Quincy University Seniors Pen First Novel
By Roza Panos
During their freshman year at Quincy University, Rebeka Porter and Megan McGee met and became friends. As their friendship developed, they learned that they both had a passion for writing and decided to write a story together.
Now, three years later, the two have used that passion to publish their first book, “Umaric.”
Because they are such good friends, Porter, a Public Relations major and Literature minor, and McGee, a History major and French and Women’s and Gender Studies minor, thought it would be special to publish the book together.
Though this task may sound daunting to some, both students felt confident that their writing was good and could be published.
In fact, Porter says creative writing is a way for her to relax.
The “Umaric” manuscript, which took three years to write, was officially finished on Dec. 31, 2016. It was published Jan. 18 of this year.
Porter came up with the name of the book and the fictional land in which the story takes place. She found herself saying Umaric after playing around with the word utopia.
“It’s like its own little country. I describe it as America but with walls around it,” Porter said.
The book is written from the viewpoint of drastically different characters. McGee’s character grows up in a wealthy family, whereas Porter’s character is extremely poor and faces a lot of hardship in Umaric.
“It’s a very interesting contrast, especially when the characters interact,” McGee said.
The overall plot is about two characters who live in two different districts, and it explores what people in each district think of the other. “Umaric” explores the theme that you can’t make anyone happy unless you make yourself happy first.
Porter’s mother, MaryJo, always told her daughter to use her imagination and to be creative; she feels that knowledge is power.
“I’m very proud of my daughter. I’m hoping she gets more published,” MaryJo Porter said.
She thinks she was an influence to her daughter because she always gave her strong feedback and edited her writing. Both students, however, did the editing as well on this project.
“Umaric” is available as an e-book as well as a physical book.