Student-author talks journey after book publication

Kaiya Little, Life & Arts Reporter

When she first saw the package outside of her front door, Taylor Franklin said she felt dizzy with disbelief. As she gently removed the book nestled inside and ran her fingers down its neatly bound spine, she saw it — her name staring back at her in fine print.

Novel in hand, Franklin realized her book, a project she started at 15, had finally materialized into a tangible reality. Heart thumping, Franklin said she imagined others holding her work and wondered what they might think.

“I was terrified,” the hearing and speech sciences freshman said. “This is my brain splattered on paper. It’s a look at who I am.” 

Franklin self-published her first novel, “Unscripted,” in 2019. The first of a four-part series,  the young adult romance follows the storyline of two actors who fall in love on and off screen. The fourth installation “Unexpected” released Dec. 16, 2021. Franklin said writing and sharing her work allows her the opportunity to explore herself, destress and make lifelong friends. 

“This character is a lot like me,” Franklin said. “She goes through the same type of self-discovery situations that I had to go through. It was really rewarding at the end to finally release it and it kind of be my story too.”

Franklin’s writing career started with an interest in fantasy but morphed into a love for realistic fiction as she said she began to gravitate more toward romance novels she and her friends like to call “junk-food books.”

“I love the enemies-to-lovers trope. I love the fake relationship trope. I love all of it,” Franklin said. “This is solely junk food. … The world needs more angst and fluff.”

Franklin said many people assume she will pursue writing as a career after college, but she said she  feels more than satisfied with self-publishing and doesn’t want to risk burning out from one of her biggest stress relievers. 

“The book is always just for me,” Franklin said. “That’s why I’m doing this in my free time; because I love it so much.”

For Franklin, one of the best parts of being an author is connecting with others. While she first met Katie McEnroe through her sorority, Alpha Phi, it was not until they met for coffee and bonded over their love for literature that McEnroe said she knew they were peas in a pod. 

“We became close friends because we’re lovers of books, particularly trashy romance novels,” McEnroe said. “Only later did I realize that she actually wrote books. She’s very shy about it.”

Struck by Franklin’s humility and kind heart, McEnroe said Franklin appears just like the perfect characters she creates.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would know someone who’s in college writing and releasing books,” McEnroe said. “It’s really impressive how much she knows, how much she cares and how motivated she is to write everything in her head.”

When Franklin was young, her mother, Wendy Franklin, read books to her constantly and encouraged her to build up her shelves as she grew. Wendy said her daughter’s transition to penning stories herself came as no surprise. 

“It started with reading,” Wendy said. “I always joke that she started writing because she read all the rest of the books.”

Taylor said finding time for her passion amid her academics and sorority activities is a balancing act even she can’t explain. At the end of the day, she said she believes taking the time to write and create storylines teaches her more about herself. 

 “(Writing is) my escape,” Taylor said. “Life is just so overwhelming, but when I write, everything is finally calm.”