WHS student writes first book - Republic-Times | News

WHS student writes first book

By on October 10, 2012 at 10:10 am

New author Weston Liefer holds up a copy of his first novel, A Spartan’s Journey: The First Strike! (Teryn Schaefer photo)

This week, Waterloo High School student Weston Liefer released his very first novel, A Spartan’s Journey: The First Strike!

Liefer said it has been a long road to him becoming an author.

“My dad read me Lord of the Rings when I was a child,” he said. “I didn’t exactly understand it, but the thought of all of that coming out of someone’s mind…”

Liefer says the idea of the book just came to him. He began writing the historical fiction novel based in ancient Sparta during the invasion of the Persian Empire in eighth grade, after sparking his interest in the period during history class.

“It’s been a long process,” he said.

This process began with a different original story than he wrote in eighth grade and submitted to his current publisher, Tate Publishing and Enterprises in St. Louis. The book made it to the later stages in the publishing process, but Liefer decided to re-write the book after contacting David C. Jacobson, a Spartan historian in California, who pointed out the original version’s historical inaccuracies.

“I tossed that whole thing in the trash and started completely anew,” Liefer explained.

Two years later, all new character names, experiences and hundreds of edits later, Liefer submitted the book for final review in July of last year. The following February, Liefer received the hard copy of his book.

“You see all the work and all the time you put into it, and before it’s just been on a screen, you wrote it on loose leaf paper as ideas and to actually get the hand-held copy bound and covered with your name on the front. It’s just an unbelievable feeling,” Liefer said.

The WHS junior has so far received positive feedback.

“People initially said, ‘Wow that’s amazing, you are 16 and have written a book.’”

But Liefer says writing has been the easiest part of the journey.

“It’s actually the hardest in the publishing process, marketing it,” Liefer said. “With marketing it is basically all on you. You literally have to tell people personally that the book is available.”

So now, Liefer embarks on the journey of publicizing his book.  His first book signing will take place at Morrison-Talbott Library in Waterloo on Nov. 17.

He hopes to promote this book to the point that will allow him to write a sequel. But he does so with the goal of improving his writing through the feedback he gets from A Spartan’s Journey.

“If they just tell me its good, that doesn’t help me in any way,” he said. “I am not getting anything from that.”

Liefer hopes to continue writing books as a hobby, but his true passion is history. He would like to become a historian and major in the classics in college.

Until then, he says writing another book is “all about getting that chance.”

A Spartan’s Journey: The First Strike! is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at tatepublishing.com/bookstore, or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.


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Teryn Schaefer

Teryn was born and raised in Waterloo, growing up watching local sports and Mon-Clair baseball. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School and loves cheering on her Tigers any chance she gets.