Meet Molly: A Successful Author at Age 14

Although just 14, North Haven (Conn.) Middle School student Molly D’Andrea has always known her dream: to be a writer. She worked on projects here and there, but then inspiration struck — and she ran with it.

Most authors write from personal experience, but that wasn’t the case for me. I think my main inspiration was having the base idea of the main character, and him being broken/hurt or alone/lost in someway. And things just started turning from that point.

Still, like many writers her age and decades older, she felt unsure of the words she put to the page and kept her work private. Then, at the behest of friends, she showed them a few pages of what would eventually become her debut novel, Shattered Ones. They encouraged her to keep going. For Molly, that wasn’t enough. She decided to take it a step further by publishing her novel through Lulu. At this point she “likes how the online business is working so far.”

Molly stayed away from doing any pre-publication marketing and PR because she wanted her book to be complete before anyone — including her parents — touched it. Since Shattered Ones was released in September, Molly has appeared on Fox Connecticut News, Connecticut Style and the North Haven TV Channel, and has been featured in The Citizen and the Post Chronicle. She garnered this PR simply: Her mother found and emailed appropriate contacts at local and regional newspapers, radio, and TV stations. It has, overall, been a quiet campaign — but one that has worked.

Up next for Molly is a Shattered Ones prequel, the idea for which came from a friend. She is still pondering the “rise and fall of a plot,” as well as the climax, so she’s not yet started it, but expects to.

In the meantime, Molly has advice for any aspiring writer, young or old:

Keep your head up, and remember that tunnels end in light. Because you can feel trapped and lost and like you’re in the darkness, but if you keep working at it, you’ll reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

How old were you when the writing bug bit?

Additional Recommended Reading: It’s Never Too Soon To Become An Author

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7 Comments

  1. Annmarie

    Before I could read or write, I knew what I would be when I grew up. My sisters and brothers became my personal secretaries until I was able to write on my own.

    No one encouraged my dreams, instead telling me it was an unsafe career choice and I would be a starving writer.

    Today, I am a successful writer and author working on a series of books. I am grateful I was a stubborn little girl who stuck to her dream and blocked out all those people who said “You can’t” and “You won’t.” Well I can and I did!

  2. The stories of young writers is often astounding. At such an early age, being able to get a taste of the writing field firsthand is fantastic.

    I’m close to the age of Ms. D’Andrea, and I find the publishing process to be exhilarating. I wrote two novels before I had become comfortable with my writing. Now I’ve written a third which I may be publishing through Lulu – I’m at that point where I’m looking over at traditional publishing and wondering if it’d be worth it.

    I certainly haven’t been disappointed with Lulu. The results with my short stories have been nothing short of amazing.

    Unlike some of Lulu’s competitors, the process is very simple, the author’s rights are reserved, and you don’t feel like you’re signing your life away when you accept the terms and conditions.

    Finally, to answer the question of the article: the “writing bug” hit me when I was… eh, 10 years old, perhaps? Maybe even earlier than that.

  3. Morgan, Lulu

    @Zechariah – It is so great to hear about your experience with writing so far. I’m thrilled that you’ve enjoyed the process of publishing through Lulu and am very impressed that you nurtured your desire to write starting so young. Big congrats to you, and we can’t wait to hear more about your upcoming book.

  4. What is funny is to see how young artist could easily become a star in the US, what is something really difficult here in France and maybe better for their childhood.

  5. Anna

    Molly really is an inspiration to young aspiring authors everywhere. I am actually friends with Molly and I know how hard she worked in order to finish this book. I know myself and the rest of her friends and family are very proud of her.

  6. Macayla

    I really want to be an author but im 14 and keep getting told I cant. I already have written my first book of a series and i get told its good but its not published. What should I do, cause molly’s story really inspired me to keep going but im not sure.

  7. Meg @ Lulu

    Hey Macayla,
    Thanks for such an awesome comment! First off, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something or that you aren’t good enough. Do you know how many famous authors were told by random people that their work couldn’t cut it? Just keep reading and writing, no matter what other say. Also, here at Lulu, we are here to help. We would love to help publish your work!

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