University Student from Newton Releasing Third Book


Published on December 8 2022 1:53 pm
Last Updated on December 8 2022 1:54 pm


Sometimes college causes students to put their hobbies on hold. But for sophomore Shiloh Drake, her dream of being a published author has become a reality, and she plans to release her third book on Monday, Dec. 12.

Drake, from Newton, Illinois, is majoring in adolescent and young adult language arts (AYALA) at Cedarville University.

“Down Maple Lane,” to be published under the pen name S. E. Drake, follows the lives of Stacie Alwins and Rose Copenhagen, who work as church secretary and choir director, respectively. They go out of state to help Rose’s cousin with a renovation project, and while there, they uncover evidence concerning a cold case murder from eight years prior. Through twists and turns, the two learn the answer may not be what they expected.

Drake has been writing stories as long as she can remember.

“Storytelling has been an integral part of my life from very early on, even before I actually knew how to write,” said Drake. When she was 13, she realized she wanted to be an author.

Though Drake started in the fantasy genre, the book that made her a published author created a bit of a plot twist.

“I’ve always had a fascination with murder mysteries,” Drake said. What began as a practice exercise turned into a novel that Drake's friend, an editor, insisted she publish.

“I never intended to go into this genre,” Drake said. “It’s a big deviation from what I wanted to do.” That being said, her next book will be the third in a series of five murder mysteries.

Her first book, titled “Secrets and Stained Glass,” was published in November 2020, and the second, “With the Candlestick?,” was published in July 2021. Drake publishes through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

Drake’s goal with writing is to provide the kind of book she never had.

“I want to write stories that grapple with big issues and try to answer scary questions thoroughly from a Christian worldview, while giving an accurate portrayal of the Christian life,” Drake said. “Growing up, it was rare for me to find a story that met those needs.”

She now strives to write murder mysteries with a Christian worldview, which emphasizes the value of human life and provides a clear call for justice.

“The murder is never the forefront,” Drake said. “I offer a modern murder mystery that doesn’t have graphic violence, sensuality or nudity, all of which are rampant in modern murder mysteries, unfortunately.”

In the future, Drake sees herself returning to writing fantasy, her first love.

“If it hadn’t been for Lewis’ Narnia, I wouldn’t have wanted to be an author,” she said. “As I grappled with those texts, I noticed literary style for the first time. There was a whole other world of meaning, beauty and style, and I want to tap into that.”

All of Drake’s titles can be found under the pen name S. E. Drake on Amazon.