Pandemic proves student has the write stuff

Publication Date

Some people took up cooking or learned a new language. Math major Michael Nyikos ’23 spent part of his pandemic

Sci-fi fantasy novel cover Coson Ledgend

time writing and self-publishing a sci-fi fantasy novel, “The Colson Legend: Ice Queen.”

The story, written from multiple perspectives, follows teen Jack Colson, whose discovery of a mystical ice gem imbues him with newfound powers and launches him on a quest to stop an evil organization.

Nyikos worked with indie publishing house Rowland Publishing of Tallahassee, Fla., and collaborated with illustrator Lainey Rothschild, a classmate from his high school in Somers, Mass., for the book’s cover art.

Here, he shares how it all added up for him.

Where did you get inspiration to write your book?

I am a big movie watcher. After we were sent home from campus because of COVID-19, I had a lot of free time and decided to see if I could write a screenplay. I quickly changed my movie idea into a book, hoping it would be more widely dispersed. Screenplays are harder to get people to read. And then I just started writing, building ideas as I went. It took me 16 months, from April 2020 until August 2021, to complete. I wasn’t working on the book as much during the academic terms, when I had less free time.

What part of the book are you most proud of?

My favorite part is considered to be the “all is lost moment” of the story; specifically, when Jack appears to reach the lowest point on his journey.

Michael Nyikos headshot

Michael Nyikos ’23

What was the most difficult part of the self-publishing process?

Making revisions after the first draft was completed was definitely the hardest part. It took a lot of time and thought. It would be greatly appreciated if readers could give me their feedback, which would be beneficial for my possible future writing projects.

What is your favorite book?

I am much more of a movie watcher, but if I had to choose, I would say “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio, about a 10-year-old who undergoes multiple surgeries to correct his facial deformity.

Where can people buy your book?

Right now, it is available for purchase on Amazon. I am also trying to get it into physical big-box bookstores like Barnes and Noble, as well as local, smaller bookstores.

What comes after Union?

I would like to go into something with business; however, I do enjoy writing and have taken multiple English classes. I hope both math and writing both are a part of my future.