El Estoque

From songwriter to author

Rucha Soman

Junior Sheetal Rao has been a self-published author since the sixth grade. Her book, “The Magical Animals of Konusetsu,” was based off of childhood games she used to play.

“[My friends and I] play[ed] a million games,” Rao said “I just was thinking back to one of the fun ones that I have played with my friend and that story came out of that with the pores of few minor details because to childhood memories were.”

The 60-page short story, available on Amazon, has a cover that was designed originally by Rao and then photoshopped by her sixth grade writing teacher. The cover is a depiction of the island where the fantasy story takes place.magical animals

Currently, Rao is working on another story called “Fate,” which incorporates the differences between factual truth and emotional truth, based on what she’s learning in her junior year level literature class.

Rao’s writing career stemmed from her passion for songwriting and singing. Before expressing herself through writing, she had recorded songs as singing was something she focused on more by constantly competing in competitions such as TeenIdol.

“I did songwriting for a while.” Rao said, “[Story writing] wasn’t very different so it’s not my main form. Songwriting is still my main form, but I thought [story writing] was kind of fun.”

Her recorded songs “StarLitRaven” along with “Never Let Me Go” are originals, but she also does covers on her YouTube channel and SoundCloud.

After the book was published, Rao was proud of her accomplishment and had a great time writing the entire story.

“It was a fun experience,” Rao said. “It was definitely educational because I learned a lot. It’s a lot harder and it’s a lot longer to write a book than you actually think it is.”