Rylee Goodman is currently a senior studying communication and will graduate at the end of this semester. She switched majors a lot because she was unsure what path she wanted to take. Her passion for writing and editing led her to choose communication and stick to it. She loves writing so much, in fact, that she is presenting her first published book of a trilogy, called “The Crowning” at the senior showcase.

Unreleased hard cover copies of Goodman’s book, “The Crowning.” Photo credit: Isabel Igwe.
Unreleased hard cover copies of Goodman’s book, “The Crowning.” Photo credit: Isabel Igwe.

The soon-to-be graduate reported that she’d been working on the book since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and was inspired by The 100, a television series.

“The only reason that I was able to finish my book was because I had watched the final episode of The 100 and was disappointed,” Goodman said. “The way the series was drawn out for seven seasons, and I just thought to myself, ‘if they can’t do it right I’ll just do it myself.’”

Three years later, she’s been able to iron out storylines, have people read it and get feedback. She’s excited to see where it goes.

“If you have a passion, finding a support circle is the best thing you can do,” Goodman said. “Relying on other people to help make your dreams come true will never prove futile.” Her support circle consists of her friends, roommates, family and high school teachers with whom she still keeps in contact. 

She gave some insights into her book. It is young adult-friendly and is written in older English. It’s Nordic-based, mixed with Scottish, which is pulled from her heritage. It contains sword fighting and magic, which are fantasy elements. She also used elements of the supernatural and some romance. The Chronicles of Narnia, a book series adapted into a movie series, inspired the characters she created.

“I feel my book is still very unique, even though most of my inspiration was from the sagas and characters in Narnia,” Goodman said. “It has its own unique twists and personalities, and I’m proud of it.”

Goodman said that she mostly wrote in her free time, but also had to make time for it with her busy school schedule. 

Growing up, she moved around a lot because her dad was in the military. Goodman has lived in New Jersey, Virginia, Arizona, North Carolina and Japan. She said that constantly being moved around has helped her “become more rounded as an individual and better connect with people.”

It has also made her Rexburg experience better. 

“I remember it was hard for me to click with the people here because of the culture shock and church bubble,” Goodman said. “I was mostly surrounded by non-members back home in North Carolina, so coming here proved hard to settle in and find friends, but miraculously I found a lot of people with the same interests and similar personalities. My time here became a lot more bearable because of them.”

She also grew to love the school due to the one-on-one connection she found with students and teachers. She explained that this feeling came about because she noticed that BYU-I wasn’t like other schools, where prestige and status were paramount, but rather the well-being of students and professors. It’s a kind and loving school that she holds dear to her heart.

She spent most of her days introverted and cooped up in her room, working on her book, except for the spontaneous nights she had with her roommates. She shared that that was the best kind of night. 

Goodman also said she developed empathy working as a tutor. 

“Being a tutor and meeting new people has made me more understanding of their circumstances rather than before,” Goodman said. “I have been able to step into their shoes and connect with them, as well as finding common ground amidst all the differences we possess.”

For a period of time, she worked as a copy editor for Scroll. She shared that her experience was memorable and she got to meet amazing, creative people — people who respected each other.

Her advice to her younger self would be to take it easy, to have fun and to relax. Do things in moderation and accept things for what they are. She conveyed that she wanted to make so many changes to her book, but understood that changing things doesn’t always guarantee satisfaction.

“It’s finding satisfaction in the now that’s going to give the most content, happy experience,” Goodman said.

She’s especially grateful to the professor of the professional writing course she took. Goodman stated that, as a result of that class, her confidence in her writing kept growing. She also said that she felt seen and understood and learned to stop tearing herself and her work down. 

She mentioned working towards a job in a publishing house after school, but her all-time dream is to become an author, travel the world, get inspiration for her writing and write all kinds of stories that could impact people in many ways. 

Goodman’s e-book is available for purchase on Amazon.