Kylie Coxon is a published author at age 18

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Kylie Coxon with copies of her new book. Photo by Kylie Coxon

Kylie Coxon graduated from Granby Memorial High School this past June. Her book was selling on Amazon’s website months before she had her diploma in hand.

In Kylie’s words, “During my junior year I was in a really bad mental state, so I turned to writing poetry as a way to help ease my situation. Eventually I had 90 pages of poems, illustrations, and photos that I compiled into a book.” Kylie had always liked writing but didn’t love the grammar part. “Poetry allowed me to be freer.” Ocean is Kylie’s favorite poem. [see inset at bottom of this article]

Describing herself as a somewhat anxious person in general, Kylie found herself beset during junior year by relationship issues: “the typical behaviors one hears about in high school,” as she puts it. Her staunch belief in speaking the truth about situations resulted in some of her peers retaliating with hurtful behaviors.

Kylie stands up to those who bully the underdog. And she dislikes people talking about others behind their backs. Her philosophy is, “Be nice to everyone. Don’t be mean to people who have a different point of view or perspective from yours.” Her candid remarks, spoken aloud in a cafeteria or classroom, often ran counter to the undercurrents of high school culture.

Kylie was 17 when she completed her creation. After comparing several self-publishing sites, she settled on Amazon’s publishing arm, KDP, which required that she must be 18 to publish with them. She turned 18 on Feb. 7, 2023, and the book was published on Feb. 16!

Amazon’s website describes her book:

“Struck: A Story of Getting Back Up is a book of poems, photos, and drawings, all of which have some relation to bullying and or suicide. The goal of this book is to raise awareness of suicide, especially in teenagers. All the profits are going to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a nonprofit organization focused on saving lives. This book is for anyone who has ever had a bad day, for those who are currently going through mental health challenges, and to illustrate the impact of bullying on mental health.”

Statistics about book completion vary widely but there is general agreement that while many may start, few finish. Kylie finished: she faced her issue, created a solution, and jumped through the hoops required of those who choose self-publishing as the way to bring their book to life.

Kylie adamantly states that she did not arrive at a better place on her own: she had help from several sources, including her parents, a favorite history teacher and her best friend at school. Now, she is making new connections in her first year at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, studying International Business and Logistics with Supply Chain Management.

Castine is a six-hour drive north from Granby. Kylie hasn’t been home since June: she taught sailing at a camp she’d been going to since she was four in Kennebunk, Maine and then went straight to Castine. After nearly half a year away, she’ll be back in Granby for Thanksgiving with her family.

Forty books have been sold as of September. Kylie’s goal is to make a significant contribution to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention by the end of this year. The odds are good: Kylie makes things happen.

Here is the link to Struck:

One of Kylie Coxon’s poems.