TODAY

TODAY   |  April 08, 2013

Teen author ‘writes for fun,’ becomes best-seller

When Beth Reekles couldn’t find a book that appealed to her, she decided to write her own. After it exploded online with 19 million reads, she became Random House’s youngest teen fiction author, with a three-book deal. She talks to NBC’s Michelle Kosinski about her writing.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> no exaggeration a 17-year-old high schooler is already shaping up to be the next big thing in literature. nbc's michelle kosinski caught up with her.

>> reporter: beth regales is very much a teenager which is working very well for her career because when she grabs her laptop and her stuffed animals that universe of first kisses, crushes and cliques opens up across her screen.

>> i enjoy writing just for fun but i didn't have much confidence in my writing.

>> reporter: call her the world's most unexpected best seller especially to herself. she says she didn't even try.

>> just couldn't find anything that appealed to me so i thought i'm just going to write my own book.

>> reporter: she's become one of randomhouse's youngest teen authors ever, starting on "kissing booth" when she was 15, started posted on an online site for authors where it exploded.

>> people are saying oh my god, and that was kind of the point where i thought oh my god, you guys like this.

>> reporter: it send ended up with 19 million reads and soon a publisher e-mailed her.

>> i ran into my parents and they in humankind, i was so excited, i couldn't get it into words.

>> reporter: her parents who had no idea were equally mystified.

>> she just disappears up there and after a while as parents you get concerned what's on there but eventually she said i'm writing stories. oh, okay. well can i read them? no.

>> reporter: they had nothing to worry about, it's hardly the high school version of "fifty shades. "teenage version, yes, real, honest but in no way raunchy.

>> he was leaning over closer, my first kiss. i chickened out. the nervousness and self-consciousness, what do you think makes you so good at capturing this?

>> i think part of it is because i'm a teenager so i'm there thinking if i had a first date with a guy, i would be so nervous and a complete wreck, thinking what am i going to wear, does this look okay?

>> reporter: but beth who earned enough for her entire college tuition will set off next year to study astrophysics. what is your favorite physics concept?

>> the world.

>> reporter: the girl still has homework to do, and chores. is life hard as a teenager, is it excruciating and angst-ridden?

>> i guess you could say that.

>> reporter: so things haven't really changed?

>> not really.

>> reporter: guess what? they never change. michelle kosinski , nbc news, newport, wales.

>> i think matt and al are planning. the ebook you can get yours out tomorrow the paperback goes on sale