The arrival of a large package at Pearl Whitfield’s home in Mullumbimby did not pique her interest initially.
‘I just thought it was another of dad’s tools,’ the 13-year-old says.
But the year 8 student quickly discovered that the seemingly boring box contained something magical.
Packed neatly inside were 85 shiny new copies of her first novel, Meya, a fantasy novel for 10-to-13-year-olds.
‘I was just really excited when I realised what it was,’ she says.
‘I didn’t realise what it would look like as an actual book.’
First of a trilogy
Written over the course of two years, including numerous afternoons after school, Meya is the first part of a trilogy that Pearl is writing.
‘It tells the story of a shape-shifter who makes friends with a fairy,’ the 13-year-old says.
‘It kind of just came into my head and so I started writing it.
‘I didn’t think it was going to end up being a published book.’
Pearl helped design the cover and raised the funds to publish the book through a GoFundMe campaign, with every donor promised a copy.
There are now just 25 copies left, a handful of which will go to schools and local libraries.
The rest are available for purchase, so if you’re after a copy, get in while there’s some left.
Meanwhile, Pearl has already started writing the second instalment.
It might not be too long before another big brown box arrives on her doorstep.
Pearl’s fundraising page.