The following is an interview of a high school author, Alara Dasdan. She is a sophomore in high school and was always interested in reading and wrote short stories in her free time. Her publication is an anthology of three stories that she has been working on for some time. You can find her book on Amazon here.
Startup Wonder: Start off by talking about your book a little bit.
Alara: The book is titled Late Nights and Other Worlds. It is an anthology of three stories and instead of one long continuous story. It has themes of magical realism, fantasy, and supernatural stuff.
Startup Wonder: Where did you get inspiration to write the book?
Alara: The first story was from an old writing composition that I submitted at my old school. I read over it and revised it a little bit. The other two were from different places, like themes of mental illness and supernatural stuff and horror themes. The third one is actually a teaser for another book I am working on.
Startup Wonder: That’s really cool! It’s not something you hear from schools in the bay area especially, with the math and science drives. How did you know that you wanted to do something in literature and write a book?
Alara: When I was younger, I was really into reading and I was one of the kids that always carried around a book. The reading led to writing and I wrote a lot of short stories as a child.
Startup Wonder: When did you decide to publish a book?
Alara: It was around a couple of years ago. I had a couple of ideas for a book and it was really fun for me. This book I started the beginning of this school year, just to have something done. I have another long one that I figured I could get published a little later.
Startup Wonder: Did you get any help for this process of publishing?
Alara: A previous English teacher of mine was a really big help in proofreading and basically being my editor. She motivated me to get the book done and published.
Startup Wonder: Did you get any recognition yet?
Alara: I have told a few people I know and my dad actually told a few people that I knew and he told his friends. It is fairly new online, but some people have been actually buying the book and there is actually one person that actually left a review on Amazon too!
Startup Wonder: Do you aspire to be an author?
Alara: Yes actually! I have actually wanted to for a couple of years now. I’m still thinking of what to major in because I have people don’t actually use their English major that much. But I’m figuring it out though. I hope to go to a local college mostly because I prefer to stay in the area.
Startup Wonder: How did you get your book actually published with a cover and binding?
Alara: It was a lot longer than I thought the process would be. First, you turn the text into a certain format. Amazon has a platform that helps you create the cover art. At first, you get a proof copy and then they send you another final copy to see how your book looks like in real life.
Startup Wonder: Any last thoughts?
Alara: It was a really unique experience to write out the book and actually publish it, then hold my book in my hands. I enjoyed the entire experience a lot.
Faizah Asif is a junior at Lynbrook High School. She enjoys reading and making art in her free time. She hopes to pursue business in the future.