I was asked my opinion on a book written by 13 year old author Ciellia Naden. Her mother is a writer friend and an accomplished YA author in her own right. I sat down with Mother and Daughter this week to ask some questions about Ciellia’s first Novel “Cat Tales and Whiskers” Here’s what I found out. As I was talking to her mother I found out that Ciellia’s first manuscript was a home school assignment which of course led to the following question of mom
For Cynthia: What made you decide to assign your kids a book to write as a home school assignment?
Neither of my children like writing assignments, and it always seemed to be tough when I’d assign them a specific topic to write about, so I figured this would be a good incentive to get them to write. I told them that they could write about anything they wanted to and when they were finished, I’d have it edited for them and published. I sure wish I’d had an option like that when I was in school.
For Ciella: What did you think when mom gave you that assignment?
I was kind of disappointed because I didn’t really want to do it.
For Ciella: What made you choose witchcraft and spiritual warfare as your topic?
I wanted to create a story that had a Tim Burton feel to it, but Christian. Tim Burton is my favorite director.
For Cynthia: What surprised you most about your daughters publishing adventure?
Well, like I said before, I had already told them both that they would get published. I was surprised at how little we had to change though. My editor only made a few suggestions here and there. She said she enjoyed the story a lot.
For Ciella: Can we expect to see more adventures of Ash and the town of Soulville?
Maybe. ( I have been informed that a second tale is all ready being written on since I ask that question and received my “maybe” as an answer)
I was suprised to learn tht Ciella has been diagnosed with dyslexia and asked her to explain the challenges that causes to writting.
I don’t know if my spelling is right or wrong. Spelling is hard for me because the dyslexia makes it hard to memorize words that I can’t sound out. Plus, sometimes I switch letters around. Like I’ll spell a word that should begin with p with a b.
For Ciella: Who’s the better storyteller you or mom?
I don’t know. This is my first story, so I really don’t know.
What was the hardest part of publishing your story at thirteen?
Mom’s been doing all the publishing parts, so it hasn’t been hard at all. I did have to use my own money for the cover pictures though. I liked creating Ash’s story. At first I struggled with it and didn’t think I could do it, but God gave me the strength to do it. I disliked that my mom and our editor had to change a few things. I’m most surprised by myself and that I actually finished it and it’s being published.
Cynthia: How does it feel to have another YA writer under the same roof? Any feeling to compete with your daughter?
Oh no, not at all. I’m totally excited for
her, and I’m technically the co-author anyway. There were a few parts of the story that I helped her with.
Cynthia: What’s next for you as an author?
I’m currently working on the sequel to “Patty Gayle and the Legend of Kingsley.” I’m right at 17,000 words in. I’d like to have it completed by the end of summer and publish it in the fall. I’m also currently working with producers to get all 4 of my current works in audio format. Once complete, they will be available to download from Amazon, iTunes, and Audible.com. And just in case anyone is wondering, we will be searching for a narrator soon to produce “Cat Tales and Whiskers” as well.
Are you planning a repeat of this assignment in the coming year?
No, not unless she just wants to write another book. It’s up to her. Her brother will be continuing the assignment because he didn’t finish his yet. His is a much longer book.
Well as promised let me offer you my review of this young woman’s book
As a former youth pastor I have been asked by scores of teens to read their manuscripts and give them my opinion on them. I must admit this is one of the best I’ve read written by a young teen. Cellia Naden has written an engaging little book with lots of action and suspense that will keep you or your Young Adult turning the pages. Following Ash as he gets to know his new town and stumbles into a demonic confrontation with a demon possessed scarecrow was as action packed as anything I’ve read. The spiritual insights this young girl has behind the veil into the world of angelic and demonic battle blew me away. Yes, parts of the story were simple and a bit innocent, but it was refreshing to see a thirteen year old who wasn’t so wise in the ways of evil, as to get it all right. If your Young Adult likes “Goosebumps or Thriller” style books this one is for them. If as an adult your hankering for those simple yet spooky reads of your childhood this book is for you. A great first book by what I hope is an up and coming young artist with many more tales to tell. Five big Stars from this Pastor.
Grab your copy here