Stacey C. Julie is 11 years old. Her favourite colours include pink and green, and her favourite food is tuna noodle casserole. She has also recently written, illustrated and published her very own book.
From an even younger age, Stacey knew that she loved to write. As early as Grade 1, she created stories with her friends, inspired by the books she read about rainbows and fairies. She purchased writing notebooks from the Dollar Store and decorated the covers herself.
Now in Grade 6, Stacey still writes lots of stories, and has filled up many notebooks with ideas for characters, fantasy worlds, and magical items. She also created a newspaper through her school that friends can submit articles to. One day, amidst online schooling and social distancing, Stacey was sitting at home with her cat Brae when she found a document on her laptop. It contained an idea for a story she had started a few months ago about four elemental sorceresses.
Inspired anew, Stacey set to work and combined many of her previous writing ideas to create what is now titled Scarlett Rouge the Sorceress of Red: Rainbow Sorceresses.
Stacey described the main character as a sorceress whose specific talent is “red magic.” All of the people in her fantasy universe have a specific talent relating to a colour or element. She has already finished the second book, titled Ginger Dixon, Sorceress of Orange, and is halfway through writing the third book. While she is not sure how many books will ultimately be in the series, she has a large plot-planning notebook bursting with ideas.
Her mother Jennifer Julie, describes Stacey as a “grammartician” and meticulous story planner, and said she had been steadily working for several weeks on the manuscript for the first book, when suddenly she looked up from her laptop in April and announced that the book was complete.
“We knew she wrote all the time,” said Jennifer, “but we didn’t know she’d committed to finishing the book, as she always has three or four book plots on the go.”
Jennifer happened to be speaking online with a friend who had just published her own book on Amazon, and when Stacey overheard the conversation, she decided to publish her own book too. With some editing help from her mother, and some inspiration from her sister Clara, the Julie family published Stacey’s story through Amazon’s print-on-demand process.
While the Julie family hasn’t received a report yet on how many copies have sold in total, they do know that friends and family all over Canada and the USA have bought the book, including an entire unit of Girl Guides in BC, who each purchased a copy. They have also received reviews of the book from family and friends in Australia, Germany and England. Stacey is the first published writer in the family.
Stacey credits her parents, her cat, and her younger sister for providing support and inspiration. She also said that her teacher Mr. DeProphetis, from St. Alexander Catholic Elementary School, encouraged her to write.
Her advice for other young aspiring writers is that “there’s inspiration everywhere. Don’t give up, even if you aren’t sure where the book is going. If you get writer’s block, just take a break and try again later. Don’t let anyone push you down. You are amazing and you can do anything.”
During a Zoom interview with the Voice, Jennifer hugged her daughter often, beaming as Stacey held up a copy of the book.
“Stacey struggled with anxiety like many kids do right now,” said Jennifer, “and writing helps to manage the tough times. We are all extremely proud of her —she has found something to occupy her during the pandemic, something she loves and we all look forward to her continuing to write.”
“Writing creates a different world, away from Covid,” said Stacey. “It’s an escape and someplace you can go, when there’s not anywhere else to go. There has to be some rainbow to look forward to if you’re in the middle of the storm.”
Stacey’s book, Scarlett Rouge the Sorceress of Red: Rainbow Sorceresses, can be found on Amazon.ca under the author name Stacey C. Julie.