Bellefonte Area Middle School student writes, publishes book
By Brit Milazzo
When Daniel Weaver got to writing his book, he tapped into the minds of the characters to tell the story of “Found by Time” that helped create their journey from beginning to end.
“Found by Time” is a book the seventh-grader wrote during the summer of 2019 between his sixth- and seventh-grade years that was recently published by ReadyAimWrite Kids, a branch of the Harrisburg-based company ReadyAimWrite Publishing, owned by author Stephen Kozan.
This makes Daniel the second Bellefonte Area Middle School student to write and publish a book through Kozan’s publishing company. In 2018, BAMS student Annie Cernuska, now also a seventh grader, wrote a book called "The Hunter Voyage.” You can learn more about it, here: Youth author Annie Cernuska
Calling it a “very interesting story,” Daniel’s experience writing was one he said he wasn’t expecting, but came after Kozan visited BAMS last school year and presented what’s called a Flash Fiction contest to the sixth-grade student body on the Red and White teams. The Flash Fiction contest allows students to submit work to Kozan with the potential of being professionally published based on their ideas. Last school year, more than 100 BAMS students participated.
“In fifth-grade, that’s when Annie did it, but I didn’t because I kind of thought that wasn’t for me,” Daniel, 12, said. “Then last year I was like, ‘you know what? I have a couple ideas that might be cool. I probably won’t get it, but at least I’ll try for it,’ and I did.”
Kozan selected a short story that Daniel wrote as one of the top five finalists. The group was then asked to further expand on their ideas with a 150-word synopsis, and Kozan selected just one as the winning idea with the opportunity for that winner to write and publish a book based on that idea.
Daniel was the winner.
“First of all, when I heard I was in the top 5, I was like, ‘are you sure you got the right person?’” Daniel said with a laugh. “That was amazing. … out of that many people he chose me!”
With help and some direction from sixth-grade English teacher Sam Hubley, Daniel said he began writing the book during the summer – something he explained was “more difficult” than he thought it would be.
“I give so much respect for those people who write hundreds of pages,” he said. “It takes so much effort and time, and when I was writing I thought it was tough, but had a lot of support and just began coming up with ideas as I was typing.”
His goal was to complete two chapters a day until he was completed with the book, and writing in 20-minute increments with 20 minutes breaks in between. He submitted the final draft to Kozan and an editor just before school started in August.
“I was so happy the day I finished – I’ll never forget it,” Daniel said. “I was like, ‘wow, that was really something.’ That was quite a journey because I kept thinking it was summer and I should be relaxing, but knew I had to do this and get it done.”
But despite the obstacles, Daniel said “everything about it” was a great experience.
“The opportunity was a great life moment for me, and just being able to learn all the skills I learned from this with writing and managing time and making deadline was totally worth it,” he said.
Infinite knowledge, the ability to control time — some forbidden gifts are too dangerous for any single human. What would you do with ultimate power and no consequences?
Anthony is just like any other college kid, until a strange dream and even stranger legend sends him and his friend Isaiah on a scouting trip into the woods. But when the boys find what they’re looking for and this “legend” proves all too real, unexpected things start to happen…and Anthony and Isaiah are changed forever.
When the boys realize the raw potential of these untested powers, they are forced to consider their own true natures. With these new abilities, they could help their fellow humans…or cheat on their math exams. Anthony and Isaiah must look deep inside themselves and make a choice: Will they use their new powers for mischief or for good?
Soon, Anthony and Isaiah are embarking on a magical journey with an unlikely destination: time itself. They have a mission to complete. They also have questions, and this time, they want answers:
Where did these powers come from in the first place? Who is behind the disembodied voice Anthony keeps hearing? What perils will befall the boys on their journey through time? Can they brave the dangers and political intrigue of this new world…or will they be lost in time forever?
Pre-order sales are being accepted until Jan. 30. Please view this form for more information: Book sales. A book-signing event for Daniel will also be held on Jan 30.
*Photos and synopsis provided by RedyAimWrite Publishing and used with permission