Did you Know?

Shriya Asha Sharma, a former AISG student, has a passion for writing and unicorns and is also a hard worker.  This combination naturally led to her first published book, “Unicorn Adventures: The Dark Forest” at the young age of 10 years old. We are thrilled to share with you our interview with Shriya who tells us all about the details of her book, her incredible journey in becoming an author and her encouraging words for other young writers. Most notably, she shares why she is donating all her profits to support education for underprivileged children. We are so proud of Shriya and her accomplishment as a member of RamNation because even though she is not currently located in Guangzhou, Once a Ram, Always a Ram! 
A girl is holding her book and smiling at us

Quick Facts About Shriya:

  • Age:10 years old
  • Grade: 5
  • Years at AISG: October 2017 - June 2020 (Grades 2-4)
  • Current Home: Singapore
  • Spare Time Activities: Playing the piano and ukulele, playing with friends, baking with Mom
  • You can follow Shriya on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnicornAdventureSeries
  • Or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unicornadventureseries/

Quick Facts About the Book:

  • Title of the Book: “Unicorn Adventures: The Dark Forest”
  • Date of Book Publication: January 10, 2021
  • Sold at Amazon and Kitaab Bookstores
A girl is showing her book to us

Q1: What is your book about? 

A1: This book is about friendship, skills and adventure. The story is set in the magical land of Unitopia and follows the adventure of three unicorn friends – Miso, Milky & Mocha. The three friends each have a special skill and their adventure requires them to use their combined skills and smarts to overcome the various challenges in the cursed dark forest. Do the unicorns succeed in lifting the curse from the dark forest? You’ll have to read the book to know more. 

 

Q2: Are there any memories or influences from AISG that helped you write your book? 

A2: I actually thought of writing the book before we began the creative writing class with Ms. Amy Lee, who was my Grade 4 class teacher in AISG. I learnt a lot during her class, and it helped me to structure my thoughts while I was working on my book. I was also fascinated by unicorns and my 8th birthday celebration in AISG was a Unicorn themed party. The 3 BFF’s unicorns in my book are also based on the characteristics of some of my best friends from AISG. 

 

Q3: What was your biggest challenge in writing your book? 

A3: The process from start to finish took about 9 months. I had started writing the book early last year, and finished writing it in October. Since in 2020 there were a lot of challenges - with Covid-19, online schooling, us relocating to Singapore from China, etc. the process got a bit delayed. Once the book was written, the next challenge was to get it published. My father had to do a lot of research to find the publisher and professional illustrator. I then worked closely with the editor and illustrator to create the final version of the book. This was a challenging but interesting process as I had to share the description of the characters with Rebecca (our illustrator) to really bring them to life.   

A girl is sitting and reading her book

Q4: What are you hoping to accomplish in writing this book?  

A4: When I started on this journey to write my book, I also became more aware of how there are so many children around the world who don’t know how to read because they don’t have access to education. I decided that the profits from my book would go towards a charity to support children’s education. With that in mind, I have written this book that is an easy and enjoyable read for all children (and adults).  The charity we are donating the profits is ‘The Singapore Children’s Society’ (https://www.childrensociety.org.sg/) whose Patron in Chief is Singapore President Halimah Yacob. 

 

Q5: Do you have any encouraging words for young writers? 

A5: When I started writing, I didn’t think that we could get the book published. But as I kept working, the story took shape and became a proper book. So, what seems now like a big step, was actually just a series of small steps.  Here are some takeaways that I'd like to share: 

  • In the process of writing this book, I became systematic and was able to organize my thoughts into words. My love for reading has taught me how to express ideas and situations with descriptive words – as I was searching for better ways to make the point, my vocabulary has also improved.  

  • I guess the biggest life lesson I’ve learnt is that even if a project seems very complex or difficult, just taking small steps regularly can help to get the project done. This means that one should not be scared to take on challenges, because with the consistent effort most challenges can be solved.  

  • I would highly encourage young writers to enjoy the journey and to keep moving forward. I urge them to keep reading and write about things they believe in or are passionate about. Short stories are a good way to practice your writing skills. 

A girl is standing and reading her book

We would like to thank Shriya for spending the time in answering our questions and wish her the very best in striving to make this world a better place.  She is truly an inspiration for all ages.  


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