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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Senior author dives into writing career with newly published fantasy novel

The+first+novel+of+author+Kerri+Allred%2C+published+under+the+pseudonym+K.L.+Beckman%2C+is+now+for+sale.Allison+Bradshaw+%26%238212%3B+The+Battalion

The first novel of author Kerri Allred, published under the pseudonym K.L. Beckman, is now for sale.

Allison Bradshaw — The Battalion

Senior Kerri Allred made her debut in the publishing world with her Jan. 1 release of her mythology and fantasy packed fiction novel, “The Grimsah Forest.”
“The Grimsah Forest” is part of a relatively new genre called new adult, Allred said.
“A reviewer said it was kind of a mix between the Hunger Games and Percy Jackson,” Kerri said. “It’s basically just there’s this war going on with the gods, it’s got a lot of Greek mythology in it, and there’s this war going on above and you don’t know what it’s about. It’s told from the perspective of this girl who’s really trying to find herself and basically the whole book, it all comes down to this girl and the whole fate of the world is on what she decides.”
Kerri, who uses the pseudonym K.L. Beckman in her writing, is a violinist and pianist with the A&M orchestra and is pursuing music and anthropology degrees. Kerri said she became inspired by anthropology classes at A&M and incorporated much of what she learned in these classes into the book.
“I took a mythology and folklore class and that was just fascinating, just the things that people come up with to explain things,” Kerri said. “And so I wanted to take that and run with it. It also has a lot of religious themes; it doesn’t stick just to Christianity.”
Kerri mother Alexandra Allred, Class of ’91 and former Olympic bobsledder, said when her daughter was 10 years old and inducted into the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra as a violinist, she was diagnosed with synesthesia, a condition that caused Kerri to see colors when she heard music.
“This was undiagnosed for years and so we think now she may have somehow heard classical music and saw colors which is why she wanted the violin,” Alexandra said. “She was a competitive fiddler all before she was a teenager. So I kind of feel like she was meant for the arts all the way around. This is just her.”
Kerri originally wrote the book when she was 16 and just recently returned to it this past summer. Allred said she began reaching out to publishing houses shortly after.
“What you usually do is you write a query letter which is basically, ‘Hey this is what my book’s about and I’m proposing this to you because…,’” Kerri said. “You usually try to aim at different publishing houses that are known for different genres.”
With the help of authors within her family, Kerri pitched her fantasy themed book to the Next Chapter Publishing House, which agreed to publish it.
“I’m really lucky because my grandfather is an author, he does military history, and my mom is an author and she does sports and nutrition and nonfiction,” Kerri said. “And I do fiction, fantasy. So I was really lucky that I had relations with other authors and so I got involved with them.”
Kerri said it’s fairly unusual for an author as young as she is to have a work published. Kerri said she’s looking forward to beginning her book promotion without being classified as a student writer.
“I think it will change perspective of me because you hear ‘student writer’ and you think ‘Oh, not quite there, not quite mature, not quite polished,’ but I think once I get out I’ll be taken more seriously,” Kerri said.
Alexandra said she’s told her daughter the writing industry is a diffucult one and must be pursued with passion and vigor.
“Of course I give this advice to my kid and she gets published right off the bat, but I wanted her to understand that this isn’t American Idol and you get on stage and belt out a few songs and the world loves you,” Alexandra Allred said. “I wanted her to understand that you’re doing this because you love it and you may get rejected 17 times over but that’s okay.”
Kyle Beckman, Kerri’s fiancé, was the first person to read Kerri’s original story their freshman year of college. Beckman, whose name was the inspiration behind Kerri’s author name, said he gave the same advice to Kerri.
“I know she had a bunch of people continually tell her ‘no’ and they didn’t want to publish her work, but I just told her to keep going and keep trying and it’ll work out eventually, which it did,” Beckman said.
“The Grimsah Forest” is being sold online on Kobo.com, iTunes, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Kerri and her PR team are working on scheduling book signings this spring on campus in the MSC and in Academic Plaza.
“I’m definitely going to rely on the Aggie community for sure,” Kerri said. “Right now it’s not in book stores, it’s only online because I am new and it’s a new book. So I really want to rely on my friends to write reviews because the more reviews that are written and the more books that are sold, stores are going to say, ‘Hey this book is gaining momentum, I’m going to put it on my bookshelf.’ And then that’s when books explode.”

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