by KIM HILSENBECK
Teens have bad days at school. It happens. They may come home and talk to a parent, vent to a friend, go for a run or post something on Facebook. But two years ago when Destenie Moreno, then 12, had a bad day at Wallace Middle School, she went home and started writing.
Three novels later, this 14-year-old author is still going. The first two were published by Author House, a self-publishing firm that was recently bought out by Penguin Group according to Destenie’s mom, Esmerelda Moreno.
“It was the day before Thanksgiving break,” Destenie said in a recent phone call, recalling the incident that spurred her teen writing career.
“The assistant principal yelled at my friend and was rude to her. I couldn’t do anything about it. So I came home and started writing,” she said.
He may not have known it then, but the school administrator was the inspiration for a series of novels called “Prophecy Quest,” about princesses from ancient times who are living in the modern world. The main character, Destiny, comes from a long line of ancestors who have failed to complete the prophecy.
And part of the challenge involves battling, of all things, an evil assistant principal.
“He didn’t seem very happy about it,” said Esmerelda Moreno, Destenie’s mom, who told the assistant principal about the character.
Of her daughter, she said the blossoming writer has a wild imagination.
The ongoing story, which starts with the book “The Painful Truth,” takes place in and around the Kyle area, including a middle school similar to Wallace.
The newest book in the series, “Love Conquers All?”, came out recently. Destenie, who published the books under the name Raquel Moreno, said she can see a big difference between the first and second books.
“I got better as a writer,” she said.
A third novel is written, and Destinie expects that one to be published within a year. Her mom said they have been approached about making “The Painful Truth” into a movie.
“I’m only 14 so it’s surreal,” Destenie said of the books and possible movie. “It’s like a dream come true.”
And while she enjoys writing, the teenager said she plans to attend college to be a pediatric surgeon. In fact, the proceeds from the sale of her books will be the funds she uses to go to, she hopes, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Destenie has some advice for budding young authors.
“Read a lot of books. Write every day. And follow your dreams,” she said.
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