With a fictional tale of gods and monsters, Delhi-based school boy Yashwardhan Shukla has turned an author at a young age of 13.
"Mythology intrigues me. I read mythological books. Amish Tripathi's 'Shiva's Trilogy' influenced me while Rick Riordan remains my favourite author," says the young author.
Yashwardhan also counts the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling among his inspiration.
The 13-year-old has spun a tale about a school kid David, who accidentally lands up in Antarctica after losing his entire family to a monster attack. His book "Gods of Antarctica" talks about the mythological fantasy of David's encounter with gods and monsters.
"It feels nice to have written my first novel. People ask more about my thoughts now and appreciate my work. Although as a student I am not very good at English in school" says Yashwardhan.
Recalling his not-so-long journey, the author says, "I started writing this book last year and finished in October. Before beginning with this book I had written a 70-page short story while I was in class sixth."
Yashwardhan, now a Class IX student at Mount St Mary's School, says he was encouraged by his father and uncle to pen the novel.
Writing is said to be a long drawn out process and Shukla says he had faced problems initially juggling his studies and writing a book.
"Writing a novel did affect my schooling. I got low grades because I could not focus during exams but in subsequent exams I managed both exams and writing well and scored better marks," he says.
When Yashwardhan's novel was first published, he says his friends were excited and began to take him seriously. "I used to carry my manuscript to school and write during free time. At first, initially my friends joked about it but subsequently they too became excited when it got published," he says.
The book has been put into print by the publishers Readers Paradise.
"My manuscript was rejected by a couple of publishers before being accepted. My publishers had suggested that names and location be changed from London-Antarctica to those in India," says Yashwardhan.
"It has been quite a motivating collaboration. There are not many young writers, not of his age at least. It has been a different experience altogether. It turned out to be a good learning and knowledge-sharing experience," says Chirag Gosai, owner, Reader Paradise.
Gosai said that the