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Chestatee High School teacher publishes second young adult novel
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McCall Hoyle, a teacher at Chestatee High School, poses for a portrait with her upcoming book "Meet the Sky" on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. - photo by Austin Steele

McCall Hoyle considers teaching her passion, but her job as an educator has led to another love as well — writing.

The 46-year-old Dahlonega woman is an aspiring author whose young adult novel “Meet the Sky” will hit stores Sept. 4. 

“It is an absolute dream come true,” she said. “I feel like I am modeling for my students that anything is possible if you work hard enough and do not give up.”

A book launch for Hoyle’s novel “Meet the Sky” will be 6:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at Inman Perk Coffee in Gainesville. An author chat and book signing will take place 4 p.m. Sept. 15 at Books-A-Million, 150 Pearl Nix Parkway, Gainesville. 

“Meet the Sky” will be her second published book, which she found time to write between teaching part time at Chestatee High School and Lee Arrendale State Prison.

“Teaching is really what I feel called to do,” she said, mentioning she instructs courses in American literature at Chestatee and ninth- through 12th-grade literature at the women’s correctional facility.

While Hoyle enjoys writing in her free time, she actually began her career as an author to better herself as a teacher. 

“Most secondary education teacher programs do not really teach teachers how to teach writing,” Hoyle said, explaining that she went into education after leaving her job in banking and investment counseling at 30 years old. “I knew how to teach reading and I loved reading, but I had no idea how to actually teach kids to write.”

Hoyle started researching the best way to teach kids to write.

“One of the things I learned is the best way to teach kids to write is to model your own writing for them,” she said. “So I taught myself to write as I was writing alongside my students.”

Hoyle said her upcoming novel and the previous one, “The Thing with Feathers,” were inspired by her personal life and her students. 

“Everything I write comes from emotions that have tremendously impacted my life and the lives of the people around me,” she said. “The characters in the book are not necessarily me (and) the characters in the book are not necessarily my students, but they are derived from universal emotions that we have all experienced.”

As for “Meet the Sky,” she said the novel comes “directly from (her) heart.”

“It was inspired by my father’s unexpected death,” she said. “It’s about two teenagers learning to deal with their own grief in very, very different ways. They have very different views on how to handle grief.”

She believes young adults, including her high school students, can relate to the content in her novel.

“Most of them have experienced some great loss in their lives by that time, whether it’s a grandparent, a friend, a pet,” she said. “They know what it is like to have their hearts broken and lose something they love.”

She said she especially hopes to reach women with her books’ messages. 

“Both of the books have female protagonists,” she said. “I have just found that it is hard sometimes in this world to be a woman — a young woman in particular.”

McCall explained she wants readers to have a sense of hope and optimism about the future after reading her book.

“No matter how terrible things feel right this second, there is always a chance that tomorrow could be better,” she said. “That’s really what I want teenage girls to hold onto and believe in.”

And although McCall has had success in writing, she plans to stick to her passion of teaching.

“For right now, it’s really a dream come true,” she said. “As long as I can manage both, I plan to keep teaching half time and writing part time as long as I possibly can.”

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McCall Hoyle, a teacher at Chestatee High School, holds her upcoming book "Meet the Sky" on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. The inspiration for her books come from her students and personal life. - photo by Austin Steele
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