Empowering a Young Author

photo of people near wooden table

It’s not every day an author contacts you asking you to write a commentary for the inside of their book.

It’s even less frequent that the author is sixteen.

Well, I have the privilege of introducing to you a young author whose book is going to hit the international presses this July: I give you Saania Saxena.

Saania first reached out to me back in the spring of 2020, just before the lockdown. Her inquiry was simple: how do you submit a book to publishers? She had seen my own profile as an author and taken the vital step of seeking input before contacting the “gatekeepers.” Now, let it be known: I published my books independently. In fact, beyond preparing materials to send publishers and agents, I have no experience in the publishing negotiation process. But have I written dozens of queries and synopses? You betcha.

After Saania contacted me, I was naturally intrigued. I paid a prolonged visit to her blog and, upon reading the numerous thought-provoking pieces, promptly subscribed. It was no surprise that when she sent me some sample chapters of her manuscript, the content showcased a dynamic approach to an almost exhausted topic: teenage angst and insecurities.

When I first heard the premise of the book, I frankly wondered, “What else could be said about this topic that hasn’t been said already?”

A lot, it turns out.

To be sure, there are more than enough hormone-saturated novels, targeted toward teenagers, that illustrate (and celebrate) the adolescent mindset. And there are plenty of books out there targeted towards parents trying to understand what the heck is happening inside their child’s brain.

But for some reason you don’t hear about informational books written for teens who want to better understand themselves and their mood swings.

I have a feeling you’ll be hearing about this one.

The fact that Saania is a young author gives her a leg up on the competition.

These struggles are still fresh—if not ongoing—for her and her peers. Most teens avoid nonfiction because they perceive it as either boring, irrelevant, or preachy. The Teenage Chronicles defies all of these labels.

There are still five months before the book is released, so I will avoid giving away too much. Suffice to say, though, I am very excited to see this one roll off the press.

Interacting with Saania (and other young writers) has reminded me of the unique power of self-starters. Granted, few sixteen-year-olds receive a publishing deal. But Saania is an example of a young person who has leveraged her extra time, energy, and creativity to create something of value for people in her shoes. She is an example of someone who has the motivation to develop her ideas, the courage to ask for help, and the drive to continue honing her craft. From my standpoint, it has been an absolute privilege and joy to see a young author shape and perfect her work for the public—and it’s also a privilege to have a place on the inside of the book. 🙂

Some might find the success of such a young author intimidating. I find it inspiring. And I can’t wait to get my signed copy in the mail.

Are there any young people in your life whose creativity you could support?

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7 Comments on “Empowering a Young Author

  1. I’ve visited her blog before. Like many others, I was surprised to find out her age. She seems to know a lot more about the world than an average 16 y.o. That’s pretty neat that she was able to get published. More power to her. And to you for being able to help others achieve their dreams.

    • Right??! If more young people (and adults, for that matter) thought as deeply as she does, what a different world this would be!

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