Lily, 13, 'excited' as first novel hits book shops

Lily Blake has published a book that she started writing when she was just 11 years old. Pictures: B

Lily Blake has published a book that she started writing when she was just 11 years old. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

A high school student from north Norfolk is publishing her first book - which she wrote when she was aged 11 and 12.

Lily Blake, 13, who is in Year 9 at North Walsham High School, started writing the novel during the first lockdown in the summer of 2020.

The first installment of a planned trilogy, and called The Elements I: The Heroes' Journey, the story follows four mortals on their quest to become modern-day elements with the powers of fire, water, air and earth.

Lily Blake has published a book that she started writing when she was just 11 years old. The Elemen

Lily Blake has published a book that she started writing when she was just 11 years old, called The Elements I: The Heroes' Journey. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Lily, who moved to north Norfolk from Salford in 2018, was 11 when she started the book.

She was inspired to give writing a go after reading that one of her literary heroes and author of How to Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell, began writing at age nine.

Lily said: "I always wanted to write things when I was younger, and I love writing but I didn't have the stamina. I had a phase where I wanted to be a poet.

"In lockdown I had loads of ideas but I wasn't sure how to get them out."

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That was when she borrowed the family laptop which she used every Saturday for up to four hours.

"My mum said if I finish the book she would send it to publishers," Lily said.

The completed manuscript was sent off to London-based publishing house Austin Macauley.

Lily then waited six weeks before receiving a reply from them saying they would like to publish it.

"It's exciting. I'm nervous as well," she said.

Lily Blake has published a book that she started writing when she was just 11 years old. Pictures: B

Lily Blake has published a book that she started writing when she was just 11 years old. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Lily said that writing the book meant a lot to her because at home during lockdown there wasn't much to do.

"You couldn't go out unless it was sunny," she said. "In my room there were books and my old toys. I had lots of ideas. It was just a way of getting them down.

"I think if you want to do something, just go and do it. Some people might call you names for being a nerd but you can't let that stop you."

Unsurprisingly, Lily also loves reading. She said: "I've always loved to read fantasy. Now I'm older I read more young adult stuff. I like apocalyptic books and dystopian books."

Lily's book will be available from Monday in WH Smith and Waterstones, as well as on Amazon.