When Cole Collins was assigned a five-page essay to write for his English 102 class at Centralia College last year, he didn’t expect to write the outline for a book.
But after he received an A grade on his essay and positive feedback from even professional writers, he began to gradually expand on his paper, ultimately writing a 68-page book titled “Greed.”
Collins, a 21-year-old who graduated from Centralia College in March with a degree in media studies, started writing the book at the beginning of this year. Copies of the book were first printed in April.
“I spent four months for the story and one month for the book cover, so five months in total,” said Collins, who went to school in Rochester before attending Centralia College. “I had to go back into the essay and fill in some gaps and take into account the audience and the age group I was trying to reach.”
Collins said he tried to keep his book short so it would be easy to read, adding the book is a good length for reading on a car ride.
“Greed” brings together history and Greek mythology, two of Collins’ favorite subjects to study in school. In the book, the Titans created a corrupted power during a mythical war with the gods, which they then sent to earth to keep away from them. The book then follows German attempts to wield the Titans’ hidden power during World War I and the attempt by archaeologists to stop them. Collins sets the book in real places and during real events.
“It was interesting, because I had to take into account the real people … I had to take into account the different audiences,” Collins said.
One setting used in the book was Lubeck, Germany.
“(Lubeck) was completely destroyed and its geographic location was the perfect place for a tomb. That’s why I picked that area,” Collins said.
Luckily for Collins, when writing about the historical and mythological features of his story, he was able to rely on his knowledge of the subjects.
“I loved learning about the wars, World War I and World War II,” Collins said. “I come from a military family. I just like watching war documentaries.”
But despite his knowledge of history and mythology, Collins said writing his book was still difficult.
“I didn’t realize how much went into a book until I actually wrote it,” Collins said. “Writer's block is definitely a thing.”
Collins did get some help writing his book, however.
Darcell Scott, the director of student success at Centralia College, helped peer review “Greed” for Collins.
“It was a joint effort,” Collins said.
According to Collins, part of what has driven him to write his book is a desire to accomplish things in his life. Collins, who has muscular dystrophy, said people with disabilities often don’t get the chance to make a name for themselves.
“For people in my situation, with a physical disability, they don’t leave behind a name for themselves,” Collins said. “I want to leave behind a legacy. I want to get my name remembered.”
So far, Collins’ book has been a success. Since he began selling copies in April, three batches of the book have been sold.
“People just want books, books, books. What do I do?” Collins said.
“Greed” can be purchased for $10 at Book ‘n’ Brush in Chehalis and may soon be available on Amazon and IngramSpark.