This 14 year old author just floored me.
No, seriously, I am sitting on the floor wondering how in the world did a 14 year old write such a great book? I am talking about South Carolina 9th grader Sarah Renee and the book I am referring to is “The Tiger Princess”.
This was such a wonderfully well written book, I could actually see the pictures she was drawing with her words in my eyes!
About The Tiger Princess
Ten years ago, a devastating fire took the lives of Queen Karenisha and King Makero leaving a young Saderia orphaned. Nobody knows how the fire was started but it ignited quickly. Too quickly. In ten years the truth has never been discovered… Saderia is a curious 10 year old tiger Princess who feels things deeply. Her Aunt Cia and Uncle Jash have taken over the duties of Queen and King and raising Saderia since her parents died in the fire. Her aunt and uncle don’t understand Saderia, which she resents. But Saderia starts having dreams about the past; dark, disturbing dreams. She has to know the truth.
Could her parents have been murdered? Then she finds herself surrounded by more secrets when she discovers a dangerous, ancient royal secret relating to her ancestors. At the same time, strange things start happening in the usually peaceful forest. Hard times and disappearances create fear and desperation. Out of the shadows comes a dark, mysterious lion named Dastarius to offer his services and play the hero. But his past is just as shadowed and uncertain as the King and Queen’s sudden fiery death. Saderia doesn’t know who or what to trust but she is desperate to find the truth about the past. She’s willing to do anything to get it.
My daughter, who is 9, is currently reading the book and cannot put it down! I would definitely recommend this book to “tweens”!
But what is even more exciting is that Sarah Renee published both “The Tiger Princess” and “Dash” through Amazon.com’s CreateSpace self-publishing platform.
By publishing through CreateSpace, Sarah Renee and her mom, her biggest supporter, got to retain complete creative control over both the content and the artwork, as Sarah Renee is also the artist who designed the covers for both books! And she’s not done yet! Sarah Renee found the process of self-publishing her work so simple that she plans to use the platform for another of her projects, a planned 15-book series entitled The Saderia Series.
Sarah Renee’s accomplishment shows that self-publishing is not just for adult authors. For young writers everywhere, CreateSpace is a great way to get their budding talent and work out to a broad national audience – right alongside bestselling independent authors such as Amanda Hocking, the highly-successful writer of young adult fiction – for very little cost.
Following are some practical tips for bringing out your child’s inner author, including several that Sarah Renee and her mom still practice together today:
Make it a Page-Turner!
Read with your child each night before bed. It encourages a lifelong love of literature, while giving you precious together time and lasting memories. Always have a great book on hand and, when that cliffhanger comes, you can bet your child will be begging for more! Expose them to a variety of authors, genres and subjects to help them discover what they like best. Some of Sarah Renee’s own favorites are “The Warriors” series by Erin Hunter, “Dragon Rider” by Cornelia Funke and, of course, the “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling.
Give your son or daughter a diary. Encourage them to express themselves and let their creativity flow – it can be for their eyes only. And, who knows, there may just be the makings of a future novel within those pages!
Hit the Road!
Before embarking on your next family vacation, buy your child a travel journal or notebook. Kids and teens can write down their observations of the new people, places and experiences they encounter all along the way. They can even include photos and write captions!
Encourage your son or daughter to put on their “reporter‘s hat” and record the events unfolding around them! The budding journalist in the family can report on humorous, odd or interesting happenings at home, at school and in the neighborhood – and they can even develop their “reports” into a fun newsletter to entertain the neighbors!
Leave daily notes for your son or daughter on the fridge, on their desk or in their lunchbox. Include a pen and encourage a reply! This could also take the form of an ongoing tale that the two of you “author” together!
Whether it’s poetry from their journal or their own take on a passed down story, many kids, like Sarah Renee, may also have a book inside them, which, with just a little encouragement, can be published and enjoyed by an intimate group of family and friends – or a wide national audience.
I know this is something Betsy could totally get into and you can bet I will be seeing what she is interested in, probably the Diary writing skills! However, I am very fortunate that she loves to read…and is sitting next to me right now reading “The Tiger Princess”.
Definitely check out The Tiger Princess for your young reader! And check out CreateSpace, if you are looking for a self publishing platform!