Greater Allegheny alumna Brianna Toth publishes book

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Brianna Toth, a Penn State alumna who majored in English at the Greater Allegheny campus, has just published "The Dragon and the Double-Edged Sword."

This book is a tale of magic, betrayal, and time travel. As described by Toth, “The Dragon and the Double-Edged Sword is a young adult fantasy set in the year 2599 when humans are extinct and follows 23-year-old mermaid princess, Lysandra, as she helps a 16th-century human cursed to walk as a dragon.” 

Completing this book was a long process of getting to know her characters and finding what would drive the plot, according to Toth. "It took a lot of drafting and redrafting before it even resembled something similar to a book," said Toth. 

"February 2017 was when I really hit my groove and got on the track of completing the book,” Toth said. “This was thanks to my writing group — Butler’s Warriors — which included a former PSUGA student, Abandon, and a PSUGA English professor, Dr. Mickle.”

Toth attributes some of her accomplishments to being an English major and the wonderful professors at Penn State Greater Allegheny, where she was encouraged to broaden her mind and explore her creativity.

“The Creative Writing Certificate, with courses like ABSENCE (ENGL 209), Short Story (ENGL 212), and Advanced Fiction Writing (ENGL 412), was an immense help to my understanding of what a story needs,” said Toth.

“The entire English department at PSUGA was always there for me when I lacked confidence in my essays, and it was because of an Independent Study with Dr. Mickle that this book even exists,” Toth stated. “I am incredibly grateful for all the guidance she gave me and aid from the start of 'The Dragon and the Double-Edged Sword.'”