At 13, Rylee Loucks is a published author.
The Ryerson Heights Elementary School Grade 8 student will soon release her first novel, Queen of the Seas, a book she has been writing since she was 11.
“I love reading – it’s an absolute love of mine,” Loucks said. “Whenever I sit down with a good book, I say ‘I want to do that.’ I want to provide someone with something that they would love to read.”
So, she did.
Loucks started writing in Grade 6 and, with the help and encouragement of her family, friends and teachers, after many revisions put the final touches on her novel in June.
“There were so many people who wanted me to finish,” Loucks said. “I pressured myself saying: ‘You gotta do it Rylee, you gotta do it. Keep going.’ I got to the point where there were so many people interested in reading it, I had to do it.”
Queen of the Seas tells the story of teenage orphan Tamina as she sets out on an adventure to find her family, taking her into a world of mermaids, night devils and unbelievable power.
Loucks’ parents decided to have the book published as a way to support their daughter, but soon friends and relatives were itching for a copy.
“Other people saw her constantly writing and they wanted a copy and it grew from there,” said her mother, Marnie Loucks. “As a reader myself, I was absolutely overwhelmed with joy. It was an unbelievable story and to think it was written by a young girl, I was thrilled and thought this needs to be shared.”
The novel will make its debut during an official launch at the Ryerson Heights craft sale, taking place on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Readers can meet Loucks, pick up a copy of the book for $10 and have it signed.
Loucks hopes her book will inspire other young people to reach for their dreams.
“What if everyone believed in themselves and followed their dreams?” Loucks said. “I want people to believe that their dreams are achievable. You can’t just put yourself down. You can get there.”
Grade 7 Ryerson Heights teacher and editor of Queen of the Seas Ken Woodley already sees Loucks as an inspiration.
“Rylee continues to inspire young readers and writers alike, as she masters her craft in storytelling,” Woodley writes in an endorsement of the book. “Her passion in her work is reflected throughout her stories. A more eager artist I have yet to encounter. This is one writer to keep your eye on. An inspiration to us all.”
Though she’s achieved her dream of writing a novel, Loucks isn’t done yet. She’s already working on her second novel – a futuristic tale about zombies – and hopes to carry on writing as a career.
“I want my name out there,” Loucks said. “My dream is for people to know and see me on the street and say: ‘Hey, that’s Rylee Loucks. She wrote a book when she was 13 and she has these awesome books.’”
Copies of Queen of the Seas will also be available at the Ecole Dufferin craft sale on Saturday, Nov. 24, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and at Dell Pharmacy.
The book can also be purchased online later this month at www.amazon.com at a cost of $14.99.