Student Spotlight: Summer Dillon

COURTESY // Summer Dillon

Sonoma State University is flourishing with creative students who are passionate about writing, but not all of them have their own published novel. This is where student Summer Dillion sets herself apart from the rest of the crowd.

Dillon is a freshman currently majoring in English. Home is not too far away for Dillon as she is a Petaluma native.

Dillon began writing in sixth grade and her talent for writing was recognized by her teacher. Her passion for writing skyrocketed during her sophomore year of high school when she was placed in an advanced English course. During this time Dillon began creative writing and challenged herself by taking on more rigorous assignments such as short stories and essays.

Self-publishing your own novel at such a young age is no small task and that is something that Dillon recognizes. The name of her novel is “Las Posadas,”  published in May 2016.

The idea for Dillon’s novel sprouted from her senior project in high school. She volunteered at a summer camp and the forest where the camp was held had a long line of history behind it. A family colonized this forest for the purpose of nature education and over time legends formed of their ghosts remaining.

“I wrote down all of these legends and the history and from that I made a fictional story about four teenagers who encounter all the legends and historical figures,” said Dillon.

A second book is in progress, but still in the early stages of a rough draft. Dillon made it clearthis novel is not a sequel, butan entirely different story.

Dillon’s passion for writing is easily recognized by her friends and family through her description of her love and dedication for writing.

“Summer’s determination and versatility in her writing is going to take her far in the field and will take her to places she never thought possible,” said Samuel Gardella, Dillon’s boyfriend. 

Ten years from now, Dillon sees herself graduated with a teacher’s credential. However, her dream is to become a writer and publish as many book as she can. 

Just like any writer, Dillon looks up to writers for inspiration, such as Alice Sebold and J.K. Rowling. Her biggest inspiration is her mom, Crissi Langwell, who also happens to be a writer and has published five books.

“Summer has a natural ability with writing. It might be because she has been an avid reader since she first learned how to read,” said Langwell. “Or it might be because she came from a line of writers. But I’ve always loved reading Summer’s writing and I admire her way with words.”

Writing plays a significant role in Dillon’s life and naturally like every student or writer, writer’s block often gets in the way of completing a task.

“I’ve noticed whenever I get really frustrated with my school work or have a hard time writing a paper, even if it is an objective paper, I find that writing a poem or short story really helps me think better, it clears my head so I can go back to my actual school work with a clear mind,” said Dillon.

As of now, Dillon is planning to continue working on her second novel as well as writing creative pieces in her free time, which is what she enjoys most.