NEWS

G-A High School alumnus publishes first novel

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

A COVID-19 pandemic job loss came with a silver lining for a 2013 Greencastle-Antrim High School graduate who published her first book late last year.

“Sea Glass” is a story of family, love, loss, restoration and forgiveness by Aubrey (Poole) Fahringer, whose passion for writing goes back to childhood.

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The daughter of Larry and Susie Poole of Greencastle, she lives in the Lancaster area with Stephen Fahringer, her husband of five years, and their son, Caleb, who turns 1 on Jan. 25.

How did Aubree (Poole) Fahringer become a novelist?

Fahringer remembers her father reading her “The Chronicles of Narnia” series and “The Lord of the Rings” trilology when she was little. She was in third grade when she started carrying a notebook around with her, writing spinoffs of those classics. Over the years, she would get in trouble for writing in her notebook during class.

Aubree (Poole) Fahringer released ‘Sea Glass,’ her first novel, in October 2022.

Although the plot would change dramatically over the years, she created the characters for “Sea Glass” while in high school. At the time, she wrote fiction for herself as a hobby. Protective of her writing, she never intended to have her work published.

It was years later and halfway through the novel when she thought, “Maybe I’ll let other people read this.”

In addition to writing for fun, Fahringer was at the same time growing it into a profession. She wrote for the high school newspaper and interned at the Echo Pilot during her senior year, reporting for Greencastle’s hometown newspaper and authoring the column “Poole’s Side.”

“I loved that kind of writing,” said Fahringer, who decided on a career in journalism and majored in communication at Lancaster Bible College, where she was editor of the college fine arts magazine and a writing tutor.

“I immersed myself in different writing mediums,” said Fahringer, who graduated in 2017 and was an editor and reporter for the weekly Ephrata Review for three years until the pandemic brought layoffs to the parent company, LNP Media Group in Lancaster.

Although she continued to work part time as a correspondent for LNP and with Masterpiece Marketing, Fahringer had time on her hands.

“What a waste if I don’t put this time to good use,” Fahringer remembers thinking. She shrugged off procrastinations and distractions and threw herself into “Sea Glass.”

She finished the draft in 2020 and spent 2021 learning about publishing and looking at options before settling on self-publishing through Amazon.

She wrapped up the loose ends a couple of months after her son was born and “Sea Glass” came out in October 2022.

It is available online via Amazon and will soon be on sale at The Bean and Biscuit, a coffeehouse Fahringer loves in Greencastle.

What is the novel about and why is it called ‘Sea Glass’?

Here’s how “Sea Glass” is described on Amazon:

“The old adage promises that time heals all wounds.“But it’s been nearly six years since the tragic accident that orphaned Sean, Ethan, Libby, Todd, and Sam, and they’ve discovered that sometimes, time makes wounds worse, especially when grief is mingled with guilt.“And Sean, who enlisted in the Marines after the accident, is well acquainted with both.“His third deployment ends abruptly and he returns home bitter and broken, where he’s forced to confront the siblings he abandoned and a barrage of memories — memories that slink into his dreams and haunt his footsteps like a shadow at dusk. Memories he can never forget.

‘Sea Glass’ is a story of family, love, loss, restoration and forgiveness by Aubree (Poole) Fahringer, a graduate of Greencastle-Antrim High School and Lancaster Bible College.

“It’s been six years, but Sean can’t make peace with the past. He survived the war abroad only to return home and find himself in the midst of another war — a war far more sinister and consequential than he ever imagined.”

No close family members have been in the military, but Fahringer said she deeply respects service and sacrifice.

She also has not been touched by tragedy like her characters have, but she does know about family.

“Family is the greatest blessing in my life,” said the eldest of four siblings, who has seen the power of love and forgiveness.

She said she wanted to challenge the often-flippant portrayal of family, with a plot developing around recovery and family members being there for one another.

“Some people are hard to love, you may have to sacrifice to love them well and that can be a beautiful thing,” she said.

A Christian, she also wanted to show the redeeming work the Gospel can provide in broken lives.

Brokenness is reflected in the novel’s name. Sea glass comes from broken bottles and other glass tumbled for years by waves and wind, the rough edges smoothed. Refined by nature, the green, blue and clear translucent pieces become beautiful and valuable, sought by some beachcombers, said Fahringer, who owns several pieces of sea glass jewelry.

What is next for this author?

While “Sea Glass” evolved over years, its sequel “High Tide” is due out this summer.

Once reluctant to share her writing, Fahringer found herself thinking in the back of her mind, “It would be cool to write books for a living.”

And while “Sea Glass” was years in the writing, “High Tide” came together quicker with a little help from motherhood.

“I think having a child helped me evaluate how to use my time … even with five minutes I can accomplish a lot,” Fahringer said. “I write during naptime and after bedtime.”

“High Tide” picks up four years after the end of “Sea Glass,” when there were still a lot of unknowns for the characters.

“I hope it illustrates how the hopes and dreams of ‘Sea Glass’ come to fruition and gives readers closure,” Fahringer said.

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at shardy@gannett.com