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UTM student soon to be published author with story of love

When was the last time you read a good book? Who was it by? Chances are, you’re going to say someone like Anne Rice, Stephen King or Nora Roberts, if that’s your thing.

Well, here’s a new name to add to your list: Stephen Outten. And chances are, this writer isn’t locked away in some remote part of Maine, or living the high life in Los Angeles. As a matter of fact, you could have passed him on your way to class this morning.

Outten is a junior English major from Tuskaloska, Ala., and his first novel, The Shadows Whisper, is due out early this summer.

The novel starts out in 1860’s Lousiana, when two young people meet and fall in love. Unfortunatly, both are killed during the Civil War.

Now it’s present day Nashville. Here we meet Colin, a young man who has no idea that he is a reincarnated soul, nor that his past lover is trying to reach out to him once more.

“It’s got a little bit of everything in it,” says Outten. “It’s a love story, so fans of writers like Nicholas Sparks will like it. But it’s also academic, like ‘The DaVinci Code’, and suspenseful, like John Grisham.”

Outten first started working on the novel in the summer of 2004. “I wrote the first ten pages then just put it down,” Outten says. “Then my girlfriend picked it up and said, ‘You have to finish this’. So I started working on it again, and finally finished it during the summer of 2005.”

Outten finished the novel the day before the fall semester started and finally starting looking around for a publisher. “I had always written with an intent to publish,” Outten says.

Finally, in mid-January, he got a letter from the company Publish America saying that they were interested. Outten went through a couple of revisions before he sent in his final product.

“We’re still working on cover art and pages, but the book should be due out in late May or early June,” said Outten.

“It’s been an uphill climb, but I like a challenge,” said Outten. “I really think this book will appeal to a lot of different readers, because it’s a spin on several different genres. Also, it focuses more on the chracters, because when we read, we read about people, not things.”

Will this be it? Absolutely not. Outten is already working on a second novel, which he hopes will turn into a series.

The English Department will be celebrating the release of Outten’s novel, and you will also be able to pick up a copy from and Publish America’s website.