It took a few days for 28-year-old Brittany Cournoyer to create the perfect character.
She dreamed about a teen girl with a tragic past. She knew the girl was lonely and isolated and would be drawn to a boy who would try to change her.
Those visions were the seeds of Cournoyer’s first novel, “Ultimate Betrayals.”
The book is currently available on the Tate Publishing and Enterprises website (http://bit.ly/VOAolh) and will be officially released April 16.
The Kokomo woman was a substitute teacher at Bon Air Elementary School when the story started to unfold.
Her students were working in the computer lab, and she had nothing to do.
“So I grabbed a piece of paper and started writing,” Cournoyer said. “I wrote the first 10 pages of the book that day.”
She didn’t know how long the book would be or exactly where the story would go. She just kept writing.
Every once in a while she would get stuck.
Writer’s block is frustrating, she said with a laugh. For weeks at a time, she struggled to figure out what would happen next in the story.
By the time she finished writing six months later, the story’s ending had changed, and one of the characters had changed, too.
And it was much more massive than she imagined. The finished product was 550 pages.
“I didn’t expect it to be that big,” she said.
She had written a novel without even realizing it.
The story follows the life of 17-year-old Samantha Stewart. A tragedy turns her into a withdrawn and isolated teen. She has no friends in high school, Cournoyer said.
Cournoyer posted an excerpt from her book online. Character Samantha talks about being a nobody in school.
In it, she says, “I was always invisible in school. You know, the shy girl who always sat by herself at lunch with her nose stuck in a book, who pretended the whispers she heard weren’t about her, when, most likely, they were.”