April 01, 2023

A - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...To Be an Adult + BONUS


I planned to participate in this year’s A to Z challenge before my mom passed away last month. I’ve had the posts scheduled since the beginning of the year. Maybe even end of last year. The last time I participated was 2015. I’d done two years in a row before my 2015 run burned me out from doing A to Z again. It’s been 8 years. I was looking forward to it this year and have decided to continue with it. It’ll be a nice distraction. 

Theme: For Writers

No, you don’t need to be young to start writing or to publish for the first time. At the same time, you don’t need to be an adult of a certain age. I started writing before I turned thirteen. It was the first book in a series, and my dream of being a published author began right then. I was seventeen when I started to send out my first snail mail query letters, hoping for a nibble from a publisher or agent. I did all of my research, and no one could guess my age in my query letters. Looking back, I can admit I wasn’t ready to publish then. I had a lot more to learn, but that doesn’t mean a teen or young adult is too young to be a writer or to publish. As I said before, your age doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are writing. You are trying. You are following your passion and striving toward your dreams.

My age is a constant insecurity for me, especially because I look much younger than I really am. There have been times when I’ve been dismissed by other authors because I look as though I am sixteen. I have to prove myself to them, prove that I do know things, because I can see in their eyes when we first meet, “How old is she? She’s an author?” This happened to me when I attended a lunch with local authors and a publisher. Someone even asked if I was the author. Um…I came alone, so, yes, I am the author.

Once, as the featured speaker at a luncheon, someone asked me my age. A writer at a local writers’ meeting also compared their age to mine, or what they thought my age was, in front of everyone in attendance. These sorts of things do bother me. A lot. Because of that, I don’t like to say how old I am, how old I was when I published Hurricane Crimes, or how old I was when I started my blog.

I don’t want to be judged for my age.

No one does.

Age does not equate to how well someone can write. Just because someone has been alive and working and learning longer than another does not necessarily mean they are truly wiser or more talented. I may be younger than others, and I may look even younger than my age, but I am knowledgeable in many areas and am skilled at writing. I don’t want anyone to look at me and think otherwise.

No matter your age, no one should judge you.

A teen can write just as someone in their golden years can write. A young adult can publish a book just as a retired individual can publish a book.

Mattie Stepanek, who had muscular dystrophy and sadly passed away when he was fourteen, started writing at three years old and went on to publish five books of poetry. Christopher Beale won a Guinness World Record for being the youngest male author, at 6 years and 118 days old. Older than Mattie and Christopher, but a wonderful example of a young adult publishing is Veronica Roth, the author of Divergent. She was inspired to write the story during her freshmen year of college and was twenty-two when Divergent was published.

You’re 12? Awesome! Write!

You’re 16? Wonderful! Write!

You’re 21? Yay! Write!

You’re 30? Woot-woot! Write!

You’re 40? Great! Write!

You’re 50? Fabulous! Write!

You’re 60? Perfect! Write!

You’re 70? Let’s do this! Write!

Let’s not forget...you can publish at these ages, too. For the very young ages, you’ll need a parent’s guidance, but you can still do it. Your name, and your name alone, can be on your book.

A - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...To Be an Adult



A - Avrianna Heavenborn

Avrianna Heavenborn is the protagonist in the novellas I am publishing exclusively on Patreon. She came to me when I was twelve years old and stayed with me through writer's block, depression, and burnout. I've rewritten her series from Book One, page one. And have revised Book One more times than I can say. One day I'll publish my "Secret Book Baby Series." In the meantime, you can get to know her and her world through the novellas on Patreon.

Name: Avrianna Leigh Heavenborn

Location: Aurora, New Vida

Birthday: July 7

Birthplace: Unknown

Found: Floating in the Aurora Diamond

Occupation: Homicide Detective

Favorite Color: Bright Green

Favorite Flower: White daisies

Favorite Food: Vegetarian

Hobbies: Shooting guns

Known Powers: Fire/fireballs/energy orbs, melt metal with her hands

Avrianna--a woman found floating in the ocean as a newborn.

A woman with powers that scare the people of her world, and who has unknown origins.

But she will do anything to protect her world regardless of how the citizens treat her.

You can read Universal Killer, Cocky Killer, and all future Avrianna Heavenborn novellas on Patreon for just $5.00 a month. You get access to special perks, too, and you pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.

Cocky Killer Chapter Five Teaser

"You know the one thing I can't figure out? What is the killer doing with their..." She paused and moved her hands around while searching for a good noun to use. "..body parts after castrating them? No appendages have been found anywhere in the two crime scenes. Not even in nearby Dumpsters." "Maybe the killer is keeping them for souvenirs."

Chapters Five to Cocky Killer is up. Chapter Six is coming April 4th!


  1. That's great that you decided to do the A-Z challenge and that it's a distraction for you now. I'm a lot older than you and don't want to be judged for my age either.

    1. I have a post later that's titled "You Don't Need to Be Young to Be a Writer." :) Writers can be any age. Published authors can be any age. No one should be judged for how long or little we've been on this planet.

  2. Hi Chrys - congratulations on doing something you and your mother both loved - it makes total sense and will take your mind away from her sad loss. Well all I can say is excellent to look so young ... just enjoy ... bother those others - they're jealous. Take care - cheers Hilary

    1. I am seeking distractions as much as possible during this time. I know that can dealing the grieving process, but it helps. My mom always looked young for her age, too. She said she didn't like it until she got older. And then she liked looking younger. lol

  3. Avrianna sounds awesome :-)
    I'm glad you joined us for the A-Z!
    Age is relative -- Mary Shelley wrote "Frankenstein" when she was 19 and got it published when she was 20.

    Ronel visiting for A:
    My Languishing TBR: A
    Accomplished Athena

    1. Avrianna is awesome. ;)

      Mary Shelley is a great example!

  4. Very cool. Shared your book character images on Pinterest. Hope that helps.
    Age really shouldn't be a factor. Seems rude to me to ask someone their age.
    I've heard people respond to the question by answering about big events. Like, "I'm not saying my age, but I was in high school when Neil Armstrong took one small step!" Something like that.

    Looking forward to more posts like this.
    It's April, so I'm focused on the #AtoZChallenge.
    Proof of Existence, book two in my dark urban fantasy series, is out this month.
    And I'm running a giveaway on my blog.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

    1. Thank you for sharing my character images on Pinterest!

      It *is* rude to ask someone's age, or to hint at it. Shouldn't matter one bit.

  5. Hi Chrys,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Writing these inspiring posts for A to Z will help you heal.
    I believe that age is just a number and it has nothing to do with writing or with anything as long as you have the passion in you to follow your heart and do what you love! Let people think or say what they want.

    1. Thank you, Shilpa. I completely agree. Well said. Thank you for visiting and commenting!

  6. Ah, some people are showing their insecurity. That's what's happening when they question your age. It's rude and shouldn't be done, though.

  7. Age is one of the few things everyone has in common. They are an Age - they have been previous ages and hope to be future ages. Like eating, it is a topic everyone is guarantee to be able to carry a conversation on - hence, it being the leading question with children. First, how old are you and, second, what are you eating? That being said, the love of writing isn't a function of age. I hope A-to-Z provides you a good distraction this year. (https://www.erinpenn.com/blog/)

    1. I agree. The love of writing isn't a function of age. Anyone, at any age, can find the love of writing.

  8. Yes, you will most definitely will publish Avrianna's series one day...and it'll be awesome. <3

  9. I'm playing catch-up right now. Been having tech issues. I love your words here. I'm helping my niece publish for the first time. Ageism is definitely a thing.