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Hendersonville teen fulfills a lifelong dream self-publishing his own book

Drake Dyer
Posted at 5:07 PM, Apr 15, 2022

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — How many of us have been told at some point, you're too young to chase that kind of dream?

Drake Dyer is proud of the fact he didn't listen.

The 17-year-old works at Slow Burn Hot Chicken in Hendersonville, when he's not going to school or learning how to drive. Dyer said during occasional lulls in the action, he's inspired by what he sees and hears.

"I feel like I’m an observer, I always take notes and take mental notes about things I see, conversations I hear," Dyer said.

Between those notes and vivid imagination, Dyer decided he had several stories he just had to share.

"I just think it’s important for people to get their words out," he said. "Honestly, I had a few ideas and I thought, you know what, I might as well turn this into a collection."

Inspired by his favorite author, Stephen King, he purchased an old typewriter and started writing and rewriting when he had moments to spare.

"With two jobs along with schooling," Dyer added.

After eight months of work, Drake had a collection of short stories he's entitled "4:46" — in honor of his favorite short story contained in the pages.

"It’s more suspense, mystery with also some science fiction in it," he said.

Writing may have been the easy part. The more burning question would be how to release it.

"Researched publication companies and things that other people my age or older have done in the past, and I just wanted to see what I could do to get this published," said Dyer.

Then, Drake discovered authors can self-publish books through Amazon.

"You get 60 percent royalties and you place it on Amazon and it’s live," Dyer said.

Already, he's sold close to 100 copies and gets to track it in real-time.

"Two months ago I couldn’t even imagine this," he said.

Drake's bosses at Slow Burn Hot Chicken were so impressed they're throwing him a book signing party Monday April 18, from 7 to 9 pm. Drake will have a few books on site for purchase if you don't have your own.

"It’s a little concerning because my signature can be a little sloppy," said Dyer.

Because anyone can "slow-burn" a dream, but it takes courage to dive right in.

"I don’t really expect myself to be the next New York Times selling author, I really just wanted to get my book out there and just show people how I think," he said.

Drake's book is available on Amazon for $15.99.