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WLHS grad releases first novel

n Francesca Varela has dreamed of being an author since she was in third grade


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Francesca Varelas first novel, Call of the Sun Child, is available from Homebound Publications.

West Linn High graduate Francesca G. Varela has published her first novel, “Call of the Sun Child,” through Homebound Publications.

The novel is about Sempra, who has lived all of her 16 years in an enclosed dome called the Circadia Stable Living Facility. It is structured, sustainable and windowless. After the sun grew in intensity, causing society to become nocturnal, it was the only safe place to go. No one remembers the outside world. For 150 years the government has warned them about the sun and savage, vengeful outsiders. There is only one punishment for any crime: to be exiled from the facility.

But Sempra is curious. Beyond those walls, what is there to see? When she and her childhood friend, Alden, discover a forbidden book, she begins to question the facility, and with it, everything she has ever known.

Varela said she was inspired by the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

“As a child I had played in the forest around my house, but after I read Emerson’s ‘Nature,’ the forest transitioned from an imaginary kingdom into a tangible sacred place,” she said. “As I took up studying the natural world I also began to notice what I didn’t like about modern society — the wastefulness, the destruction of Earth’s beauty, the disregard for what truly sustains us in favor of the imagined importance of money. ... In my helpless juvenile state, there was only one thing I could do to rekindle in other people this desire I had found myself — or at least convince them to love the natural world again and to recognize that we can’t live without the sun, the river, the trees or the air.”

And that was to write “Call of the Sun Child.”

Varela studies environmental studies and creative writing at the University of Oregon. She has dreamed of becoming an author since third grade and her writing career had an early start: She had a poem published in the 2002 edition of “The Anthology of Poetry” by Young Americans.

The book is scheduled for release March 7. It can be purchased in paperback, Kindle, Nook or Kobo format. To order, visit homeboundpublications.com or francesvarela.com. The price is $17.95 for the paperback version.

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