Artist Spotlight: Jessica Lemons


Art by Hailey Boger

The two main characters in Lemons’ book, Cecille and Sam.

Madison Gomez, Reporter

Moving her pencil across the third grade ISTEP essay paper, puzzle pieces started to click in freshman Jessica Lemons’ head. It was just the spark she needed to realize that she loved writing stories, and now, six years later, Lemons is in the process of publishing her own book.

“I’ve always liked writing, especially since I wrote a story in third grade,” Lemons said. “I’ve always wanted to share my stories with the world.”

A year in the making, Lemons started writing her book at the beginning of 2018 and would have started it last year, but she didn’t know all the components she needed to get a book published. Her passion for writing is apparent to her English teacher Brent Bockelman who says that she’s a creative, original and insightful writer.

The two have discussed her book and ways to prevent writer’s block, but reading her work in class, Bockelman can tell she’s a well-read writer. He recommended her to read the same book the AP Literature and Composition classes read for their summer reading, “How to Read Literature Like a Professor,” by Thomas Foster. It’s insightful on analyzing reading, but if one can identify those elements they can translate them into their own writing, says Bockelman.

He has also aided students in the past who have approached him about the same thing but not all of them are in the same spectrum.

“Some of them never reach fruition a lot of times, it’s kind of a passing idea,” Bockelman said. “But I think Jessica is continuing on with it and I think it’s going to reach its conclusion at some point.”

Lemons’ book is a romance novel that deals with a girl turned blind, the main character is a girl who valued her sight and resorted back to the pleasant memories to cheer herself up. After becoming blind, she can no longer feel the memories or see them. She gets in an accident and a boy, who’s a trained lifeguard comes to her rescue, takes her to a hospital and helps her recover and along the way the two grow close because he helps her see again, but not in the same way.

The idea came from Lemon’s view on underappreciated deaf and blind people, she thinks her book will be a good way to show people their true potential through a story that shines light on the main character who struggles with blindness but makes it through her life with the help of another.

To be published, she spoke to her parents about looking for publishers online and once they found one, Lemons entered her information and a brief summary about her book. This later led to a follow-up phone call to learn more about Lemons in general and more about the story. As of Jan. 18, she is waiting on an email to come back from them for more information.

It’s been a long process, but she’s had her parents and friends by her side. Two of which are helping to spread the word about her upcoming book online, where Lemons clears up any confusion about the book. She plans on making a website to accompany the book, but since she says she’s not good with technology, she’s having another friend help her out in that aspect.

“Deaf people and blind people are underappreciated, and how it changes people’s lives,” Lemons said. “(The book) would be a nice way to show people how it does.”