Class of 2024: Self-published author looks forward to new challenges ahead

Class of 2024: Self-published author looks forward to new challenges ahead

T he old adage, bigger is always better, isn't true for incoming first-year student Erin Hilburn. The self-published author knew what she was looking for when she applied for colleges.

"Georgia College won my heart with its endearing personality and intimate setting. I was excited to live and learn in a tightly-knit community with small, intellectual classes instead of cavernous lecture halls and a sweet, compact campus instead of a sprawling mass of impassive buildings."

I can hardly wait to be intellectually challenged again, to have to think long and hard and to have other people to build upon and refine my own ideas.
– Erin Hilburn
Georgia College's unique recognition as the state's 'Public Liberal Arts University' was something that also appealed to Hilburn. She is looking forward to the many academic challenges that will come her way as well as meeting a new community of friends."

"I’m also really excited to live on my own and brave a particularly uncertain and trying semester with my roommates. We might have fewer extracurricular opportunities, but I think that gives us a chance to bond more strongly than we might have otherwise, since we’ll be spending more time together in our dorms," she said.

Interestingly enough however, Hilburn plans to major in art with a focus in graphic design and minor in marketing.

Erin Hilburn holds a copy of her novel, "My Name Is Phoenix"
Erin Hilburn holds a copy of her novel, "My Name Is Phoenix"
"Most people are surprised to hear I am not actually majoring in English. I chose art with a focus in graphic design as my major, because it’s closely related to my literary passion. While I love creative writing, I also love designing novel covers and character illustration based on that creative writing. After designing book covers for myself and a couple other indie authors; I decided that if at all possible, I want to maintain that as my main career and keep my creative writing as my hobby. In my experience, when I set a hobby up as a money-maker, the joy falls prey to the mundane."

In August 2019, Hilburn published her first novel under her sister's and her pen name E.A. Hilburn called "My Name Is Phoenix" which is the first in a trilogy titled "Rise of Phoenix." Phoenix’s story is a tale of tragedy, corruption, destruction and redemption, that ultimately shapes his character into one of the leading heroes in the restoration of the crumbling Pentarealm, an interlocking series of four worlds that function together. 

"My writing is directly inspired by the greatest story, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "My Name Is Phoenix" is an analogy to humanity’s fall, our slavery to evil and the saving sacrifice of our Savior Lord Jesus. I think we can become numb to the story of the Gospel, but by painting it in the story of a character we relate to, cry for, cheer for; I hope to show myself and others just how overwhelming is the weight of Jesus’ love for us," Hilburn said. 

Hilburn is excited to see the impact Georgia College will have on her writing and design work.

"Georgia College provides the personal environment I need both to learn the design skills I crave for cover art creation, as well as link arms with other writers, exchange work and possibly even team up to create a beautifully-designed, gloriously-written work of art."