How old were you when you first decided that you wanted to be an author?
When I was seven, I first came up with a book called 8 Little Swans, but I ended up ditching the draft. When I was ten, I got a lot more ideas and motivation to write. I probably wouldn’t have gone into writing if it wasn’t for my brother. After he published his first book, becoming an author at a young age seemed much more possible than before.
What inspired you to pursue publication at such a young age?
My older brother published his first book when he was seven, so he was a pretty big inspiration for me. I also was and still am an avid reader, so spending so many hours flipping through Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl helped grow my fascination with fantasy until I was eager to write my own fantasy stories. I also have a very supporting family who helped me through the entire process of publication.
Was it a challenge being so young when you wrote your first novel, Two Worlds?
Yes and no. On one hand, I had a plethora of ideas I was eager to put on the page, and I’d spend a lot of time typing nonstop. However, I had less experience with the real world compared to now, which made it much harder to incorporate maturity into my writing.
What has been your biggest challenge as a young author?
As a kid, it’s hard to be taken seriously by the public sometimes, since they may not trust the quality of my work. In order to get more exposure, I spend a lot of time introducing my books at craft fairs, or collaborating with bookstores and libraries to talk to families and children.
Since you’ve published Two Worlds, how do you feel you’ve grown as an author?
Since I’m older and more mature now, my current writing compared to Two Worlds is also more developed. I have more confidence in knowing what I want to do when it comes to a book I’m working on, and I’ve also started focusing on areas that I didn’t pay the most attention to in Two Worlds, such as better character and plot development.
Are there any major changes in your writing style and process now that you are older, or are the differences more subtle?
I believe that the difference is actually quite noticeable. I have a larger vocabulary and better character development — more experience in general. I also plan my writing more thoroughly, and I try to develop the story as a whole instead of just ‘going with the flow,’ which allows me to better see if things are moving along smoothly and avoid plot holes.
Is it difficult to balance being a writer and just being a kid?
Studies aside, I generally have enough time to write without feeling overworked. I do have a fairly larger amount of schoolwork in high school, though, so this year I spent a little less time writing. I’ve been getting back into the ‘writing spirit’ while I’m at home.
Do you regret publishing your first novel at such a young age?
Not at all! Starting even a few years later would have meant balancing more important exams with writing. I still have to do that now, but I’m more accustomed to the whole writing process and can plan things out so that I still have time for academics. I’ve also met a lot of people and made new friends during my writing journey, so my time spent on Two Worlds was well spent. When people see that I’ve published something at such a young age, they’re often surprised, but are happy to see what I’ve done. This gives me more courage to continue writing.
What was the most exciting part of the writing process for you?
For me it’s the building of the story. It requires a lot of thinking and fine tuning. Thorough planning can make the actual writing less of a challenge. It can be a lot of fun! I also love getting feedback from potential readers to see how I can improve my work.
What are your plans for the future in regards to writing?
I’ve decided to shift from fantasy to science fiction for now. I’m currently in the early stages of my 4th novel, which will focus on a student intern and the CEO of a revolutionary tech company across three planets that have been coded into existence. This will hopefully be a series, and I’m excited for my science fiction debut. Stay tuned!
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other child authors hoping to follow in your footsteps?
If you have a story in your mind, don’t be afraid to put it down on paper! I think a lot of kids feel like they’re too young to write a decent story or publish a book, but you’re never too young to get into writing. It can take a lot of courage to share your stories with the public, too, but it’s well worth it.