Pensacola teen publishes book, hopes to inspire others to reach goals

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A few months before entering the 9th grade at Pensacola High School, Nicholas Porter dreamed big.

As an avid reader, Porter wanted to write his own novel. Taking inspiration from an 8th grade creative writing project, he did just that.

“One day, I was sitting on a plane, and I had my laptop with me,” he said. “I decided I was going to continue (the creative writing project) because I enjoyed writing it, and I wanted to make it bigger than what it original was.”

Porter took the project, which was only required to be 600 to 900 words, and turned it into “Breakout,” a novel of about 40,000 words.

“(‘Breakout’) is really about a zoo. It’s called the Arena Vieja Zoo … they’re infamous for having all these incredible animals. But what was really happening behind closed doors was a lot of genetic experimentation,” he said. “It was left alone until one day, things went awry.”

Porter said transitioning to virtual school at Pensacola High due to COVID-19 allowed him to finally finish the book after about two years of writing.

“Back (when I started), school was in full force. I had homework to do and I had to study for my tests. It was just a lot going on,” he said. “The only reason I was able to complete it was because of quarantine.”

Porter said his love for writing has grown over the years. He first created a comic strip at the age of 5 and jokes he “sort of” published a nonfiction book about shark at 10.

Writing just felt natural, he said.

“Having continued writing throughout middle school and high school, I just felt like I could keep doing this,” he said.

Porter said he hopes his story inspires others to accomplish their dreams as well.

“If we really dedicate ourselves to something, I think anybody can publish a novel or become an artist or become a musician on the Billboard,” he said. “Just motivation, dedication — I think can take people places that are only in their wildest imaginations.”

Porter said he is already working on a second novel. To check out “Breakout,” click here.

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