While most students in their college years are focused on reading books, Natalie Berger is focused on writing her own and having them published. The Ferndale native recently completed her first novel, The Towers, while pursuing a degree in digital cinema at Northern Michigan University. What started out as a short story for a friend in middle school transpired into 276 pages of text printed and bound by World Castle Publishing.
“It’s funny to see it, in a way; to have something tangible that I can hold in my hands now,” Berger said. “It’s interesting, really, and it’s surreal.”
The Towers is set in the year 3011 with the main characters being a community of teenagers who are living in a world with plenty of parties and no responsibilities. There only seems to be one problem: teens must be sacrificed on their 18th birthdays before the city in a ceremony to the gods. The novel dives into one young character’s quest to uncover hidden truths behind The Towers.
Berger described the main characters of her novel as being tailored for the young adult audience because of their role in society: “I have always wanted to write toward the young adult audience because the future really is in their hands.”
As a theater minor at NMU, Berger alsodabbles in writing plays and movie scripts in her spare time. She recently added a creative writing minor to hone her craft. But she was quick to mention that she believes anyone with drive and dedication can be a writer.
“Everyone has some sort of cool little idea that has the potential to be some kind of story,” she said. “I don’t think I have ever come across anyone who is boring enough to not have an idea. Even if you don’t have a whole lot of time, you can put aside a little bit every day to write 100 words, 1,000 words.”
Berger plans to continue writing scripts and novels throughout the rest of her undergraduate education at NMU. She is working on a few novels at the moment, one of which she describes as a “young adult paranormal novel that will appeal to an interesting spectrum of readers—those who enjoy the odd and unusual.”
Her first published novel, The Towers, is available at online reta