Alpena native now published author


ALPENA — A former Ella White Elementary School student is a published author.

Britany Sanchez’s book, “I Forgave You Anyway,” was published on Sept. 1 by W&B Publishers, out of North Carolina. She said the book is a true story and based on her life experiences.

The book follows the main character, Anna Kane, through her journey of foster care and going through a cult-like religion and her family’s journey through that. It also talks about her life as a teenager, getting married, and entering an abusive relationship.

Sanchez, 31, said she’s inspired by movies, TV, and people who were in her life.

“Having the copy in my hand was an amazing moment, because, one thing about writers, if you’re going to be a writer, writers need to be read and, if nobody’s reading you, you’re kind of writing for yourself,” Sanchez said.

She said it was difficult to get an agent and get her name out into the publishing world, so she had to learn about connections and the people in the publishing community.

“You literally don’t know whether you’re going to be published or not because the publishing market has went through a huge decline,” she said.

Sanchez was born in Alpena and lived in the area until she was 12. She said the influence of Ella White teachers had an impact on her pursuing her passion as a writer.

“I had a teacher pull me aside while I was going through getting in trouble at school and stuff, and she pulled me aside and tells me, ‘You’re better than this, you don’t have to follow the crowd, just be special or be noticed,'” Sanchez said. “They were always encouraging me, and they told me, ‘You’re smarter than this and you can do this,’ and without them and the basic education that they gave me and caring, I would never be able to do this.”

Sanchez is working on other projects: a crime comedy thriller book, children’s books, and more.

Sanchez would tell aspiring writers to believe in what they’re doing, because there is value in written and printed materials.

“It is possible, you just have to reach out and keep believing in what you do and also realizing that no one is an island,” Sanchez said.