There is nothing on earth like a good fiction novel: a book that allows one to escape to a different place, a different time, a different year, a different life. You lose yourself entirely and you fall deeper as the words come alive; every page is better than the last. Ever happened to you?
Perhaps you’ll feel this way after you’ve read ‘The Lost Sister’ a novel by Kurmysha Harris. The author, 16, is a fifth form student at St. Joseph’s Convent (SJC). The novel, her very first, was published in September of last year and to date over 600 copies (and counting) have been sold.
According to Kurmysha, she’s been writing for “as long as I can remember.”
“My father actually told me if I wrote a book, he’d publish it for me,” she said.
As a child, she was commended for her impressive writing skills by teachers and family members alike. But the writer, who has a strict reading diet, never imagined that one day she would be releasing a novel of her own; it was her uncle’s idea.
“When I was thirteenI started getting into the industrial revolution and I already liked the Victorian era; I was reading a lot about it and wanted to write a short story about it,” she said.
“I gave it (the story) to my uncle (Terryl Monsanto) to read and he suggested that I turn it into a book; he explained how I could expand on it and I agreed to give it a try,” the young writer said, adding that she continued to work on her characters, reading and learning all that she could as well.
The plot is enchanting.
“The story gets into motion when my main characters (siblings ‘Iain’ and ‘Aibeline’), lose their parents and they’ve got all of this grief because they have to live on their own; they fight a lot about different things because they’re still young children,” Kurmysha explained.
She continued: “The younger sister actually goes out to see the neighbour, to talk to her and get everything off her chest, but she gets kidnapped and now the brother is trying to find his sister; he is trying to deal with the grief of losing his parents, his sister and the possibility of never seeing her again.”—‘Iain’ sets out to find his sister.
Speaking on what inspired her storyline, she said: “I kind of liked stories like that—the setting was one thing: I like the Victorian era and the things that went on then and I wrote them with the characters being children because I myself am a teenager so I relate to teenagers more.”
And as expected, Kurmysha, who also did the book’s artwork, had to do quite a bit of research for the novel.
“You can’t just rely on Wikipedia,” she said.
According to her, the book, which was completed within the span of two years, “could have been better” (in her opinion anyway), however, she explained that she is giving herself “time to grow” as she was younger back then.
And don’t think she did not encounter writer’s block along the way—like almost every other brilliant writer, she did, but it was a stumbling block she eventually was able to get rid of.
Already, she is working on book two.
“Book two will be called ‘Below the Bridge’ and will actually be a trilogy this time but the kind where you can read the books in any order,” she shared.
“It’s going to be called ‘The Below the Bridge Series’— the first one is about this girl who lives in a really bad family: her father is a drunkard, her mother is sick and she’s trying to help her family by going to work; the person who employs her is not a very nice person and eventually it gets so bad that she kills herself,” she expounded.
But this story does not have a bad end.
“The characterdoes not actually die; she goes into this kind of limbo where she has to prove that she wants to go back to the living world and that’s the struggle that she’s going through: she doesn’t want to stay in this limbo, she actually wants to live,” the ‘Saint Lucian’ born Dominican explained.
And she does not intend to stop there. The young writer hopes to continue writing books in the future, however, she explained that this would be something she does part time; Kurmysha, who loves languages, hopes to study abroad and explore different cultures as well.
Although she’s not certain about which career field she would like to enter, the student shared that she has given thought to civil engineering and architecture.
Her family members, schoolmates and teachers are proud of how far she’s come.
“I need to pay my parents (Dana and Kurt Harris) back for the debt I put them in,” Kurmysha said jokingly on her book’s success.
Purchase ‘The Lost Sister’!
Visit: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and www.thelostsisterbook.com