How I became a published author at 15 years old

Author Juliet Webber, 15, started writing her debut novel Demon Slayer when she was 12, and it was published last year.

Author Juliet Webber started writing her debut novel Demon Slayer when she was 12

I’d been reading a lot of books of a similar genre and thought to myself, why don’t I do something like that and create my own story with my own world and characters.

I was inspired by Michelle Paver’s Chronicles of Ancient Darkness and many of Tolkien’s books such as Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.

Inspiration from other authors

I looked up to Michelle Paver in particular when I was writing the book (and still do now).

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I was extremely proud when she tweeted about me and my book around a year ago.

More recently, however, I’ve become more interested in the magical realist genre and look up to writers such as Gabriel García Marquez and Isabel Allende.

How I fitted writing around school

Fitting in writing and schoolwork was tough, especially in Year 10 and 11 while I was preparing for my GCSEs.

I had to change the way I would write, from just doing as much as I could when I had spare time, to deliberately putting aside days for writing.

Setting the scene

The book is set in the fictional world of the Three Kingdoms.

It follows the story of Laochra, a young female member of the Ash clan who is tasked with finding and defeating the Demon Lord, who is obsessed with ruling over her homeland of the Three Kingdoms.

Despite not being allowed to fight as she is a girl, as well as being too young, Laochra sets out to accomplish this quest and soon realises that for reasons unbeknown to her, the Demon Lord is hunting her.

Allying her clan with dwarves, Laochra faces a harsh journey far from her homeland, racing against time in order to find the mythical object that may just be the Demon Lord’s downfall.

The finished book

When I saw the first copy I was amazed that I finally had a finished item to show for the years of work I had put into writing and compiling the book.

I was also really impressed with how professional the final book looked – it was better than anything I’d ever imagined.

I don’t have any more books planned for the moment. I’m focusing on sixth form and university applications, but at some point in the future when I have more time on my hands, maybe there will be a sequel.

If you want to be an author…

My advice if you want to be an author is that you can do it.

Just believe in yourself and write about something you’re really passionate about. The rest will come naturally; just let the story take you wherever it wants to go.

Know that you can achieve anything you want to, stick at it even through rough patches and you’ll get there in the end.

Juliet Webber is the author of The Demon Slayer. You can follow Juliet on Twitter.

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