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Art Student Publishes Book ‘Five More Minutes’

  • Deanna Roberto ’23 (right) and her sister Alexa Roberto (left).
MMC Art Student Deanna Roberto ’23 recently published her book Five More Minutes. Written in memory of her late sister Alexa who passed away from cancer, Deanna hopes the book will help others conquer their grief.

Could you describe your inspiration to write the book? When and how did you decide to tell Alexa’s story?

DR: My inspiration to write the book was my way of grieving through writing. I realized after my sister’s passing that everyone was grieving by crying and sharing stories, but I couldn’t fully relate. Instead, I turned to writing down my feelings which then led to cultivating a series of emotions and memories that my sister and I shared. This then branched out into writing an entire book.

After researching and deciding which company to self-publish from, I made a few calls and the first attempt was a success. I have never been more blessed to have such an opportunity because this project was something that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Five More Minutes by Deanna Roberto Five More Minutes by Deanna RobertoWhat was it like writing a book while being a college student? Was it stressful, rewarding, etc.?

DR: Writing a book while being a full-time college student was definitely not easy. Trying to juggle the responsibilities, due dates, and meetings was surely a challenge. However, I had an incredible group of family and friends who led me the whole way through. They constantly assured me that what I was doing will “all be worth it in the end” because the product was going to be exceptional. I genuinely don’t know what I would have done without them. Their support—along with my sister and grandma watching over me from above—is what continued to push me.

Can you give a brief explanation of the title? Why Five More Minutes?

DR: The title comes from a song called Five More Minutes by Scotty McCreery. The song explains how time flies by within the blink of an eye and at the end of the day, don’t we all wish we had five more minutes for anything? To say hi, to say bye, to give a hug, share a laugh, or send some love?

I searched for a title for a while, but I always knew that I wanted it to be reminiscent of a song—specifically a country song. My sister and I shared our greatest memories while singing country music and driving. I think that the title expressed exactly what I had been hoping to say but couldn’t quite describe since my sister’s passing. I just wish I had five more minutes with her.

Is there any advice you’d like to give other students struggling with a loss?

DR: As cliché as it sounds, everything gets better. No, you will never “get over” pain and grieving will last forever, but there is a time where you will feel a bit more whole and present in life again.

I’ve found solace in the fact that she has and will always be by my side, even if it’s not in the physical sense. That is all that I could hope for—to have her near and dear to my heart through every new chapter in my life until we meet again.


Deanna is an Art major with a concentration in Animation and Illustration and double minors in Creative Writing and Photography. Her career goal is to work for Disney’s animation studio as an animator or to pursue her passion for photography.

“I am so blessed to be able to have such high-achieving goals and dreams,” says Deanna. “I am hopeful one day those that have passed before me, especially my grandma and sister, will lead me in the perfect direction.”

Five More Minutes is available for purchase at Writers Republic.

Congratulations on this wonderful achievement, Deanna. The entire MMC community is incredibly proud of you.


If you are struggling with grief, loss, stress, or any other mental/emotional adversities, please consider contacting MMC’s Counseling and Wellness Center for free counseling and psychological services.