Clay Kight and Brian Holt are working to complete and print their second book.
Kight and Holt printed their first collaborative work, “Dear Mom & Dad,” in January. Kight said he began working on “Dear Mom & Dad” last fall.
“Basically it’s a letter from the teenage generation to the older parenting generation,” he said. “Just about the things that are being done right and some shortcomings.”
Kight started work on what was essentially “a rant,” he said, after a day of walking around and recording his observations.
“And then it continued,” he said, “and the parameters of it broadened and developed some chapters and things. It just started rolling.”
Kight said he worked on it off and on for a few months before approaching Holt for help.
Holt said the request for help was unexpected and being asked to help brought a mixture of emotions — “humbling, excited, daunting.”
“It’s really amazing because Clay was one of my world history students, and when you build relationships with people, it’s kind of fun to watch them to see how they grow and mature over the years,” Holt said.
“I don’t think I ever expected in my years of teaching that someone would say hey help me write a book. It’s probably one of the most humbling, but proud moments in my career so far.”
Kight said Holt has been a great source of knowledge during the writing process.
“That honesty has been one of the biggest wells for knowledge too,” Kight said. “Brian’s ability to say, ‘Hey, I’ve seen people. I’ve seen parents and where they fail and where their kids need more. What do you see in the classroom going wrong and going right?’ Because at the same time while a lot of things go wrong, a lot of things go right. It’s nice to be able to say you are doing some things right as a parent, and it’s great to be able to give that pat on the back.”
“Lord knows as a teacher, as a parent you get all the bad stuff. It’s nice to be appreciated and congratulated on actually getting something right every once and a while,” Holt said.
The book the two are currently working on is tentatively called “Walking with God.” For this book ECHS graduate Josh Patterson is also contributing.
“We’ve been going over a lot of ideas,” Kight said. “It’s been interesting. I think it’s been a tougher road than we expected trying to put so many things together.”
Holt said there have been differences in the way the two books have been approached.
“One thing that’s been really interesting with the whole situation is with the first book it was a little more difficult since we were collaborating on that one particular issue trying to make it sound the same like one voice from a teenager,” he said. “The second book has been more interesting because it’s been more of a personal introspective kind of thing. Sharing stories that have impacted us individually, and how God has really effected us through those particular situations.”
Patterson said it has been difficult to make the transition from writing school assignments to writing for a book.
“(Kight and Holt) established a relationship with the first book, and I came in and just contributed some personal stories and testimony for the second book,” he said. “It’s not as large as theirs, but I’m new to the book thing. There’s a big difference between writing a book and writing an essay or school assignment.”
Kight said it has been interesting to see the progress in Patterson’s writing.
“It’s been really great having Josh just to be with us, and to see him go through some of the changes and I can look back and say I had to make that step myself,” he said. “We can see him make a lot of progress.
“It’s also nice because a lot of the things you see printed these days you don’t see a lot of younger people writing,” Kight said. “You don’t see a 17, 18-year-old getting their stuff printed because that may not be necessarily what people are looking for, but everyone needs to have. It’s great to have a fresh voice to have fresh air come about with our younger people writing.”
Holt said even though teenagers may not have the maturity level or experiences of an older writer they still have something to contribute.
“We do have experiences. We do have some wisdom to get out to let other people take advantage of, and not to be taken lightly,” Kight said.
Patterson graduated from Effingham County High School in May and plans to attend the University of Georgia to earn a degree in history.
“(I’m) probably going to end up teaching at the high school level until I get my doctorate,” Patterson said. He plans to teach at the college level.
Kight will be a senior at ECHS this year and plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology to pursue a degree in engineering.
“After that just to pursue a career in that, and hopefully always have the hobby and pastime of writing,” Kight said. “It’s great to say maybe I can change something. Maybe we can right some wrongs, or make a difference.”
Kight said he would encourage his peers who have the desire to write to pursue that goal.
“A lot of times people are going to try to hold you back,” Kight said. “Sometimes you have to have 60 or 70 pages to prove them wrong.”
“Dear Mom & Dad” is available to purchase online at www.khmediaonline.com, and the second book is planned to be available within the next few weeks.