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Community Profile: Western Garfield County Teenagers Use Online Games to Publish Children's Books

Young authors Sophia Wilson (left) and Luana Poston are sitting at the front door of Poston in Silt on July 23 with their book, Spider Friend.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Luana Poston and Sophia Wilson never thought online games would lead to writing children’s books.

It was 2020 and Wilson and Poston were playing a Roblox role-playing game that allowed users to create their own characters. Two of him, now a 13-year-old middle school student and a friend, developed one of their characters him as a spider.

Family friend, publisher, YouTuber/producer, and Aspen High School alumnus Brett Lark suggested one day that Poston consider writing a book.

“I think the spider that me and Sophia did came to mind, and that’s where it started,” Poston said.

Lark’s publisher, Brett Lark LLC, was launched in 2018 and has published several works to date, including a life coaching book written by Poston’s mother, Andreia. All available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

“I think it’s really cool,” said Wilson. “I mean, we’re still young and we don’t see many young people publishing.”

Wilson and Poston’s book “Spider Friend” is about two sisters (Poston and Wilson pretend to be sisters in real life). My sister’s job that day was cleaning. We met a spider while cleaning and eventually became friends.

Poston says: “Especially in the summer, spiders are very helpful.”

The twist occurs when the reader is told that the spider is actually a human boy who turned into a spider because the witch was disrespectful.

“We got the idea from ‘Beauty and the Beast,'” said Wilson.

Wilson and Poston grew up together in western Garfield County, with Wilson attending Rifle Middle School and Poston attending Two Rivers Community School in Glenwood Springs.

When Lark first suggested Poston to write a children’s book, Wilson was the first to come to mind. She needed help writing and editing her story.

“That’s when I got into photography,” said Wilson. “I had nothing at first, so I started adding in a little bit. From there, other characters came into the book.”

Poston said they’re a good mix.

“Because I love to write,” she said. “Once[Wilson]comes along, she’s really good at peer editing. After that, I think it all really ties together.”

Writing a children’s book can be difficult. Crafting a storyline is a tall order in itself, but Andreia her Poston wondered how quickly she could get it done when Luana and Wilson told her they were practicing literary prose for a publisher. I was surprised how long it took.

“I went to work and when I came back I said, ‘Mom, I wrote a book,'” recalls Andreia Poston.

She also talked about how Lark offered Luana and Wilson an indelible opportunity.

“It’s amazing what they can show for the rest of their lives,” she said.

Few people have achieved the feat of having their name on the cover of a book available for purchase on Amazon at the age of 13.

As such, the Garfield County Library publicly highlights its accomplishments. The two of them will be featured at He Silt Branch Library on August 18th at 6:30pm. In addition to meeting the public, Wilson and Luana participate in a children’s book contest sponsored by Lark. Lark is now accepting children’s book authors to participate by messaging him on Instagram @brettlark..

Writing stories is hard, the young writers agreed. I need all the confidence and persuasiveness I can get to write more.

“You have to come up with a whole new kind of genre to make a serial story,” Luana said. “I think it definitely needs some work. Once this becomes more recognizable, I think it’s time to really start thinking about it.”