She's a college student who has been reading and writing her whole life and now is winning awards for her first published novel.

The young author likes to read curled up in her library at home in Maryville. Hannah Rials likes to write mostly at Vienna Coffee House in Maryville.

And when she writes she doesn't compose at a computer. Hannah prints on paper with a pencil.

"When I write it out I just have to get it all out. I can't stop. I can't change things, really. It's just going. And then when you go back and type it up it's a form of editing because you are reading it and you can see what you have written and you can cut line by line," she said.

Her approach is working! But it took awhile.

When Hannah was 11 she started reading vampire books.

"I read Twilight in a week. I ran Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I read the Blue Blood series by Melissa de la Cruz. I just loved vampires and it was a huge fad when I was 12 years old for everybody. But I just woke up from a dream one night and said I can do this, I can write a vampire book," she said.

And she did. For eight years she worked on Ascension.

Along the way her full vampire main character transitioned to a half vampire and she changed a lot of names and eliminated a few characters. She also cut many, many exclamation points.

Audrey Press published her book last year and it's won a Royal Dragonfly Book Award and a Banjamin Franklin Award.

"It is about Cheyenne Lane who is a half breed vampire called a deuxsang so half human half vampire," she said.

The story is set in New Orleans where Cheyenne must co-exist with humans and where she meets a witch and uncovers many lies. It's a Young Adult book she hopes appeals to a wider audience beyond teenagers

"Yes this is a vampire book about a fun city but she is also dealing with a lot of violence. She is dealing with lies. She is dealing with racism in its own form," she said.

Now Hannah is 20 years old and majoring in creative writing at UT Chattanooga. She plans to go to graduate school.

"People can do it without an education. You don't need an education to do it but it is fun to see the advancement that it has put into my writing," she said. "Writing is what I am passionate about the most. And so I am going to do whatever means is possible to make that happen. If that is adjunct teaching as a professor, if that is copy editing scientific manuscripts, whatever I need to do to make a living to also make sure I can still write books as part of my living."

Her advice for aspiring writers?

"Read a lot because that's how you become a writer. You learn through them and get inspired through them. And don't give up. Obviously it took me eight years to get where I am," she said.

It won't take her eight years to publish her next book. Her second manuscript is with an editor right now and her publisher is counting on a trilogy.

Hannah Rials' own story is the ascension of a girl who became a woman and a published author.

Her book, Ascension, is available at local book stores, on her own website, and on Amazon.