A Child Author Becomes Published at Age 12

I encountered at least three child authors at the 2006 Book Expo America. Michael Brasier was 12 when his personal-experience travel book, The World Through A Child's Eyes, came out, 13 by the time I met him. They've hired a book designer and a publicist, printed 1000 copies with a full-color interior (many photographs). The publicist had contacted all the registered press attending the show ahead of time, and my scheduled interview with Michael and his dad Bud brought me up to their booth in one of the small press areas, where I also encountered one of the others but did not have time to conduct an interview. So we'll let Michael represent the genre of kid authors—and kids who look great in a suit. Bud owns a software development business that gives the family a great deal of freedom to travel. Bud started the interview while Michael was talking to one of his fans.

BUD: We've homeschooled him most of his life. We've just enrolled him in a public Internet charter school, Colorado Virtual Academy. They pay me for my Internet connection, they provide a computer, he logs on from anywhere in the world and does his lessons.

The book was a joint idea, the stories were more my idea—part of his education process as we traveled. So when he was six and we were in South Africa for a month, I had him write down his perspective on what he saw. And then last year, we were looking at the stories…

MICHAEL: I started writing at six. It was stories about where we went, and I'd research and write about it. I did quite a bit of research and we ended up having about 40 stories. First, figuring out what to research: food, the different cultures, then searching on Google and other sites. I'd read a few books. Instead of just something that I could look back, why not share it? So we put it into a book.

BUD: The most difficult process was learning the trade, the peculiarities: Who does what, what do you need to get. We did use a book, Self Publishing with Little or No Money. It was very structured. We used TSE Worldwide, they do their printing in Hong Kong. they've been fantastic.

MICHAEL: It's interesting to feel that this is going to be everywhere, anyone can pick it up. And if there's any mistakes, it's my fault.

BUD: We're dying to get a publisher or distributor through BEA. We're doing some mailing, interviews.

(In post-show follow-up on May 26, 2006, Bud noted that response was positive from several distributors, and they hoped to sign with one within the week. They also expect to be listed with both Amazon and Google shortly, and are developing their own site at www.worlds-eyes.com.)

Related Stories from BEA 2006

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