The Magic Pencil was launched a few months ago, but we're loving this Press Release written recently. Enjoy.
Eleven-year-old author wields magic pencil to publish second book
Many eleven-year olds love to read novels, but not many can say that they have written and published two of their own.
Ben Spies’ debut book, Weirdo, was written when he was just nine years old. His latest book, The Magic Pencil, has just been published and the young author says he has no plans of stopping there.
“I’m so excited to publish The Magic Pencil. I hope the children reading it enjoy following Bob’s awesome adventure to save the world from the horrible Fakeys as much as I do. My favourite part of the book is when Bob travels back in time to ancient Egypt and meets a rather nasty pharaoh.”
Inspired by the latest generation of comedic fiction authors for young readers, such as Andy Griffiths, David Walliams and the Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon, Ben says he aims to make his peers laugh.
“I think The Magic Pencil is even funnier than Weirdo, and I hope readers agree. My friends and I love to crack each other up with a kind of random, silly, sometimes gross humour that kids seem to get and parents roll their eyes at. That’s what I try to put into my books.”
Ben’s passion for creative writing showed through at an early age, and his parents Renata and Robert Spies did everything they could to encourage him. When he showed not just creativity, but the dedication to complete a 54 page story at age 9, the Spies took the plunge and had Weirdo published in 2015, with illustrations by his Dad, Robert. Renata Spies says the book’s popularity took them all by surprise.
“With Weirdo, we really just wanted to reward Ben for this amazing project he’d taken on, and give him a real, professionally printed book to keep. We printed a small run to share with friends, family and schools in the area and the response has been amazing. It seems like kids connect with an author who genuinely shares their point of view on the world, their challenges and their sense of humour. Ben started getting invitations to visit classrooms who’d read and loved the books, which is an incredible experience. I think it was the reaction of other kids which got him excited about writing The Magic Pencil, and sharing it with even more readers.”
As well as classroom visits, Ben and his mum also host ‘Create Your Book’ workshops at libraries around Wellington designed to inspire more young Kiwi authors.
While Ben’s books are still a labour of love for the Spies family, the young author says he’s been energised by some personal encouragement from one of his literary heroes.
“I was lucky enough to meet Andy Griffiths, who writes the Treehouse series, talk to him about my books and writing, and give him a copy of Weirdo. That was cool enough, but a few weeks later I got an email from him, and that just blew my mind. His advice to me was to keep writing and that’s absolutely what I’m going to do!”
The Magic Pencil is currently available for purchase via www.spiespublishing.co.nz