November 25, 2022

Lily, 13, ‘excited’ as first novel hits bookstores

A North Norfolk schoolgirl publishes her first book – which she wrote when she was 11 and 12.

Lily Blake, 13, who is in year 9 at North Walsham High School, started writing the novel during the first lockdown of summer 2020.

The first installment in a planned trilogy, and titled The Elements I: The Heroes’ Journey, the story follows four mortals on their quest to become modern-day elements with the powers of fire, water, air and earth.

Lily, who moved to North Norfolk from Salford in 2018, was 11 when she started the book.

She was inspired to try writing after reading that one of her literary heroes and author of How to Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell, started writing at the age of nine.

Lily said: “I always wanted to write things when I was younger, and I love to write but I didn’t have the stamina. I had a phase where I wanted to be a poet.

“During confinement, I had lots of ideas but I didn’t really know how to get them out.”

That’s when she borrowed the family laptop which she used every Saturday until four o’clock.

“My mom said if I finished the book she would send it to the publishers,” Lily said.

The completed manuscript was sent to the London publishing house Austin Macauley.

Lily then waited six weeks before receiving a response from them saying they would like to publish it.

“It’s exciting. I’m nervous too,” she said.

Lily said writing the book meant a lot to her because at home during the lockdown there wasn’t much to do.

“You couldn’t go out unless the weather was nice,” she said. “In my room, there were books and my old toys. I had lots of ideas. It was just a way to knock them down.

“I think if you want to do something, go ahead and do it. Some people might insult you for being a nerd, but you can’t let that stop you.”

Unsurprisingly, Lily also likes to read. She said, “I’ve always loved reading fantasy. Now that I’m older, I read more young adult stuff. I like apocalyptic books and dystopian books.”

Lily’s book will be available from Monday at WH Smith and Waterstones, as well as on Amazon.