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Collingwood Collegiate Institute student self-publishes first novel

The 16-year-old is working on a series of fantasy fiction books that were first inspired by his favourite TV show
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Tyler Baz holds his debut novel, Noah's Story: The Prophecy.

Tyler Baz is on a mission to push his imagination past the realm of possibility.

How? Through his writing.  

“The best thing about writing is that you can do things that you can’t do in real life,” said Baz. “Your only limit is your imagination.” 

The 16-year-old from Collingwood started writing four years ago and he has loved reading and telling stories for as long as he can remember.

This February, he made his official debut as a published author with his first book Noah's Story: The Prophecy.

It all started when Baz was in the sixth grade and his English teacher assigned his class to write a narrative short story. At the time, Baz was — and still is — obsessed with the ABC television series, Once Upon a Time, so he decided to use the characters as the base of his story and wrote a piece of fan fiction. 

“Looking back on it, it was a terrible story, but it was the foundation for my novel,” said Baz. 

He realized how much he liked writing, so a year later he created “The Darkness” and started telling Noah’s story using the characters and backstories from Once Upon a Time as the base of the series. 

After gaining some experience, Tyler decided to revamp everything. He started to think that he would like to publish the series one day, so when the time came for him to rewrite the series under his own name, using his own characters almost three years later, he took out the Once Upon a Time storylines and characters and created new ones. 

It took him roughly 30 days to write 59,000 words. 

“I wrote whenever I could. I knew the story I wanted to tell, I knew what each chapter was going to be, so I just wrote,” he said. 

Noah’s Story is about Noah, a 12-year-old boy who lives in the Realm with No Magic. On his birthday he discovers that he is actually a prince and a saviour destined to fight The Darkness that threatens to destroy the realms. 

It is the start of a much larger series, and although Baz already knows how he wants it to end, he isn’t sure how long it will be. 

“I have a lot to write, it is probably going to be years of writing,” Baz said. “But I love the process.”

He said he’s only encountered writer’s block once so far, and it was at the very beginning of the process. 

“I knew what I wanted to write, I could picture it in my head, but it was hard to get it out on the page,” he said. “After I got started it just flowed.” 

On his 16th birthday, Baz was gifted a publishing package from his mother, and on Feb. 4 he officially self-published his book with FriesenPress. 

“When I first saw the physical copy and got to hold it, it was really emotional,” said Baz. “I was really proud of myself.” 

Noah's Story: The Prophecy can be purchased from the FriesenPress website as well as on Amazon, Google Books, Apple Books and Kobo. 

Baz is currently working on the second book of the series, which he said is coming along slowly, and is hoping to pursue a degree in journalism when he graduates from high school. 

His advice for anyone who dreams of publishing a book is to never give up. 

“Just write,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it is good or bad. There will be a lot of bad, but you will get better at it, so you just have to push forward and keep doing what you love.”

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Maddie Johnson

About the Author: Maddie Johnson

Maddie Johnson is an early career journalist working in financial, small business, adventure and lifestyle reporting. She studied Journalism at the University of King's College, and worked in Halifax, Malta and Costa Rica before settling in Collingwood
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