Thirteen-year-old Ellee Arnell loves to ride horses and even wrote a book about them. But the horses in his novel are not like those owned by his Hyrum family: his fake horses are magic.
Book, you say? Written by a 13 year old teenager?
That’s right. Elle’s debut novel, a 70-page fantasy tale titled “Secrets of Orlia”, was made available to mass audiences through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program with assistance from Phillip Chipping , another inhabitant of Hyrum, specializing in exhibiting young writers.
The writing project began as a modest school assignment that unexpectedly fueled Elle’s imagination and turned into a complete manuscript.
“When I gave her the assignment, it was just meant to be like a quick three and four page story,” said Elle’s mother Angie Arnell, who served for a time as her home teacher. girl. “She ended up loving it so much that she kept adding to it and kept writing and writing until it turned into a big, huge project.”
Ellee is an avid reader and said the novel was inspired by many fantastic books she read, such as the “Fablehaven” and “Traitor’s Game” series.
In Elle’s story, a girl meets a man who wants her to take care of a beautiful horse. The horse turns out to be magical, and her efforts to protect it from thieves lead to an adventure that ultimately ends in a magical land populated by horses like the one in her care.
The book has 12 chapters with titles such as “Mysterious Man”, “Kidnapped” and “The Truth” which suggest an intriguing and dramatic story.
In an interview this week, Ellee said the writing process was both difficult and easy. Once she had a plot in her head and was able to create an opening she was happy with – which required several rewrites – the story flowed.
“The first part was difficult because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted it to be,” she explained. “But then it wasn’t too hard to try to make it all come together. It was pretty easy… I had most of the stuff ready, but found some along the way. “
Les Arnells entrusted Elle’s completed work to Phillip Chipping, who publishes literature by and for children through several organizations, including his company Knowonder and the nonprofit Teen Author Boot Camp.
“You know, it was really good. I was really impressed, ”said Chipping, who hired his daughter, Chelsea, a freelance graphic designer, to do the illustrations and much of the editing for the book. “We think it would be a fun read for any kid who loves horses and especially if it’s a girl who loves horses, up to intermediate level. I think it’s a funny story.
Ellee and Chelsea spent some time discussing what the artwork should look like, and Ellee said the 12 digital illustrations used for the book, including a cover, closely matched her own take on the characters. of the book.
Amazon’s self-publishing platform doesn’t require investment for submissions, but takes more than half of revenue from sales. The books are available on Kindle, with paperback editions printed by Amazon on demand.
So far, Ellee has sold around 20 copies.
“I’ve published probably around 80 books for people,” Chipping said. “I am a strong advocate for literacy and find that one of the best ways to promote learning and the love of continuing to learn is simply to help children tell their stories, regardless of age. and their format. So I help take someone’s story from the very raw Word file, all the way through the editing process and all the way to the finished Amazon Print On Demand product.
He continued, “I think one of the greatest motivations you can give a child is to hold this physical book in their hand. It’s a much bigger motivation to continue pursuing this passion than just having a Word document that they can share with their uncles and aunts.
Will the writing experience and the professional-looking product with her name inspire Ellee Arnell to write a sequel or other novel?
“I thought about it,” she said, “especially since this book sort of ends in a cliffhanger. It was a lot of work, but I think it would be really fun to make one. other maybe.
“I think what she did was amazing. I’m a mom, of course, ”Angie said.