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The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Student Art Spotlight: Shannen Greene

Photo by Shannen Greene
“Similitude”, a book written by WCHS junior Shannen Greene, will be released in late October to early November, and will be available on multiple platforms including Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.

Almost everyone has dreamed of publishing their own novel- eventually scraping together a few pages with some half-formed plot and partially-fleshed out characters, before giving up and leaving it to be forgotten, never again to see the light of day. WCHS junior Shannen Greene has broken this mold and self-published her own book, with more than 300 pages, “Similitude”.

“”Similitude” is a story revolving around a character called Kaeda, who experiences extreme memory loss and sees her past through her dreams she cannot understand,” Greene said. “The entire book is about her questioning her lack of recollection about her past and her dreams, and how they are influencing her perspective on reality.”

Greene’s writing journey for “Similitude” began two years ago, but she has enjoyed writing for long before that. Her idea to write an actual novel came during the height of COVID-19, when while playing video games with her friends, she brainstormed the first concept and plot twist of the book she would eventually write.

“I remember, before I even started writing my book, I had a lot of little stories I would try and write,” Greene said. “I didn’t want to publish them, but when I first created the psychological twist that makes the whole book, I knew I wanted to write about it.”

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The personalities of the characters in Greene’s book were influenced and driven by the characteristics and traits from both those around her and from within herself. Moreover, the characters in her story, although not completely based on people in her life, approach situations and have similar traits in her book similarly to how people in her life do.

“In the beginning, I didn’t base her off myself,” Greene said. “But she began to mold into me over time. When you have this character you’ve created and you’re making their mind and psychology, you project a lot of yourself into the character. So there is a lot of her in me.”

From experiencing writer’s block to figuring out how to structure her book, Greene faced a multitude of internal challenges when writing her book. She discovered that writing is a hard, arduous process, with no short amount of roadblocks.

“I feel like writing is a process of trial and error,” Greene said. “I had all of these ideas, and I loved all of them, but some of them just weren’t necessary – I just needed to recognize that.”

Greene also faced external challenges from the world around her, discouraging her from the undoubtedly difficult path she was walking down. Teenage authors are not very common, and she realized that many face a societal stigma.

“There is a stigma against teenage writers that they can only write simple-minded books which is very harmful towards teenagers like me who actually spend a lot of time making their books complex and interesting,” Greene said. “People seem to think that teenagers only write books to get it on their resume for college, but that’s not what I’m writing for.”

Despite these obstacles in her writing process, she found inspiration from the great figures of literature, and was motivated to keep writing by the encouragement of her peers and family.

“The actual process of creating it was a solitary journey, but people in my life definitely helped and encouraged me,” Greene said. “I also took a lot of inspiration from the authors and directors I really liked, including Ray Bradbury and Chistopher Nolan.”

In 2023, Greene reached arguably the most exciting milestone: completing her book. Now, she is ready to go on to the next step of her journey: publishing her novel. It will be published in early November, but it will also be available on multiple platforms for pre-ordering on Barnes and Nobles and Amazon.

“I’m incredibly excited to finally have finished my book,” Greene said. “I feel so fulfilled now that I finally published this project!”

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About the Contributor
Olga Engler, Photo Manager
Olga Engler is a junior and is the Photo Manager for the 2023-2024 school year. She enjoys listening to music, drawing, and hanging out with her friends.

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