LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Many teenagers who graduate are just starting to try to get their name on the map.
One Angelina County homeschooler has already done that. His name is Joel Schlaudt, but pen name is Ransom Grey, and his first published book, "Days of Elijah," will come out this fall.
He's only 18. East Texas News caught up with the Lufkin teen Monday to talk about his journey, one that started when he was 15.
"It has a very engaging storyline, very suspenseful at point," Grey said.
It's not the work of a New York Times bestselling author, but one day it just might be.
"It's geared towards teenagers," Grey said. "It deals with a lot of issues I see facing my generation. I started when I was 15 and took a break for a couple of months and then started again at 16 and hit it hard and finished it."
Grey and his sisters have grown up reading works such as the "Lord of the Rings" to "Narnia" to "Tom Sawyer."
Even with a lifetime of reading, his sister Jennifer was surprised to see the finished work.
"He brought it to me, and I was very impressed that someone at that age finished a project that big," Jennifer said.
So was Ransom.
"I look at it and say, 'How did I do this?' I really don't know, except with the grace of God, how I could pull this off."
The hardest part of the process was accepting criticism from the publisher.
"It's your baby almost, and you've worked on it, then somebody else comes through, but it's a lot better now ," Grey said.
And as good as Grey is with the pen, he has other life goals.
"I'm looking at graphic design," Grey said. "I want to keep up writing on the side if I can."
As he prepares to start classes at Liberty University in a few weeks, the National Merit Scholar and published writer hopes to share words of wisdom with other young writers.
"It doesn't matter who you are, or where your parents are from; you can just tell your own story, something that you came up with and that's really all that writing is," Grey said.
You can follow him on twitter @RansomedGrey.
You can also Contact him through email: email@example.com.
Grey also has a website that will launch in the coming days.