Sarah Burns graduated from Millersville University last month as a published author. Burns, who received her bachelor’s in Media Arts Production wrote the science fiction novel, “Earthly.” It was published on Amazon in April.
“It’s called Earthly, and it’s about a girl who has to time travel with her friends to find this special stone that controls the fate of humanity, all the while being chased by a fire lord and his army of robots,” says Burns.
Burns started writing in middle school after reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Inspired by the worlds that Rowling created through her writing, Burns began to create characters and storylines that mirrored the fantasy nature of the works she admired.
She began writing “Earthly” in 2017 after taking a European history class at her high school and spent three years playing with plots and characters. When Burns started at Millersville University, she enrolled in a creative writing course that prompted her to finish her novel.
Burns was drawn to science fiction writing after reading dystopian novels while in high school. “The science fiction genre has so many open elements. You could really incorporate any genre into science fiction. You don’t lose the sense of adventure the whole way through because anything can happen,” says Burns.
Through writing “Earthly,” Burns was challenged creatively and academically as she incorporated what she was studying in class into her writing. “I think my journalism degree and my writing skills that I was able to learn at Millersville helped me look back at what I wrote in high school and edit it to make sure it sounded more professional,” says Burns. “As I grew in the more journalistic side of my education at Millersville, I realized how important it is to make sure you diversify yourself as much as possible because that’s what helps you get hired in the future.”
Burns carries creative wisdom and freely offers creative advice to her peers. “You can literally find inspiration anywhere and it’s probably going to strike at the most random and inconvenient moment,” says Burns. “I would often find writing inspiration when I was at work for my job in high school, which was as a line server. I would be scrubbing down a table and be like, ‘hey, I should really put that in the book,’ or I’d learn something in my European history class and have to go write about it immediately.”
“Earthly” was finished last spring, at the height of quarantine. Burns says, “Being creative is one of the best things you can do, especially in the current situation that we are in. Staying home and figuring out your interests is a really great way to combat global pandemic boredom.”
According to Burns, there may be a sequel on the way. “I actually owe it to my readers to write a second one because I left it on a cliffhanger which is horrible to do.”
In addition to her writing and academics, Burns was heavily involved in MUTV, Millersville’s student-run newsroom. “MUTV gave me a lot of confidence to put myself out there more in terms of my creative integrity,” says Burns. “As I dive more into my career in broadcast journalism, my voice will definitely have a more mature sound, especially in my fantasy and science fiction writing.”
“Earthly” is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback and ebook.
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