Photography by  Yuvie Styles.

Naisha Randhar has been dreaming up worlds and characters for years. 

Usually after reading a compelling book, she is inspired to create. She details the ideas in a Google document, and over time, has compiled hundreds of them. 

One character is Phoenix, an orphan who had the power to heal and went to school to learn magic. Lacy is another; she escaped from an orphanage with her friends and went to another world, where she discovered she could shape shift into an alicorn, a unicorn with wings. 

Randhar, who’s now a seventh-grader at The Hockaday School, first tried her hand at writing when she was a third-grade student at Founders Classical Academy. Her friend Nya introduced her to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and they began creating something that was very similar to Riordan’s stories. 

“And then we branched out,” she says. “And I think that was when I realized that this is really cool, this is kind of my passion. I want to be an author when I grow up.” 

She has always loved reading and often asked her dad to tell bedtime stories about his childhood. In May, Randhar decided to weave her ideas into a publishable work.  

“It wasn’t a big deal because I’ve decided to write books so many times. This is the first time I’ve finished a book,” Randhar says. “But I just sat down and I was like, OK, it’s been a while. I think I should just write a story again.”

Randhar named the characters, and the story grew from there. She took inspiration from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the years of ideas she had saved in her Google drive. But much of the characters’ personalities developed throughout the writing process.  

“After I finished the first draft, I just kept on thinking about them. I got to know them. It was like getting to know a friend,” she says.

Randhar struggled. There were periods when she didn’t want to write anymore. And as she read other works, she formulated new ideas and even started other stories while she was working on her book, Roses of Arma. 

It took about five months to compose the initial draft, working hours each day from the couch, her desk or bed. The story is set on the planet Arma. A character named Seamus is devastated when his parents divorce. Upset and feeling unwanted, he runs away from home with his best friend, Phoenix. They’re captured, but escape. They meet Glavio, who teaches them valuable skills, and the friends realize they have the potential to do more and are part of something bigger. 

“These characters are very dear to me, and they’ve been with me for a while,” Randhar says. Her primary goal was to create a work to entertain. But lessons about loyalty, courage and gratitude can be gleaned from the story. 

She edited her work then sent it to friends, but they didn’t suggest many changes. Her father was next in the chain, and he made more substantial edits. He thought Randhar was “way too dramatic” when describing Seamus’ emotions after his parents divorced.

“He was part of a lot of the changes, and opened my eyes to see it as a reader,” Randhar says.

The publisher, Notion Press, provided one additional editor. Randhar worked with an illustrator in India to design the cover, and Roses of Arma was published in October. 

She has already started writing the sequel.

“I don’t think an author can completely write the story by themself,” she says. “I think the story sometimes writes itself, and it’s just coming through you.” 

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