Walled Lake Northern alumna has debut book published by Disney
When Jane Fox walked across the stage at Walled Lake Northern’s graduation in June of 2008, she never would’ve imagined becoming an author. However, this coming July, her debut book, Rise, is set to hit the shelves.
Rise takes place at Chicago’s famous Ravenswood Medieval Faire and is about the youngest member in a family of Valkyries, Bryn Martel. When Byrn’s mother goes missing on a mission from Odin and a half-giant crash lands on her doorstep claiming Ragnarok is coming, it’s up to her to stop it, with or without the help of her sisters.
“It’s basically my love letter to adventure movies, so people who are fans of The Mummy or Pirates of the Caribbean might really like it,” said Fox, who goes by the pen name of Freya Finch. “It’s more of a fast, actiony beach read, and hopefully it makes people have fun while they are reading it.”
Fox partnered with Disney to make her young adult fantasy inspired by Norse mythology a reality. When Disney put out a call for a book about Valkyries, Fox jumped at the opportunity to pitch her idea. She then put pen to paper and completed the entire book in November of 2022 as part of National Noval Writing Month. Roughly six months later, the edits were complete, setting up a summer 2024 release of her book.
“It’s a dream come true, honestly,” said Fox with a big smile. “Even seeing the cover for the first time, it was like getting punched in the face.”
“It popped up in my inbox and I was like, oh this is like really happening,” joked Fox. “They’re not saying sike at the end of this.”
Fox, who now lives in the mountains of Poland, first fell in love with writing when she was a teenage at Walled Lake Northern.
“I took AP Literature with Mrs. Hagen and English Literature with Mr. Brown, and those classes really got me interested in the idea of writing, but at the time I didn’t think it was a career option,” admitted Fox. “It’s been quite a journey, but honestly I look back on those high school years of really sitting down and figuring out how stories worked, figuring out characters, figuring out themes and symbolism, and that was very important to me.”
When Fox graduated high school, she moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University. Fox earned her Bachelor’s degree in screenwriting and digital cinema and initially planned to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film. However, she decided to remain at DePaul and get her Master’s in writing and publishing. Ten years later, Fox is eager for her debut release on July 2, 2024 and hopes her journey will help inspire the next generation of authors.
“You never know unless you try writing something, and you’ve just got to keep working at it,” said Fox. “If you’re following your dreams of being an author, just do it, keep going and don’t give up.”