Back in January, Aarna Agrawal, 8, received recognition for her writing endeavors from the Santa Clara City Council, led by Mayor Lisa Gillmor.
“Mayor Lisa invited me to a City Council meeting held over Zoom on Jan. 26,” Agrawal said. “City Councilmember Kathy Watanabe delivered a Certificate of Special Mayoral Recognition from the Mayor to my house. It felt good to be recognized. Mayor Lisa said she will put a young author’s section in the Santa Clara City Library so others can see my book and other books written by local young authors.”
Most recently, Agrawal completed her work on a self-published children’s book called “Sarah and The Dinosaurs,” available for purchase on Amazon.
“I wrote ‘Sarah and The Dinosaurs’ in September 2020 and it’s the first book in a series I created called ‘The Magic Bracelet,’” Agrawal said. “In my book, a girl named Sarah finds a magical bracelet that takes her on a mission. A volcano is about to erupt. Sarah needs to save the dinosaurs from the hot lava. She has to say two magical lines, ‘Bracelet, bracelet I found you. Show me the magic that you can do.’ She can choose which power she wants to activate from the bracelet. So far, I have written this book in the series, and I have started writing my second book.”
Agrawal walked through the process of self-publishing a book, including an example of how she managed an illustration.
“First, I drew a sketch on pencil and paper,” she said. “Then we got the image scanned and uploaded onto my iPad. The program I use is called Autodesk Sketchbook. I think it’s a very good app. The writing was typed onto Kindle Create, a software that Amazon provides for self-publishing. The self-publishing program is called KDP — Kindle Direct Publishing.
“The manuscript and illustrations were uploaded onto KDP,” Agrawal continued. “And then you can fill out the other stuff that KDP wants you to fill out and then you hit ‘publish.’ Then Amazon reviews your book. In 72 hours, you can buy the book through Amazon.”
According to Agrawal, her teachers at Don Callejon School encouraged her to continue reading and writing.
“Ms. Isabel Sousa selected me to present at the Young Writer’s Exposition,” Agrawal said. “She liked my book ‘Amazing Frogs’ and she liked the illustrations. ‘Amazing Frogs’ is a non-fiction book about frogs, their habitats, what they eat and other stuff about frogs.
“I might receive a certificate for my book ‘Amazing Frogs’ at the next Young Writers Exposition, an event which was canceled last year due to the pandemic,” Agrawal continued. “But it might be rescheduled when the pandemic is over.”
Agrawal offered writing advice.
“The more you read, the better your writing will be,” Agrawal said and revealed an author whose work she enjoys reading. “Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House series, writes about Jack and Annie’s adventures through a magic tree house. So this series inspired me to write my own adventure series.”