The way Sarah Renée explains it, writing a book is fairly easy. She has story ideas floating around in her head, she says, and after mulling them over, she puts them on paper. Her simplistic explanation is not meant to demean the process, which can be trying for even the most celebrated wordsmiths, but the young author seems to have nailed down the exercise. She has written three books before her 16th birthday, and she has another on the way.
“When I was 10, I was writing short stories for a hobby. I first came up with the idea for the Sederia series then,” she says. “I didn’t think about it again until I was about 11. I just loved the story line so much I decided to write one book and then wanted to continue it.”
Renée was 12 years old when she published The Tiger Princess, the first in the series, through self-publishing company CreateSpace. She intends to write 15 books total before she ends the series. The books, intended for middle-schoolers, follow Sederia, a tiger princess who is tracking down the culprits of a fire that killed her parents.
Like many other young women, Renée loves animals and a good princess story. Yet that’s where many of the traits she shares with her peers ends. She loves music, but rattles off bands like Muse and Natasha Beddingfield as her favorites rather than Justin Beiber or Taylor Swift. But the most notable difference between Renée and the stereotypes of her age group may be her work ethic.
She spends anywhere between four and seven hours a day writing. “All week long, basically,” she says. That’s after she completes her high school coursework.
Renée enrolled in an online school in seventh grade to free up more time for writing, but the demands still make for long days. “I do a lot of drawing and sometimes I go bike riding with my mom, but most of the time I am writing,” she says. “I have a desk in my room and most of the time that is where I am.”
Renée has also been visiting schools around the area, sharing tips on writing and publishing with students, which she says is one of the more fun aspects of her schedule. “I tell everyone, if they really truly love their stories, and love to write, anyone can become a writer, even at a young age.”
Sarah Renée will sign copies of her books from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wonder Works in Mt. Pleasant and from 2-5 p.m. in West Ashley.