17-year-old Baton Rouge native publishes first book

17-year-old Baton Rouge native publishes first book
Cover of book, Silence Is What Scream Out Loud
Cover of book, Silence Is What Scream Out Loud

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Breana Cotton sounds excited. "A lot of people have already read my book, I've sold 22 copies already," she says. Cotton has published her first book and it's for sale on Amazon.

"They're saying 'Oh my God, it's so good! They say, 'I feel just like that,'" she says. Cotton says her book, featuring heartfelt poems and stories, is striking a chord with readers. She says, "People have been reading it and say that it's helpful."

The 17-year-old with a brilliant smile seems to have a poet's heart. She wrote her new book, Silence is What Screams Out Loud, because she felt she had grown too mature to be writing in a diary. "When I was younger, I used to write a diary," she says. "Now I don't do a diary anymore. I write poems. In poems, I don't write every word, but I use the phrases to describe what's going on."

When WAFB's Donna Britt asks what the book's title and content means, she replies, "Silence is what screams aloud. Silent is your loudest cry. If you are silent, people know you have a problem. I have a problem venting to people. I'd rather write all my problems down."

This book represents a change in attitude about Cotton's work. "I always was scared to let someone read my poems, but now I've grown used to it and there's an upcoming poetry slam and I'm ready this time," she says. The poetry competition is in Houston, where she moved two months ago to live with her dad.

"This is my first time to publish a book. This is my first time writing one. I always write poems and stories, but this is the first time I've moved to publish," Cotton says. "I have other friends that like to write," she adds. "They are just like me, they write and don't let other people read them. Now that I have published, they are more confident and are offering their poems to read. These are my friends in Baton Rouge, I don't have many friends in Houston yet."

Britt mentions that usually people think it's tough to break into publishing books, but Cotton says she is self-published. "I got it through a free publishing company called CreateSpace.com. I didn't pay anything! All I paid was $2 and that was to get a copy of my book. They review it and give it about 24 hours and it pops up on Amazon. So you can buy it as a paperback or as a Kindle book. The book sells for $16, but I only get $7.45 and I'm really grateful for it," says Cotton.

So now as she waits to see how many books will sell, she continues her senior year in high school. She's an athlete, playing volleyball and softball at Broadmoor Middle and now in high school.

"I got accepted into Texas Southern University. I will be majoring in biology. In the future, I want to go to medical school to be a pediatrician," Cotton says.

9News wishes Breana Cotton success in both her newfound career as an author and as a future pediatrician. To purchase Cotton's book on Amazon, click here.

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