Being in a time of many changes, LSU English sophomore Kelsey Villeret shared her life story through the lens of poetry with her first published novel “Efflorescence.” The novel contains themes of mental health, body image issues, and simple teenage trials and tribulations that are very common among Villeret’s targeted demographic.
“I started writing [Efflorescence] when I was about 15 years old, and it was like my journal for three or four years," Villeret said. "I had poems written in notebooks from my AP American History class, some stuff in my notes app, some stuff on my laptop.”
As a Reserve, Louisiana, native, Villeret chose LSU to pursue her degree in English with a concentration in creative writing due to the personal connection she has with her brother being an LSU alumnus.
“Efflorescence,” which is French for “to flower out,” quite literally has the captivating effect of transitioning towards different periods of life that include both the highs and lows. The intimate and personal details that are found are beautifully represented in verses. However, being such a deep memoir into her life, Villeret does discuss the initial idea of publishing the novel to be very nerve wracking.
“It was definitely weird to let [my life story] go,” says Villeret when talking about the emotions she felt having her first novel being officially published. Finding the perfect publishing company to recast her story was actually quite easy, as she mentions Legacy Book Press LLC giving her access to creative control over her novel. Her publishing company also being a “one woman show,” as Villeret describes it, was something that she was very interested in as well. “[My publisher] pretty much gave me full creative control. I even got to design my own cover...and at the end of the day I pretty much got what everyone wants.”
Even though the pandemic caused a setback in the release date, Villeret used that time to put everything together and perfect her work. During the pandemic, Villeret says the work on her novel mainly included compiling and editing.
When asked to give a one-liner of “Efflorescence,” Villeret said quite simply that “it’s a mirror into who I used to be.”
Villeret also said that she is also planning on creating the sequel for “Efflorescence” that picks up where the first novel left off which will focus on college experiences instead of high school. She is also working on short story pieces and a fiction novel that will hopefully be completed by the end of this year.