The love of reading was transformed into the dream of seeing his words in print.
Callum Arnold, 13, about to graduate from Grade 8, has achieved a goal many wait for retirement to start.
He published his first novel.
Arnold will be signing copies of his fantasy novel, “Chronicles of Aetheria,” at Chapters on May 17 from 1-4 p.m.
“Chronicles of Aetheria” has adventure, love, brave knights and beautiful princesses. There is a tyrannical king that must be stopped so that justice and peace may be restored.
“The idea of writing a book came after I had a conversation with my friends about what we wanted to do when we grew up,” he said over the phone from his home in Elliot Lake. “I said I wanted to be a writer.”
However, he did not wait to graduate from elementary school, but got started on his dream. He immediately put pen to paper and conceived the magical kingdom of Aetheria and all its characters. Arnold said he would write most days while taking the bus to school. When his parents saw his progress, they decided to investigate self-publishing.
He sent a sample of the chapters written to Friesen Press in British Columbia and with their encouragement, proceeded to finish the manuscript. They provided editorial comments he used to improve the novel.
“The editor gave me a ton of good ideas, an entire page of comments which included a crucial suggestion to develop a character that was merely mentioned and changed the entire direction of the book,” he said.
Arnold’s mother, Kimberly, is a freelance graphic artist and illustrator and provided the illustrations throughout the book.
The process of writing and publishing has been a great experience for him and he said the sequel is already in the works.
Much of his inspiration comes from authors like C.S. Lewis, J.R. Tolkien, and J.K. Rowling. But the ideas for his characters and their adventures all come from his life in Elliot Lake. The lakes and forests that surround his home, and his family and friends all feed his imagination.
With maturity beyond his years, his dream-big attitude — and early success — is getting attention and he is already being asked to speak about his experience. The Elliot Lake Rotary Club recently had him as a guest speaker.
He is looking forward to Saturday's book signing and the chance to share his writing and publishing experience with other young people who have a dream to write as well.
For more information about his book, visit his Facebook page, as well as Friesenpress.com for details about the book and ordering.