A young published author of two books with plans for more in the works

Since she was nine years old, Chickasaw citizen Kortney Greenwood has been writing every day. Now, all her hard work has paid off – the Murray State College student is a published author of two books and has plans for more in the works.

Kortney says she was first inspired by her mom and her sister, as well as by her own desire to write something specifically for them. So she sat down and the next thing she knew, she had a novel in front of her – and years later, she now has a book series.

The first book, "Change," self-published in 2012, is a story about a teenage girl who has to leave a small town in Georgia for a fresh start in Oklahoma (in Kortney's hometown of Stratford, in fact). What ensues is something that the author describes as a mythological thriller full of action and romance. The sequel to "Change," called "The Challenge," debuted in 2013.

Writing fiction, she says, is most appealing because she doesn't have to follow a certain set of rules. She's able to follow the story and see where it takes her along the way.

One of Kortney's favorite college courses is her Native American Literature class because she gets to read stories from the viewpoints of people who actually lived through the tumultuous history. From her studies, she has learned about not conforming to society's standards and the importance of staying true to herself.

As a Native American writer in particular, Kortney says it's her responsibility to tell the whole story and to write the truth. Being Chickasaw, she says she hopes to leave a mark – knowing that she didn't deny who she was and that she honored her Chickasaw heritage.