When the tenacity took over, the writing flowed and a book was born.
After firing up her keyboard with adventure, fantasy, drama, mystery and humor for a few months, “The Dragon Diaries” came to life for 10-year-old Mercer Island author and Lakeridge Elementary School student Sydney Weitz. Her self-published, 149-page paperback book hit the Amazon website on Nov. 10.
About a year or so ago, Weitz hatched the premise for a possible book about three kids who wake up on a school bus with their memories wiped clean. She set the idea aside then because she was swamped with school and extracurricular activities.
But then the world changed.
“Since I have such a passion for writing, the pandemic gave me the time I needed to write it,” said Weitz, whose mom, Kim, signed her up for a writing and publishing class on Outschool.com with teacher Dr. Lorette Weldon. “I wanted to use (my time) productively and I thought, ‘Why don’t we go back to the book?’ First, I fleshed out all my ideas, then I kind of made a plan for the makeup of the story so that everything would make sense.”
The first-time author expanded on her idea, first with the kids — two girls and one boy — finding a diary that sheds some light on their predicament, but then they are transported to a new world that features an evil dragon queen, Dragonia, and a knightly dragon, Tanwen. Together, the trio and their companion Tanwen aim to defeat Dragonia and save The Dragon Kingdom.
With the writing and editing complete, Weitz and her parents followed up with Weldon, who walked them through the Kindle Direct Publishing process.
Weitz said she faced some challenges with heaps of editing and devising a timeline for the characters during their journey through different worlds.
“It was kind of hard at times, sometimes it was a little frustrating, but I think if I want to write another book I think it will be a little easier,” she said. “It’s fun for me to come up with the idea, the characters and the story line and all that.”
Kim said her daughter was determined to accomplish her goal of finishing “The Dragon Diaries.”
“We couldn’t get her to stop writing,” said Kim, noting that Sydney experienced some writer’s block, but soon resumed her writing spree for hours at a time. “We’re super proud of her.”
Sydney added with a laugh that she was often up all night delving into dragons.
Her father, Brad, has a background in digital marketing and helped in that realm while Kim supplied some writing assistance. Brad was impressed that Sydney took an interest in digital marketing and set up a blog during the process.
“I’m very proud of her publishing the book, but also just taking ownership of all the things that go with it and applying a lot of the math and things that she learns in school,” Brad said.
The family is donating 50% of the proceeds from book sales to the Mercer Island Schools Foundation.
To view Sydney’s blog, visit https://sydneyweitz.com/. For book information, see https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Diaries-Sydney-Weitz/dp/B08N3KQC88.