Former Nacogdoches High School graduate and published author Vivi Barnes talked to NHS students Wednesday about her journey to becoming a published author.
“You can get anything you want in your life,” Barnes told students.
Barnes, who graduated from NHS in 1989, has always loved writing and seriously took up the venture about 3 years ago.
Although the art of writing is a family trait, Barnes admitted that the “Hunger Games” series inspired her to pursue it as a career.
Barnes’ first book, “Olivia Twisted,” — a take on Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” — debuted November 2013. It took her 2 years and 4 months to write; which is relatively fast considering the average time it takes most authors to finish a project.
Despite initial rejections from publishing companies, Barnes persevered and kept striving for her goal.
She never gave up, and learned better techniques by reading other people’s stories.
“The best thing about being a writer is taking those things that mean a lot to you and putting them in your story, “she explained.
Barnes currently is a Communications Specialist at Walt Disney World Resort who found joy in returning to her hometown.
“I’m so excited. It’s my dream because this is the school I graduated from, and I’ve always wanted to come back,” she said.
During the visit, Barnes gave students her background story, read a small section from the book, and answered questions.
“Hopefully, they walk away understanding anything is possible if they work hard,” she
said after sharing her personal life experiences and upbringing.
Barnes advised students to read every day and learn from others, but never let others tell them a goal is unachievable.
District Contact: Rayanne DuChane, communications coordinator
936-569-5000, ext. 8845 (office) or 936-585-1518 (Cell)