Storytelling comes naturally to young people. Fall River 15-year-old Anya Costello started writing her book The Shadow Hour at 10 years old, and now she can finally see her hard work in print.

"An idea, sparked by a chat with friends about how shadows shift shapes, and how fascinating it would be if shadows could split from their owners and become separate beings, was how the idea for this book started," Costello said.

In the tradition of The Hunger Games, Costello has written a fantasy novel about to hit the bookshelves across the country on February 15, 2022. The Bishop Connolly student won an international writing contest that landed her a nationwide book publishing contract.

How does an author know whether or not their book would be of general interest to the reader?

"I believe the intended audience will find the characters and the storyline relatable, while the adventure part of the story will keep it moving and interesting," she said.

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Costello is already good at her craft, but how will she become better writer? She said she practices two rudiments.

"Basically, I write everyday and I read other books with similar themes," she said. Reading other authors is important to Costello because she said it moves her creative process.

Because music opens us to feelings, Costello said she also lends an ear to music.

"I listen to music while I'm writing," she said. "Although I enjoy a lot of different kinds of music, I play classical music because I feel the music matches what I'm writing."

She said her mother, Audra Costello, spends a lot of time going through the book, making edits, and encouraging her to keep writing, as does her father Chris Costello and sister Greta.

As a young writer herself, Costello advises to other young people, "If you have inspiration and you have some time, write what feels right."

If you know a young person trying their hand at writing, inspire them with Anya Costello's creativeness that affirms child authors prove age is just a number.

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