Duprey pens book

Gray Hughes

Jamie Duprey of Hill City knew in her heart she always wanted to write a book.

A high school basketball standout in Chester, Mont., Duprey decided to tell the tale of her high school basketball career. She chronicles her experience in her book “The Yellow Sports Bra,” which is due to be published later this month.

“I always wanted to write a book,” she said. “When I decided to do it, it didn’t take long to realize that I had all the research ready at my fingertips.”

The research to which Duprey is referring is the detailed accounts in the book. Duprey kept journals “pretty diligently” starting in the sixth grade. Her journals, accompanied by her good memory, detailed binders kept by her coaches with every stat from every game and newspaper articles kept by her mom, the information was all at hand.

Duprey said she has always had it in her head that she would write a book. When she decided to take a year off teaching to focus on other endeavors, writing a book was part of that.

She bought a 16-lesson class online, and about two lessons in she landed on the fact that she had all of the information available to tell her own story.

Duprey started writing on Feb. 10, 2019 and ended on May 23, 2019, which would have been the last day of school for her kids.

“I knew the kids would be home so I knew I had to get it done,” she said with a laugh. “So I basically put my head down and got to it. I didn’t ask for opinions. I just did it.”

During the second half of her writing, she started reaching out to various publishing companies, mainly in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. She said she didn’t get a lot of responses, and it was hard to get someone on the phone.

She then started looking at books of a similar genre and spent time contacting the publishing houses that produced those books. Duprey said she read a book called “The Dream,” which was written in 2010 by a fellow Montanan who later went on to start his own independent publishing company, Aubade Publishing.

Duprey emailed them and didn’t hear back for a couple of weeks but then did hear back the day before she finished her rough draft.

“I was able to say ‘I have some questions, and I have no clue what the next steps look like, can you help me?’ ” Duprey said. “And they answered all of my questions and by the end of our conversation he said, ‘why don't you just send us your manuscript and we’ll give it a look.’ Another few weeks after that they offered me a contract, so it worked out really great.”

Since then, Duprey said it has been “a blast” and Aubade has been very good to work with because they are so author-focused.

The publishing process normally takes 18 months; however, Duprey was able to go through the process in 11 months.

Duprey said she hopes that people from all over — regardless of their background — will be able to enjoy her book. She said she hopes the book triggers nostalgic memories of high school and people’s own coming of age story.

And to new authors, Duprey said to just start writing.

“Don’t let anyone give you their opinion, saying: ‘Oh, that’s too hard,’ ” she said. “Just go for it. Share your story.”

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