Teen novelist’s character tackles electronic tyranny

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PHOTO BY MEGHAN SCHRADER

Madison Turpin incorporated elements of her earlier work into her first published book, “Wired: The Original Resistance.” Turpin is a senior at Leo Jr./Sr. High School.

Children are often asked what they want to do when they grow up. Often, those dreams are forgotten or not followed through with. This was not the case for 18-year-old Fort Wayne native Madison Turpin.

“It was a passion of mine, definitely, from the start,” Turpin said, adding that she began writing at age 5. “When I was 11, I told my parents I wanted to publish a book before I got out of high school.”

And that she did. Her first book “Wired: The Original Resistance” was published Dec. 6.

Turpin began writing her book at age 14, pursuing her dream to have it published before she graduates from Leo Jr./Sr. High School this spring.

“Wired” is a futuristic, science fiction novel which follows the journey of Bree McAnderson as she navigates a world dominated by electronic devices all produced by a single company. What seems like an age of great technological advancement has a dark secret as these electronics start to take over the minds and bodies of all human beings. Bree joins a rebellion dedicated to ending the electronic company and its devices’ power over humanity, but Bree has secrets of her own.

Turpin submitted her original book to a publishing company at age 16, but was rejected.

“I’m not going to lie, it was kind of upsetting, but I grew from it,” Turpin said. “We all can grow from constructive criticism. Even though it’s hard, you can gain way more than you think. I understand that when you’re taking it in it feels like a blow, it feels like a defeat, but in the end it makes you a stronger person.”

From there the young writer shifted her focus to a more mature audience, pulled her favorite pieces from the original book and started anew.

“This book that I wrote is completely different from the one I thought would be my first novel,” Turpin said. “I was so proud of my first one and I scrapped it to make this and I’m more proud of this, so you really grow from what you think is tearing you down.”

When it came time to get her book out into the world, Turpin’s parents decided to pay for editing the book as a gift to her. This process took a year and a half and included three rounds of editing: grammar, ideas and final copy editing. From there, Turpin used Amazon’s Createspace, an independent publishing service available online, to publish her first book.

“My parents and my friends were really supportive and especially all the teachers who helped me with scholastics and English,” Turpin said, adding that her teachers and the assignments they gave her helped develop her abilities as a writer.

She has been inspired by writers such as J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis and John Green. She also has a deep appreciation for science fiction novels, which is why she chose that genre for her first book.

Turpin had her first book signing at Barnes & Noble at Glenbrook Square mall in January. She donated 30 percent of her profits to charities that deal with poverty, suicide and self-harm awareness, and sex trafficking.

“I’m very much the kind of person who wants to change the world,” Turpin said of her choice to donate a portion of her profits. “I want to pursue something in that cause where I’m actually helping other people not just taking all the profits for myself. Writing is obviously my passion, I think it’s my God-given gift, and so I’m going to use that to give back to others if I can.”

Turpin originally ordered 150 copies for her book signing and sold out in the first week, bringing her total number sold to 200, including online sales.

She plans to attend Taylor University in the fall to double majoring in professional writing and psychology. It’s her goal to be a neuropsychologist while writing on the side.

“Now, obviously, if I become the next J.K. Rowling and it blows up, then I’m just going to be writing as my career,” she said with a laugh.

She intends to write four more books from “Wired,” creating a series of five, in the future.