In the last couple of years, Amy Zhao has written and published four books.
For anyone who makes their living as a writer, this would make for a busy time. But for the Kenmore resident, writing is not her only focus.
Because as a 9-year-old, attending Sunrise Elementary School in Redmond plays a bigger role in her life.
But despite her schooling, Amy makes sure to make time to write.
“I have a ton of stories in my mind and I want to get them out on paper,” she said.
All of Amy’s books are part of what she calls her fairy series, although only three are part of a series and the remaining book is a single title.
The first title is the single, “Marry the Fairy,” which she wrote in first grade, and features a fairy named Marry. Amy started writing “The Quest for Moondust” and “The Power of Moondust,” which are about Pia the Pinena Fairy, in third grade and completed the latter this last summer before she started fourth grade. Amy’s fourth title, “The Moondust Adventures,” is a combination pack featuring both of Pia’s stories. The books follow the fairies as they go on various adventures with their friends. All of Amy’s books are available online on Amazon at tinyurl.com/ya3g3reu.
And while Marry and Pia are both fairies, they have different personalities.
“Marry is kind. She’s a kind fairy,” Amy said. “She loves (all creatures).”
Pia, she said, is kind as well, but the fairy is also quick thinking and forgiving.
“Everybody should deserve a second chance,” Amy said, referring to Pia’s forgiving nature.
When writing her different characters, Amy said she likes to put herself in their place and think about how she would react if she were them. She added that as a writer, she also knew she wanted her stories to be educational and include lessons for readers to learn such as the importance of friendship.
This is one of the reasons Amy likes to tell stories. She said you can do a lot of things through writing, from entertaining, to informing. She also likes it when people read and enjoy her stories.
“Because they’re happy,” Amy said.
There are other stories Amy wants to write, but she said she wants to finish her fairy stories — which are all color coded in purple — first before moving on to other characters.
“There’s gonna be a ton more,” she said.
Her future works will likely also be adventure stories and take place in a fantasy realm and maybe involve animals as Amy said she likes to take real-life creatures and add to them, making them “bigger,” while also making sure to give her stories some heart.
When Amy first began writing stories, her father, Kaidi Zhao, said she would use his computer and he thought she was just playing. But then he realized that she was pretty serious about her writing and was producing pages at a time. He said he did what he could to support her as she expressed herself.
He said when it came to publishing her books, they submitted her work online to Amazon Publishing and the process was pretty straightforward. In addition to online, “Marry” is available in her school library and she said she would like to get her work into local bookstores.
Zhao is also a fan, saying Amy’s stories are “very good” and was even surprised by a plot twist in Pia’s second story.
As a father, Zhao said he is glad that Amy was able to push through the sometimes difficult writing process and not give up.
That process includes planning and plotting a story and as well as editing and revising. Amy said the latter are very important.
“You have to do that a lot of times before it’s really finished,” she said. “It’s revise, revise, edit!”
And while she loves writing, Amy also likes to read a lot. She enjoys singing and is in choir at school. She also swims and plays tennis. With so many varied interest, Amy said she does not know what her career path will be yet.
“I think I want to be a lot of things,” she said.