It’s said that the “journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step.”
For Kelly Owens, a local academic turned author, that first step came when she saw that one of her freshman students had written “skip lines” on the back of their hand.
It struck Owens, who is a finished dissertation short of a doctoral degree in English, that this student, prepped for a life-changing educational experience, might be a little let down that this was what college was really like.
That moment made Owens begin to see college through her students’ eyes. And so she wrote down what would become the first paragraph of her novel series, “The College Chronicles.”
“Cadence stared in disbelief at the board’s directions, the ones that accompanied her first academic command of college – compose an essay. Where were the inspiring introductions and philosophical lectures that made professors legendary? Alumni promised four remarkable years, but here she was facing a writing sample and the most pressing issue of the moment was remembering to Skip Lines?”
Set at the fictitious College of Charlestowne (ahem), the chronicles follow the freshman year of Cadence Cooper (double ahem).
Written in her West Ashley home’s office, replete with a beanbag in the corner for the dogs, Owens launched the book online earlier this fall, found a printer, and he and her husband Matt, a former news reporter and college soccer player, launched Boxer Publishing, Inc.
While sales are modest compared to publisher-backed novels, she says she has easily outpaced average yearly sales for self-published titles, and has just begun online sales this week in Poland.
A former bartender at the old Charleston Chops restaurant on East Bay Street, where she earned enough to attend grad school for a master’s, Owens has already written the last line.
She already knows where Cadence’s journey — with pit stops in binge drinking, date rape, and other campus realities — will end. All you have to do is take the first step and go to www.thecollegechronicles and go along for the ride. — Bill Davis

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