‘Beyond the Starlit Skies’: Maine author publishes first book

Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 4:29 PM EST
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OLD TOWN, Maine (WABI) - For Argyle’s Bethany Thompson, becoming a published author wasn’t necessarily written in the stars.

It took passion, hard work, and nearly a decade of determination.

“What’s a great story to me is something I’m pulled back to over and over again. I just had the idea of wanting to write a story that would hopefully be that for somebody else,” said Thompson.

Thompson first started writing what would become “Beyond the Starlit Skies” in 2012.

Thompson, a school social worker, didn’t have far to turn for inspiration.

“I read a lot of young adult books, but actually being in the school every day talking with teenagers about the drama of being a teenager definitely carried over into the story,” said Thompson.

She would occasionally come back to the text, but it wasn’t until Maine’s COVID-19 Stay at Home directive in the summer of 2020 when she really had time to dive in.

“I was like, ‘I’ll pull this old book that I started out and I’ll work on that.’ So, that’s when I really reframed it all and finished writing it and got it done,” she said.

That’s when the hard part began.

Thompson says she reached out to about 35 agents in an effort to get her book into the hands of readers.

“I had this one agent that I was like, ‘Oh, this is my top agent, my top choice.’ She was the first person to reject me, so I did get some rejections. A lot of them you don’t hear from. Nobody responds!” Thompson said. “I kind of put it to the side for a while because it kind of disheartened me so much. And then in the fall, I was like, ‘Well, no, I’ve written a book. I should do something with it.’”

She got to work commissioning cover art and learning to self-publish. The finished product finally arrived earlier this month.

“I guess I’m just proud that I followed it through to completion, and I’m just happy with how it came out,” she said.

In “Beyond the Starlit Skies,” the teenage main character, Zadie Weston, makes discoveries during a space exploration that aren’t just physical. By overcoming challenges, Zadie finds her confidence – and her voice.

The moral of the story is mirrored in Thompson’s trek to tell it.

“Just believing in yourself and trusting your gut. I guess just persevering through things and relying on the people who you care about and just believing in yourself, I guess, is just the most important part,” said Thompson.

You can find “Beyond the Starlit Skies” on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

Thompson is also doing a book signing next Friday, March 4, at Maine Jewelry & Art, located at 100 Harlow Street in Downtown Bangor.

That will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

If you’re curious, her second book is already in the works. She hopes to have it completed by fall

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