I am a storyteller by nature, but when I sit down to tell you my
own story, I find myself at a loss for words. I write fantasy, and
yet the tale of my own last eight years feels too fantastical to
I began as a girl who simply liked to play make-believe, and who
decided to entertain herself over the dull months of summer vacation
by starting a novel. I ended up falling in love with Nyeusigrube,
the world I created that summer. The more I learned about its inhabitants
and their stories, the more I wanted to learn, and the only way
to do so was to continue writing. When I was thirteen, I began dreaming
of being published, and with the support of my family and friends
I took my first tentative steps toward making that dream a reality.
Here is where the story begins to feel like a fairy-tale, a far-fetched
fable full of lucky coincidences and incredible timing. An English
teacher from the high school pulled me aside to say hello because
I had been in a play with his son in fifth grade, and my friend
chose that moment to try to embarrass me by bragging that I was
trying to get a novel published. It turned out that the teacher
was also a literary agent. He offered to read my work, and later
to represent it. Only two months later, on my fourteenth birthday,
as I was opening presents, he called to say that In the Forests
of the Night had been accepted for publication.
In the Forests
of the Night was the first of many- and there are many
even more yet to come. Welcome to Nyeusigrube; welcome to my world.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes on the mythology of Token of Darkness at TeenReads.com
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