A prolific author with a wild imagination, a flair for narration, and a distinctive voice, Rye Neck grad Sheena Hutchinson now has three books under her belt.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
A prolific author with a wild imagination, a flair for narration, and a distinctive voice, Rye Neck grad Sheena Hutchinson now has three books under her belt. “Discovering April”, a romance novel about a young woman who survives a downward spiral was released earlier this month.
“Every girl goes through something and they need to know things happen for a reason,” remarked Hutchinson, “They need to see there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
This new genre for the 18-25 demographic is a departure for the 28-year-old author of the “Seraphina” four-book young adult series about angels. So far, “Seraphina: The Awakening” and “Seraphina: Initiation” are in print and she’s working on “Seraphina: Vengeance.”
Having published her works through Amazon, the entrepreneur joins the ranks of today’s scores of self-published authors, who promote their books through social media and captivating websites. At sheenahutchinson.com, the storyteller’s marketing savvy is evident with seductive book teasers, fun facts, and outtakes from her books.
“I realize millions of books are self-published, but it takes a real artist, a real voice to create books with meaning. I aspire to write books that connect universally with readers of all ages,” she said. “I like interacting with them and with other authors through my website.”
Three years ago, Hutchinson published her first book after extensive research by enrolling in Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Select. As for her book jackets, she couldn’t afford to hire a model, so it’s her own image on the “Seraphina” covers.
“When I held my book in my hands for the first time, it made it real. It was a big deal,” she recalled.
Never intending to pursue writing as a career, the 2004 Rye Neck High School alumna went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Lehman College. She attributes her writing discipline to the multitude of required psychology research papers. It was her Rye Neck teachers, she said, who prepared and pushed her to continue her education.
“Finding a notebook from when I was in high school with little short stories gave me confidence because it showed me I was doing this for awhile,” she said. “I’ve always loved to write, but my work didn’t result in an actual story until three years ago. I had a dream one night and now I’m two books in.”
Though Hutchinson’s tale about Seraphina Cross, a fallen angel who diverts an auto collision with her power, had its inception in her sleep, the momentum hasn’t let up. It’s not unusual for the writer to get an idea before going to bed and fill a notebook before morning.
“Discovering April” is more grounded in reality and contains more mature subject matter. Although Hutchinson hasn’t hit the bestseller list yet, her Amazon sales have been consistent. She is hopeful that she can quit her day job one day, actually an evening stint in medical billing.
In June, she will be selling and signing books in Nashville, Tennessee. A UtopYA Conference features young adult and new adult fiction writers and attracts devotees of both genres.
In addition to working on the next Seraphina installments, the creative author is working on two dystopian novels as well. “I’m taking my time with these,” she said. “I see scenes in my head and I keep putting them down on paper.”