Copperas Cove author shares advice with teens at library
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Copperas Cove author Regina Castillo visited with the group of pre-teens and teenagers during the Teen Group Wednesday afternoon as part of the Summer Reading Program.
Castillo, a mother of seven boys, wrote her first book “Sangre Cove”, a young adult fantasy novel, which was published by Calumet Editions in December 2020. Her book tells the story of Maria, a teenager who was born in the middle of the Bible belt and has supernatural abilities. After her father was murdered and her mother turned to alcohol, Maria was left to handle a centuries-old feud between the Tonkawa and Apache tribes. Throughout the book, she learns more about her abilities and heritage.
During the meeting, Castillo shared information on the steps of writing, from pre-writing and planning out what the author is going to write to the first draft and then revising and editing up to publishing the work.
She also shared information on inspiration and imagery, sharing examples from her own book.
She said she used her older sons as inspiration for some of the characters in her book and used some areas in Copperas Cove and Mother Neff State Park as inspiration for some of the scenes in her book. Castillo also read passages from her book where she used vivid imagery to describe a scene or describe her character.
Castillo said her favorite books include the young adult books like the Divergent series, Hunger Games and the Twilight series. She said she really likes children’s author Jan Brett, whose books are vividly illustrated.
This was Castillo’s first time talking to a group about her book and sharing advice as a published author. Castillo is a teacher and has participated in Writing Boot Camps as an educator, though, she said.
“It’s exciting because it’s the first one so that’s always exciting. It’s a little nervous, but it’s just nice to get kids excited about reading and this group is excited about writing too, so a little bit of both of talking to them about the writing process and then talking to them about reading novels and imagery and different things like that,” Castillo said. “For me, I think, as a teacher, reading is so important for everything.”
Castillo said that different subjects like science and social studies require students to be able to read as well.
“If they read for fun as they’re younger, then it makes it easier when there’s those not so fun texts that they have to read,” Castillo said. “Once they get into college, a lot of the way education is going in the college level, there’s a lot of writing. There’s a lot of papers that they have to turn in, so just kind of starting young and them enjoying it, and then it’s not so daunting and hard once they get into the higher grade. And then the ones that love it or possibly learn to love it and they make a career out of it.”
Library Assistant Karen Eacrett said that Library Director Kevin Marsh has noticed many of the kids who come to the Teen Group during the school year show an interest in writing as well as reading.
“I think seeing a real person, meeting an author, makes the stories alive and not just words on a page,” Eacrett said. “I think that’s really important for them to see that.”
Next week, the Teen Group meets again on Wednesday at 2 p.m. and will learn about Tinker CAD and 3-D printing with Library Director Kevin Marsh. The library has a 3D printer available for the public to use, so the teens will learn more about how they can create their own things with the printer.
The following week, the Teen Group will be learning how to draw manga with professional artist, Mr. Pitts, and on July 21, the Teen Group will finish the six-week Summer Reading Program with a game of Jeopardy.
For more information on the library’s Summer Reading Program or for the calendar, visit https://www.copperascovetx.gov/library/.