Berwick 8th-grader publishes novel
BERWICK, La. — Parker Felterman is an eighth-grade student who just accomplished a feat most adults will never even consider — he published a novel.
The Berwick Junior High School gifted and talented student said “The Revolver” is a “mystery, thriller and action-adventure taking place in New Orleans in 1984. It revolves around a detective who ends up taking a case and it turns out his brother’s murder, which had taken place a few years ago, was involved. So, it pretty much turns into a personal vendetta,” Felterman, 14, said.
The idea was born of a black and white mystery movie Felterman was viewing which was “really cheesy, really unrealistic,” and he wondered if he could write something better, he said.
“So I just started typing, and now it’s a book,” Felterman said.
The author said it took 14 months to go from idea conception to publication. The first draft took seven months. After that, he said, “it was a whole lot of waiting” for various people to read, edit and make suggestions about the draft.
He said those who helped him along the way included all of his teachers, but specifically gifted teacher Janea Giroir, librarian Lisa Russo, talented teacher Abbie Paradee, English teacher Kristin Percle and reading teacher Dawn Hebert. He also thanked Superintendent Donald Aguillard for assistance with publicity.
He also thanked his parents, Jody and Beth Felterman of Patterson, for their support. His brother, Luke, who is in seventh grade, also was credited with spurring on Felterman through a bit of old fashioned sibling rivalry.
“When I first started, I was constantly writing. I guess it was a competitive thing, really. He said he was going to write a book,” Felterman said.
Felterman is a busy teen. He’s on the student council at his school as well as the track and tennis teams and is a member of Beta Club and the school’s quiz bowl team. He’s a member of talented drama as well. He’s not sure what he wants to be when he grows up, but he said he does have an interest in the law.
“The Revolver” can be purchased at barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com and will be available during two book signings. While the cost normally is $16.95 for paperbacks and $26.95 for hardback, the soft cover books will be $15 at each signing — April 11 at Berwick Junior High, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and each day at the Cypress Sawmill Festival in Patterson April 5 to 7.
Felterman said he would like to offer his book through local stores, but so far that hasn’t happened. His friends say he should look at this book as a business venture, but Felterman said he isn’t sure yet if there will be a second book in his future.
“I’m not really looking at it as a business venture yet though. I’m just looking at it as wow. I’m just so thankful that this happened and so shocked, surprised,” he said.
The young author also has advice for anyone else contemplating writing a book.
“Someone told me a few days ago that they always liked to write, and I gave them some advice … He said he thought it would be impossible to get anywhere with his writing. So, I told him ‘it’s not a matter of possible or impossible. What matters is how badly do you want it and how far will you go to get it’,” Felterman said.