What began as an amusing, fantastical diversion between two high school classmates two years ago is now a 244-page paperback novel, with plans for a whole series of titles to follow.
The idea for “Caged Birds” first took flight when seniors Delanie Spangler and Morgan Croft were in Christie Brenneck’s 10th
grade English class. The pair would make up stories about Grasoul, a faraway land populated by characters with magical powers.
“I didn’t really think about it,” Delanie said. “It was just for fun.”
Delanie continued to flesh out the world and its characters, and eventually showed her writings to her mother, who suggested publication. Excited by the prospect, and too impatient to go the traditional publisher route, Delanie decided to publish “Caged Birds” herself, through www.48HrBooks.com. She designed the cover herself.
- Cazenovia High School senior Delanie Spangler (left) holds a copy of her novel, “Caged Birds,” which she dedicated to English teacher Christie Brenneck (right).
Shortly before Christmas, a UPS delivery truck pulled up in front of the Spangler home with a 60-pound box of books.
“It was such a good feeling,” Delanie said. “I almost cried I was so happy.”
Delanie credits Morgan as the story’s co-creator and dedicates the book to her piano teacher and Mrs. Brenneck, “who taught me how to use my mind.”
“She’s my favorite teacher,” Delanie said. “She helps inspire me to create new work.”
Teacher and student continue to work together on the Cazenovia Odyssey literary magazine.
“Delanie is highly creative in her writing, and she’s an amazing artist,” Mrs. Brenneck said. “She can do it all.”
The book dedication, she added, was “such an honor.”
“It makes me so happy to see a student take what we’ve done in school and create something in real life.”