Daisy Ashford, nine-year-old author of The Visiters (published in 1919), and Robert Louis Stevenson, poet and author, are two famous writers who started young. And here’s another one. It’s time to meet Skye Lotus who has now self-published four books in the Starry Wings series and she’s only eleven.
The Starry Wings books are about a group of fun, feisty pixies who have a very important role to play in protecting the universe. The series begins with Sweet Dreams, Not, and we get to meet Star and her friends – and enemies. Star is at boarding school and it’s clear from the start she’s a very special little pixie. We find her training with her friend Moony at the beginning before the two of them make use of their virtual purses and take the teleportus back to school. Then it’s back to ordinary things like tidying the dorm. However, soon things taken an unpleasant turn for Star. She has a run in with a nasty wizard Jamie and then she begins to have nightmares – the ‘sweet dreams not’ of the title. Worried by these, Star finds an unlikely ally in the very strict teacher Ms Thorn and Star discovers she has even more abilities than she could ever have imagined. And another name. It’s up to her and her friends to deal with a very wicked wizard who makes Jamie look tame. Star is set on destroying this wizard but there’s a very good reason why she might want to reconsider that…
This is a super story for 6-12 year olds with interesting characters, plenty of action and a cliffhanger ending. Skye writes really well and creates a truly magical atmosphere in her book. Star is a plucky heroine. She’s not scared to stand up against the unpleasant wizards and isn’t fazed when she discovers her new powers. She’s a courageous go-ahead pixie and a fun, loyal friend. She’s a very inspiring character.
I asked Skye some questions about her book and her writing, and a few other things.
What inspired you to write Sweet Dreams, Not?
I just naturally love writing. I wanted to write something big when I was younger. I started writing it in a class, but my teacher insisted that I finish it and cut it off short, so I continued it at home and finished it. When I was happy, I told Dad my wish to have it published, and we searched to find a publisher. The results: Sweet Dreams, Not and the series of starrywings!
Why did you choose pixies as your main characters?
I’ve always liked fantasy. I quite like elves, too, but I like winged creatures as well so in the end I chose a pixie, which has pointy ears, elvish features and wings! Also, I wanted to make people picture pixies not as mischievous but cunning and intelligent, if a bit feisty.
Did you design the cover yourself?
Yes. I was already onto the beginning of manga and anime (Japanese cartoons) and I wanted to try my best to form my own style. I’m still practising my manga and anime at the moment, and want to publish my pictures as well. I often scan my pictures and colour them in.
Which character from the book are you most like? Star? Moony? Ms Thorn? Jamie?
Ah ha ha ha! I have small characteristics related to each character, such as being reactionary like Star, and a little moody like Jamie. Ms Thorn was just created for pure entertainment; for some reason, I find strict, stereotypical teachers really fun to imagine! So in ways, I’m like them all, but I lean towards Star the most.
Would you like to be a pixie?
Now that I think about it, I’d prefer to be an elf. I’ve just come to like them a lot, since Dad put me on to fantasy and medieval stuff. I have a feeling it’d be nice to fly, but I just love elves too much to change over to pixies, although they are pretty cool.
What will your next book in the Starry Wings series be? Will it be out soon?
My fifth book is being edited by my teacher instead of Dad this time, because my teacher is kinda professional in this area. The name is a secret, though! I guess you’ll just have to be patient.
Which authors or books are you reading at the moment?
I’ve been reading manga novels by Natsuki Takaya lately, called Fruits Basket. I love to study the pictures, and the storyline is really good. I, one day, would love to draw like her!
When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?
I guess it just started with the wish to write. It just came so naturally, I wanted to show the world how much I love to write. When I was in grade four my first book was published, so I wanted to continue it as a series and eventually branch out so I could become well known, just in case I become a known author when I’m older!
What one snippet of advice would you give to aspiring self-published authors, adults or children?
Always make the plot first. I didn’t have a plot for my series, so I’ve had to just go with the flow and make sure that everything lines up. I didn’t want to make any mistakes once I realised I had no plot, and kind of panicked, then figured if I just knew my facts, I’d be alright. Save yourself the stress and make a plot!
OK, enough of the serious stuff. What are your three favourite things to eat?
That’s easy. I mean, chocolate is an essential, but I really like dried dates and pistachios too. They’ve just got such unique flavours, and I really like to enjoy them as a little snack, if available!
What would you like for Christmas?
Now that’s hard. I have so many things I want, but I think I’ll just list three:
- Peace/rainbow jewellery ( I love peace signs and rainbows. They’re so colourful and happy!)
- A black tee with the word “Peace” rainbow spray-painted in the middle
- A trip to Japan (I love Japan, best place ever!)
And finally, please describe your perfect day away from school and writing!
The perfect day away from school and writing? There are so many options! Since I only get about 30 minutes play time on computers/iPods/iPads/Playstation/Wii etc, I’d like the morning to play as much as I please, then for the afternoon hang out in Disneyland, Tokyo, Japan without anyone else there but my best friends, with a free pass until 3:00pm, then go shopping for clothes, jewellery, makeup, toys, electronics, etc as much as I want with unlimited money. All of this with my best friends, of course, and perhaps with my sister if she decides to be super nice.
Haha! That’s more of a dream day. A perfect day would be when I acheive making a true anime picture and get to meet Emily Rodda again and talk to her a lot about writing. I mean, I’ve met her before, but lots of other people were there and I would have loved to have talked to her alone.
Here is Skye’s page on Smashwords so you can have a look at all her lovely books. And keep an eye out for a lot more to come from this talented young writer.