Liz Crist of Lilburn is a mature, well-spoken 17-year-old high school junior at Providence Christian Academy. As of last month, she's also a published author.
What inspires a young, busy teen to take the time to sit down and write a book? As the daughter of Atlanta Vineyard church Pastor Johnny Crist, she saw many devotional materials that had been sent from other writers.
"What bothered me is that most of these people are older, so how can they advise teens how to handle situations and relationships when things are so different now?" Crist said.
So, she began to wonder - what about a teen writing to a teen? How would the advice differ? How would the topics differ?
Encouraged by Jason Chatraw, fellow church member and owner of Ampelon Publishing, Crist set out to write her first book of devotionals dealing with teens and their relationships. Entitled "Get Real," the book contains chapters that are dedicated to different relationships, such as those with parents, siblings, friends, significant others and other adults.
"The book seems to be very welcome," Crist said. "A lot of people are excited about it."
Several area pastors have already approached Liz about speaking at their churches and to their youth groups.
"I interviewed lots of friends and students, people I didn't even know, to write this book," Crist said. "They really opened up to me. I wasn't surprised to hear anything they had to say, but it was interesting to hear things from a different perspective.
"I learned a lot about myself in doing this. A lot of times I may know what the right thing to do is in my head, but when I write about it, it just makes more sense."
Crist was careful to do the research and writing all on her own. She didn't even tell her parents about the project until her first draft was finished.
"I didn't want people to think: 'Oh, her parents wrote it. She just signed her name to it,'" she said. "They were very proud and supportive of me, though, when I did tell them."
The second book in the "Get Real" series is planned for release in February. There are four or five more books on the horizon, "but I'd love to do more if there's that much interest. I love to write," Crist said.
After graduation from high school, Crist hopes to pursue a career in event planning.
Crist will be signing copies of her first book at Cornerstone Christian Bookstore, 1770 Presidential Circle in Snellville, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 5. To learn more about Crist and her writings, visit www.time2getreal.com.