Clever girl, Clever Clouds

Inspired by the clouds in a Trix cereal ad, 14 year-old Stephanie Gunby wrote her first book, The Clever Clouds.

She will be at Book Nook Saturday, 9 April, from 11am to 1pm signing copies.

“It’s basically about this boy named Blake, and he’s looking up at the clouds, and all of the sudden, these animal clouds come to life and they take him on this adventure,” Stephanie says. “It’s all about their adventure and becoming friends.”

She also drew all of the illustrations in the book, and her mom helped her colour it.

The Clever Clouds is geared toward nine- to 12-year-olds, but this is a book that could be read to kids of any age.

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It is dedicated to the St. Ignatius School, where she first had the assignment that sparked the idea.

Stephanie on writing

“I just write for fun. I just think it’s so interesting and fun. I love writing,” she says.

Stephanie is in Year 8 now. In year 6, she was assigned to a narrative in her class. She put together this book with a cover and they even had a book signing.

“I got my grandmother to come so I could read it to her,” she says. The experience was like being a real writer, on tour, stopping at different cities for book signings and meet-and-greets.

Since then, it’s come a long way.

“My goal was to publish my very first book before I turned 13, and we pretty much published it before my birthday – September of last year,” she says.

After days and days of research, she found a publishing company for her book.

Stephanie’s favourite writer is Roald Dahl, and The Witches is one of her favourite books.

Before she published The Clever Clouds, she wrote to another one of her favourite authors for advice.

“I wrote to Gordon Korman. I really liked his book, too, the Sixth Grade Nickname Game,” she says. “He emailed me back, and I was asking him advice about what companies he thinks are good. He was really cool.”

As for a style, she has not yet found one.

“I’ve never actually really thought about what my style is, but I really love doing children’s books,” she says. “I’m not into writing really detailed, really long chapter books. I really enjoy keeping it short and simple.”

In The Clever Clouds, she does. It’s a simple and sweet story. But there is a surprise ending.

“The way I ended the book, I ended it as sort of a mystery so that it could be continued as a series if I wanted to, for kids,” she says.

Stephanie on her plans

Her favourite subjects in school are, not surprisingly, English and art. Now she’s starting to challenge herself in writing.

“I started working on a chapter book to see if I would enjoy writing a longer one for older students like my age,” she says.

As for the future, she wants to write.

“I’d always wanted to be an author. So I see myself for sure writing books and seeing them published,” she says. “But I also want to get into the movie producing works. I find all of that really interesting too.”

Now, when she writes a book, she thinks about how she can turn it into a movie.

One day her book fans might also see her name on the silver screen. For now, however, her fans can pick up a copy of The Clever Clouds, which costs $15 and comes with a free bookmark.

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