Bellefonte student, 12, has book published
PLEASANT GAP — Annie Cernuska was on a book tour through the Bellefonte Area School District’s elementary schools on Friday.
She started the day in Pleasant Gap before visiting Benner, Bellefonte and Marion Walker Elementary Schools. That might not sound like a lot for someone promoting a book, but this was a special tour.
See, Cernuska is a sixth grader at Bellefonte Area Middle School. That’s right, she’s 12 years old – and she’s a published author.
Cernuska’s book is called “The Hunter Voyage.”
“It’s about people who go to a different world and they have to learn how to survive,” Cernuska explained. “The idea just kind of came to me.”
“The Hunter Voyage,” as Cernuska explains it, is about a family – so it wasn’t hard to write.
At 12, Cernuska is extremely young to have a published book. As she clutched the small paperback in her hands just off the stage at Pleasant Gap Elementary, she beamed with pride.
“It’s exciting,” she said, “knowing that I’ve officially published a book.”
She talked about the writing process. She stuck to a pretty rigid schedule when she was writing, she said.
“At first, the ideas really came naturally. Afterwards, it took quite a bit of persistence. A lot of times, I was just sitting there and thinking ‘what is my next step?’ I wanted to get the readers to visualize what I was saying,” Cernuska said.
Cernuska wrote all summer and finished the book in about three months, she said. She also worked with an editor all summer as the writing process progressed.
Like most writers, Cernuska got into a routine.
“Honestly, I got up in the morning, got ready and sat down and wrote for a couple of hours each day,” she said.
Not surprisingly, Cernuska said her favorite subject at the middle school is English.
Cernuska was selected by author Stephen Kozan, founder of ReadyAimWrite Publishing, which is based in Harrisburg. He writes his own novels and helps mentor young authors.
Marion Walker teacher Katy Haagen, who was also on the book tour Friday, help connect Kozan with Cernuska.
“I met him at a conference last year and I asked him to come to our school,” Haagen explained. “We were fortunate that it all worked out. It was just a very positive experience.”
Cernuska’s future plans? Well, she wants to keep writing, for starters.
“Oh, definitely,” she said with a smile. “If this one does well, I’m thinking about maybe even doing a sequel.”
When she’s not writing, Cernuska likes to play sports. Soccer and softball are her favorites, she said.
“I’ve been playing since I was little. That consumes quite a bit of time,” Cernuska said.
She also takes karate and has recently gotten into photography.
“The Hunter Voyage” retails for $15.99 and is available at www.stephenkozan.com.