Eighteen-Year Effort Leads UWEC Alumna to Publish Debut Novel

Julie Quinn

THE PRINCE WITHIN. Rebecca Le Koshak was inspired to write her book, The Prince Within, 18 years ago. The UWEC alumn was grateful for the help of Allyson Loomis, a professor of creative writing, who encouraged her to "show, not tell" in her writing. 

Eighteen years ago, Rebecca Le Koshak (a.k.a. “R. Le Koshak”) saw a boy sitting on the beach looking miserable. Searching for an answer as to why he looked so upset eventually led to the publication of her first book, The Prince Within.

Falling into the science-fiction genre, The Prince Within centers around a boy named Tiernan who must face his destiny after he discovers his true identity. Koshak, a UW-Eau Claire alum, scribbled Tiernan’s story on whatever paper she could find: the back of a recipe, a restaurant napkin, scrap paper, and – of course – piles of notebooks now chronologically organized into 16 red-and-blue folders by year.

“There were days when I could write 15 pages, and days when I couldn’t write a dang thing down,” she said.

It was never Koshak’s plan to publish her novel. Similar to the parent of a child, Koshak felt protective of Tiernan’s story, but people close to the Wisconsin writer encouraged her to “put it out there.”

“I’ve been private with a lot of my work,” Koshak said. “I had to really let it go, and, after 18 years, that was hard. Putting it in a drawer and letting it sit just wasn’t the way to go.”

I’ve been private with a lot of my work. I had to really let it go, and, after 18 years, that was hard. Putting it in a drawer and letting it sit just wasn’t the way to go.” –Rebecca Le Koshak, author

Koshak received her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from UWEC. She explained her education helped her understand the complex writing process. Koshak credited Allyson Loomis, one of her creative writing professors, for strengthening her writing skills.

“She taught me to show, not tell,” Koshak said. “That was a big one.”

Koshak drew inspiration from her study abroad experience in England, London, Rome, and Ireland when describing settings and objects.

“Having seen a guillotine in person really helps,” she laughed. “It’s way bigger than you think it would be!”

Koshak offered this advice to creative writing students and aspiring authors who dream of publishing a novel: “Just write it. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, just get it down on the paper. You can always come back and rewrite. It’s getting it down in the first place that’s the hard part.”

Koshak’s novel is available on Amazon, Lulu.com, and at The Local Store.