing and realistic fiction surely won’t be heading away anytime soon. 

“I can’t see anything except for writing,” Barker said.