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The Student News Site of Fossil Ridge High School

Etched in Stone

The Student News Site of Fossil Ridge High School

Etched in Stone


Ava Thomas publishes Sweet Revenge, claiming the title of published author

Ava Thomas is a junior at Fossil Ridge High School who published her first book, “Sweet Revenge”, last October. Taking after many other authors, she created a pen name for her writing, Ava Jaylynn; her first and middle name.

“Sweet Revenge” along with digital art of the main characters. (Ava Thomas)

Although this is her first published book, Thomas had written one book prior that ignited her passion for writing.

“I had decided that I wanted to write something that had more substance… characters [that] had darker backgrounds and real world problems and real world traumas,” Thomas expands.

“Sweet Revenge” is based around the main character, Kiki, and her journey through grief and healing from the loss of her family. Thomas used this as a sort of coping technique to help her through her own grief after losing her father when she was 11.

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“I’ve lost family, so I wouldn’t necessarily say [it was] therapeutic but almost just needed for me to in-depth examine a character who was going through what I was going through in some version.” Thomas says.

Her father was a huge inspiration to her. He was a graphic designer and growing up around his work influenced her to design her own art and cover.

She incorporates her father into other details of her book. As a kid, Thomas and her father would pass an empty building every day and ponder all the possibilities for the building.

“We started making ideas of what it could turn into, and we landed upon a kind of café with art and books. So I based that café idea off of that.”

That memory made its way into Sweet Revenge as the Lunar Delights Café; the main character’s favorite spot.

Ziava City, where “Sweet Revenge” takes place. (Ava Thomas)

Her mom on the other hand, Aisha Thomas, is also a published author of the book “The Only Way Through”, as well as Ava Thomas’ biggest supporter. With her previous experience, she jumped at the opportunity to aid Ava Thomas in her efforts to publish a book, especially after reading her previous unpublished book.

“I loved the idea of her writing a book, she’s always been super creative. She’s just always had a gift for it so I was super excited to make it happen,” Aisha Thomas explains.

With her mom as her editor, they both got through the long process of revising and formatting the book.

“Formatting, I thought I wouldn’t survive; it was so intense. It was a very frustrating process, but I was determined to get it exactly how I wanted it,” Thomas comments.

Although the editing and formatting process was long and intense, Thomas went on to say it was not the most difficult aspect of writing her book. Rather, the issues it caused with her close friends at the time.

“They were talking about me behind my back saying how they were worried about me, that I was spending too much time on my book, how my grades were gonna slip and I wasn’t gonna get into college because I wasn’t good enough,” she talks about the wedge her book drove between her and her friends.

However, the reward was well worth it as Thomas describes the best part about writing a book.

“Holding the final copy in my hands. After all that time brainstorming and writing for an hour or more a day and all my writing sprints where I’ll take a week and just write, and all the formatting and the beta reading and the editing and everything and then just having it in your hands and reading your work when it’s fully edited. It’s the best feeling ever.”

Both her mom and her sister, Sahara, go on to encourage Thomas to rewrite and publish her first unpublished book as an addition to the trilogy Thomas plans to create, The Bubblegum Assassin.

From left to right: Ava, Sahara, Aisha , and Davan Thomas

“This one I was amazed with, it was really good. [Even] ten times better than the last book, everything improved… I think her starting with the first book really was a good kickoff to learning how to write and finding her style,” Sahara comments on Thomas’ unpublished book.

In the end, the process of writing a book has its ups and downs, but for Thomas, it was pure excitement. She continues her wonderful journey as she writes her second book, Deceitful Truth.

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About the Contributor
Aislyn McDonald
Aislyn McDonald, Co-Editor in Chief
Aislyn McDonald is Co-Editor in Chief of Etched In Stone. It is McDonald’s second year with the paper and her third year in a journalism class. McDonald is in her senior year at Fossil Ridge High School and hopes to do two to three years at Front Range Community College before getting a photography or business internship. If she continues to pursue a journalism career she would like to be at a fashion magazine or as a travel journalist. Outside of the newsroom she enjoys photography and reading. She recently found her passion for reading after her mom gifted her the book The Ship of Theseus. McDonald is a hard worker who is unsure about her future but is passionate about figuring out what her goals and ambitions are. She is a key part of the newsroom and is gifted in making those who are new to it feel welcome.
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