Written by a thirteen-year-old author, this exciting and captivating page-turner transports you into the fascinating story of sixteen-year-old aspiring singer Fiona Watson who runs away from her family, oblivious to the dangers outside her shielded comfort zone. As she journeys through her new world, leaving her past behind and determined to find a new identity, she uncovers surprising secrets buried deep within her long ago…
How do her new friends link to her past? What secrets are they hiding behind their misleading smiles? How much of herself has she really left behind? And how will she cope when she realises that she has made a huge mistake… one that could ruin her forever?
Hello everyone! I am very excited to present a guest post today from Samiksha Bhattacharjee. She is the thirteen year old author of the Young Adult novel Legal Crime. I hope you will enjoy reading about her experience writing and publishing her first novel.
Hello! My name is Samiksha and I am thirteen years old. I live in London with my parents and little brother and recently found out that by publishing my debut YA novel Legal Crime, I have become the youngest YA author in the UK! I’m really excited to be here on The Book’s The Thing so that I can talk about my publishing journey, my new book Legal Crime and hopefully inspire you to write more 🙂
I have not come across many teen authors, so I’m proud to be one of the few, but would also like to see more teens with published work! It really surprised me how few children and teens write novels and get them published (after I found out that it was legal to do so), but I really feel like there should be more. Is it because teens don’t feel like they can compete in such a large field, or because they don’t feel motivated enough to do it… or even because they don’t even know that they are allowed to become authors as teenagers? I feel like all these factors play a part, but if we can encourage children to take up writing as a hobby, we will be able to see more teenagers as authors! When I was younger, I always wrote short stories – in fact, I wrote my first little book when I was five! My writing has got better now, and I really hope that this skill progresses as I get older.
Legal Crime is a YA coming-of-age thriller following the story of runaway teenager Fiona, set mainly in modern day London. It touches on themes such as underage drinking, drug consumption, bereavement and suicide and it focuses on peer pressure and the struggles of being a teenager whilst highlighting the importance of family and true friends.
I started writing Legal Crime when I was seven, not intending for it to become published. The story has developed a lot since then, and it’s been a really long journey. I’m so happy that I am able to share it with the world and I will definitely be continuing with writing; I love it as much as reading!
The idea for Legal Crime actually came to me in the bathroom when I was seven years old. I wanted to write a story about a runaway, who, through her experiences, comes to appreciate her family. The story as it currently stands has changed a lot and is far longer than it originally was, but I still wanted to remain true to the first idea that sparked the beginning of this story.
Many people have asked me how I came up with the title Legal Crime. To be honest, it only came into my head very recently. Before then, I had experimented with countless other titles, some too cheesy to even mention. I was going to be happy with ‘I don’t want need you’ (inspired by a note in the story) before the name came to me. I was sitting in an English class next to my friend, and the lesson was about oxymorons. I was scribbling down notes about my story at the back of a scrapbook when I was asked for an example of an oxymoron. Looking up at the board, I saw ‘Cruel Love’ and ‘Freezing Fire’ staring at me and started considering them as potential titles before I thought of ‘Legal Crime’. When my friend told me that that was a really good example, I knew that I had chosen the right title for the book!
I had many surprises in my publishing journey – I just thought that you needed to email a book to any random publisher and it was printed and became a bestseller the next day.
Sadly, this is not how the publishing industry works. I researched a lot and when I finally got a vague idea as to how it all worked, I told my parents that I had written a book and it was accepted by the first publisher that my book was submitted to, two days after my thirteenth birthday.
The publishing process involved a lot of waiting, but eventually my book was published! 18th February 2021 was definitely one of the most exciting days of my life, and I’m happy that I took the leap to get my book published at age thirteen.
I am honoured to have received messages and best wishes from so many of my favourite authors including Karen M. McManus (One of Us is Lying), Louis Sacher (Holes), Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns), Cathy Cassidy (The Chocolate Box Girls), Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), C.L Taylor (The Island), Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together), J.Elle (Wings of Ebony) and Kathryn Evans (Beauty Sleep). All authors are an inspiration to me for doing what they do the best – creating fantastic worlds and bringing them to life with writing.
I’m definitely going to be writing more books… in fact, I’m currently writing a YA dystopian fantasy! More details coming soon…
Thank you for reading this, if you want to connect with me you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me via Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21266746.Samiksha_Bhattacharjee), visit my website (https://www.legalcrime.co.uk), subscribe to my newsletter (https://www.legalcrime.co.uk/subscribe) and follow Legal Crime’s FB page (http://www.facebook.com/legalcrimeuk). You can also add Legal Crime to Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57369118-legal-crime.