DeFuniak teen writes, publishes novel

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McCaid Paul’s ‘The Forgotten Headline’ is available online and in stores.

Annie Blanks @DestinLogAnnie

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS — At just 14 years old, McCaid Paul can add “published author” to his résumé.

The Walton Middle School eighth-grader just celebrated the release of his first book, “The Forgotten Headline,” a thriller novel for young adults. The book is the first in a series McCaid calls “The Summerville Series.”

“(The Forgotten Headline) is about a boy who makes a discovery on his neighbor’s property that changes his life forever,” McCaid said.

The book was at least three years in the making for the young author, who said he’s gone through several drafts and edits before releasing the final product.

“I wrote the first draft in the fifth grade,” he said. “I had (readers and editors) read the work for plot mistakes, character development, that sort of thing, several times before it went to an editor. It was a lengthy process.”

McCaid, who said his favorite subject in school is language arts, attributes his love of literature to his teachers at Walton Middle School and his parents, Darlene and Joel Paul.

“I’ve had some really good teachers who helped to instill in me a love of learning, reading and writing at an early age,” he said. “My mom read to me as a kid and my dad would write stories when I was younger, and that’s really what motivated me to write my own story.”

“The Forgotten Headline” is recommended for fifth- through eighth-grade readers.

Darlene Paul said she’s read her son’s book “about five times.”

“Every time I read it, I think, ‘Wow, he really wrote this,’ ” she said. “It almost doesn’t feel real sometimes. It really is an accomplishment, and it’s amazing just to see him stick with something for so long and not give up on it.”

McCaid said the response to his book so far has been spectacular, and he’s gotten lots of support from his friends, family and teachers. He said he hopes his book will inspire others to read and possibly write books of their own.

“If other kids have been inspired to write like me, I would say believe in themselves,” he said. “It’s a long journey and it does take a long time, but do the research and don’t give up. There are a lot of times when you may doubt yourself, but never give up.”

McCaid’s self-published book was released on Dec. 21. It’s available for purchase on Amazon, Kindle, iBooks and McCaid’s website, It’s also available for purchase at Fisher’s Pharmacy and Goff’s Ready-To-Wear in DeFuniak Springs and at Sundog Books in Seaside.

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