Purchase photos

Passion for writing spawns novel





Hays author Myron Stenzel has been writing since he was a youngster.

Stenzel gave a short presentation and had a book signing for his first novel, "Keep the Light," on Monday evening at Hays Public Library.

The idea for the book was born 14 years ago when he jotted down the storyline, characters and a poem.

Stenzel thought he'd lost the four pages of notes but found them again in late 2012.

"Finding these notes inspired me to take this chance, and that is what this book is about -- taking chances," he said.

He studied engineering technology and has worked in several engineering fields.

Though Stenzel has a background in numbers, writing isn't a stretch for him.

"I love to see a project come together, and writing is a project. It starts with an idea; it starts with a vision; it starts with hard work."

He found his publisher, Tate Publishing, online after searching for one in the Midwest.

Stenzel was told the publishing house only accepts approximately 4 percent of the submissions a year.

"That's what I wanted. ... I wanted them to give me their honest answer."

Three weeks later, he got the answer he was hoping for.

"Tate publishing believed in me," Stenzel said.

Members of the Hays High School Creative Writing Club attended Stenzel's presentation.

The club was considering year-end activities such as meeting in the park.

"This just seems to make more sense," said Melanie Folkerts, one of the club's sponsor.

Club president Keenan Rohlf said he sometimes lacks motivation, but Stenzel has inspired him to write.

Stenzel advised the members to "keep a pen and piece of paper with you because you'll never know when (inspiration is) going to hit you. Two things you guys need to write: You need passion, and you need imagination."