Jaylyn Hassan, THS Senior, published his own book, "Street Racing Club", on Amazon.com this year. He is featured in the May 15 issue of Downriver Life section of The News-Herald Newspapers. His book is currently on sale on Amazon.com. Here’s the News-Herald’s story by Sue Suchyta:
Taylor High School senior Jaylyn Hassan is graduating with more than a diploma this year: the published author’s first work of fiction, “Street Racing Club,” is now available on Amazon.com.
Hassan, who said he has been writing since he was 9 years old, said family members urged him to take the next step and write a book, and he started writing “Street Racing Club” during his freshman year in high school, and finished it midway through his senior year.
He said his fascination with cars and racing gave the book its focus.
“The story is a fiction fantasy with its own little twist to it,” Hassan said. “The characters are brothers trying to reach the top of the street racing world. There’s stuff going on, like car thieves, criminals that try to stop them, but they just keep moving forward.”
Hassan said he has a cousin who does a bit of racing, and family members who have taught him the basics about cars.
Other mentors include the teachers who supported his writing and provided feedback, including Ryan Bibbee, Kelly McCausland, James Ostach and Stephen Weatherholt.
“They encouraged me to keep going,” Hassan said. “Mr. Weatherholt has a book of his own published, and he taught me how to get it on Amazon.”
He said he plans to continue writing as he begins college in the fall. He hopes to go to Eastern Michigan University, but is still waiting on his acceptance.
Hassan said he sees “Street Racing Club” as a series.
“I actually have plenty of ‘Street Racing Club’ stories,” he said. “I have two bins filled with notebooks of unreleased material. I have been doing this for years.”
Hassan’s advice for other student writers is to keep at it.
“Keep writing, because one day your day will come,” he said. “Put it on paper. Express yourself.”
Hassan said he wrote out the first draft of his story by hand, then he worked on successive drafts on his laptop.
He said he is excited about the next book in the “Street Racing Club” series.
“I am working on it now,” Hassan said. “I always try to put a little bit of me in the main character, and even into the minor ones.”
He said he enjoys hearing people’s reactions after they read his book.
“It’s fun to hear their reactions, from how it is detailed, to how the story unfolds,” Hassan said. “I like to see them stare at the paper and work their way down the lines, and then they nod at you and say, ‘alright!’”
Hassan said he would like to continue writing, and hopes to pursue his art as well. He designed his own book cover, and hopes to continue his pencil drawings, which he colors digitally.
During the four years he spent writing and revising his book, Hassan admits that there were many times he felt discouraged.
“There was always something in me, telling me to keep pushing,” he said.
He said his staunchest supporters were his mom, his close friends James and John, and his late Uncle Freddy, to whom he read a chapter when the book was in its early stages.
While he hopes to get his book in local stores, “Street Racing Club” is currently for sale on Amazon, for $9.99.