WAXHAW – Sydney Crawford’s passion for writing began in the fourth grade. Now, four short years later, the Parkwood Middle School eighth-grader has written and published four youth fiction novels – and she has no plans of slowing down.
Sydney has always loved reading and storytelling, which she believes fueled her passion to create her own stories through writing.
“I’ve been writing for a long time, but I guess I really realized it was a hobby in about fourth grade,” she said. “I’ve always been writing little stories … I’ve always loved reading, so I guess that’s a factor.”
The 13-year-old decided to take her hobby to the next level in the seventh grade and began writing her first novel, “Blindfolded.” The book tells the story of a girl named Im Agine who lives in the “far, far future” and was blindfolded at age 3 because of her very strong powers. Im begins attending the Academy for the Very Much Gifted and Talented, where “everything changes.”
“I don’t really like realistic fiction,” Sydney said. “If I even try to write realistic fiction, something (supernatural) ends up in it. I guess I lean more toward the supernatural stories … they’re fun to read and write about.”
After the book was finished, Sydney approached her grandmother, Krys Crawford, about getting published.
“She really, really wanted to publish the book, and when I read it, it was really good,” Krys Crawford said. The two began looking into self-publishing and settled on CreateSpace, a company that helps self-publishers create and publish their books. CreateSpace also automatically lists the books for sale on Amazon.com. “There’s no money outlaid to begin with, and we instantly started getting royalties,” Crawford said.
“Blindfolded” was published in June 2013 under Sydney’s pen name, Sydney Dreamweaver. The book received positive response from readers, which encouraged Sydney to pursue writing additional novels. She wrote two books in the summer of 2013 – “The Mermaid’s Daughter,” a fantasy adventure featuring mermaids and mermen, and “A Ghostly Murder,” a mystery that tells the story of a girl who joins forces with a boy ghost to uncover the truth about his death. Sydney recently completed and released her fourth book, “The Timekeeper’s Son,” which is a sequel to “Blindfolded.”
Sydney has promoted her books through various outlets including book signings at the Monroe Library and in Pennsylvania, Waxhaw’s Autumn Treasures fall festival and her Facebook page, “Sydney Dreamweaver.” She’s also been interviewed during her school’s daily broadcast announcements and has worked to promote her books via word of mouth, as well.
Sydney isn’t just experiencing local success – her book is selling internationally, as well. Sydney’s network of family and friends extends across the Atlantic to areas in Europe, where a handful of people have purchased her books. She’s sold several hundred books altogether, her grandmother added.
“She gets a royalty check every month from Amazon, so it is selling,” Krys Crawford said.
With four books published and a steady stream of readers, Sydney has already avoided becoming a one-hit wonder. But she has no intentions of putting down her author’s quill anytime soon. Sydney is planning three additional books in the Im Agine series and two sequels to “A Ghostly
If there’s one thing Sydney has learned over the course of four novels, it’s how to be more descriptive. Her books have become increasingly thicker, and she’s learned a lot about grammar, as well as character development – something she’ll carry with her as she continues crafting her own stories.
“I’ve learned (about) diving into the characters’ eyes and creating more stuff about them,” she said. “I have a lot of books planned for the future.”
Learn more about Sydney at her Facebook page, “Sydney Dreamweaver.” View and purchase Sydney’s books at www.
amazon.com, or email email@example.com for more information.