Elle Vail is a writer and blogger. So are many Westporters (including yours truly).
What makes Elle special is that she is only 13 years old. Here — in her own words — is her story.
Ever since I was in 1st grade, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be an author from the first time I found joy in writing at Saugatuck Elementary School where my teacher, Ms. Bader, made us write about our weekend every Monday.
As the years went by my passion grew greater. Once I reached 4th grade I practically rewrote “Dork Diaries” in 53 pages. Not the best first story, but it motivated me to write more.
Once seventh grade approached I was ready to write another long story. Luckily I had another life-changing teacher, Mrs. Hallama, to help me out. I told her I wanted to finish a book by the time I was 13 (which was the next year).
She helped me get to work by contacting her literary agent with questions, FaceTiming with her author friends and helping me bring out what I had into my writing.
I was surprised she wasn’t already published. Soon after I left her classroom she emailed me that she got a book offer for 2 of her books to come out on Halloween of 2020 (knowing Mrs. Hallama, they will not disappoint).
By December in her classroom, I gained the confidence to commit to my first published novel, “adVerse Wishes.”
Through this journey, I had so much support from my friends and family especially author Howard Greenwald (the dad of a good friend of my dad’s), who influenced me to finish the book.
With so much help I completed the book by August 2018. I had written 75 pages but I was ready to write more.
November was National Novel Writing Month (I have to thank Ms. Rao for informing me about it at Bedford Middle School).
By the end of November, I had written 49 pages. With my 2 novellas done I was ready to self-publish.
I wish I could say I created the 2 beautiful covers for my books but really my amazing friends, P. Pretty and H. Fiarman, did it all.
By March 29 and 30 my books were out to the world. Although it took a while I eventually got them onto Kindle, Amazon, the Barnes &Noble website, the Bedford Middle School library and the Bookcycle.
I am working on getting my books into the Barnes & Noble store, Westport Library and the Staples High School Library.
During this process I began to publicize that I was working on publishing 2 books, through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I post at least once a day on my social media accounts.
Local bestseller Emily Liebert inspired me to get on social media for writing and to blog. I met her when she did a speech at a National Charity League event as an author. I was intrigued by her story.
Soon after I reached out to her. We had coffee at Aux Delices. She talked with me about my books and how to go to the next level.
As I am starting 9th grade at Staples High School, I am sadly more short on time for writing, so writing another novella or writing a novel can be hard. Because of this, I started my blog. I now post at least once a week on evailwrites.com. I enjoy blogging so much and I hope to continue it for as long as possible.
After having coffee with Emily she released another incredible novel called “Pretty Revenge.” I was lucky enough to go to one of her book signings to meet her very kind friends and fellow authors Jane Green, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke.
From the experiences with Emily Liebert, I learned the significance of reaching out to those you look up to in the profession you would like to pursue. This can help you plan for the future, and get some wise words from those who are more experienced than you.
I 100 percent recommend more kids go for it and advance their dreams at a young age. For all of the young aspiring authors, find someone who can motivate you and just write! Anyone can self-publish like I did with a couple of guidelines; all you have to do keep writing.