Some authors labor over their masterpieces for years, but Stephanie Gorbounov of Cary wrote The Little Happy Bird in about an hour or so, she said.
Of course, when youre an elementary school kid, an hour can feel like a pretty long time.
Stephanie, now 8, initially wrote The Little Happy Bird, a book for 3- to 5-year-olds, for a writing contest at her local library.
It just sounded fun to see what itd feel like to write, Stephanie said. I didnt really think that I would win, but surprisingly, I did.
Encouraged by that win and with help from her parents, Stephanie started looking for publishers, and The Happy Little Bird was released by Tate Publishings childrens division earlier this year.
The idea for the book just came to me, Stephanie said, though her love for animals probably had a lot to do with it.
Its about a little bird, and he goes on an adventure to his friend Bears house, and on the way he made some friends, and when he gets there they play lots of games and just have fun the rest of the day, she said.
The story, accompanied by colorful illustrations added by her publisher, is good for boys or girls, Stephanie said, ideally someone who likes adventures and animals.
Now that shes a published author, Stephanie is learning the ropes of promoting her book and meeting her fans.
Shes had three book signings since the debut of The Little Happy Bird, at a bookstore, her neighborhood clubhouse, and a local Chick-fil-A restaurant. Stephanies father, Alex Gorbounov, said shes learned a lot, even though the experience has been almost entirely pure fun for her.
I think she learned a life lesson that any kind of serious undertaking like this requires commitment and hard work, he said.
And he said hes noticed a change in his daughter since she became a published author: Its helped her be more responsible with other things. I think shes matured a little bit because of this experience.
While Stephanie writes about animals, her own reading tastes are far more varied. She said she enjoys reading mystery and fantasy books (particularly fairy tales) and is a fan of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
She said she probably wants to be a writer when she grows up, adding she enjoys writing books because you get to put all the details in it and you can use your imagination.
But she might not wait until adulthood to publish again.
I actually have a folder of other stories Ive written, she said. Her most recent story has been taking shape in writing exercises at her school, Northwoods Elementary, where shes in third grade.
Im writing about my cat right now, because he has one eye, she said, adding: I might turn it into a book.
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