When Swaffham Prior teenager Saffra Monteiro was being bullied at school she invented characters and story to help her cope with her pain.
Now four years on, the 19 year old has become one of the youngest authors signed by Cambridge-based publishers Pegasus which published her first book, Destiny Falls, at the end of last month.
It is the first of a trilogy closely based on Saffra’s own experiences.
“Most of the characters are based on people I know and a lot of the action that happens in the book is based on things that have happened to me,” she said.
“I thought up the idea when I was 15, and I used it as my coping mechanism as I was badly bullied mentally and physically at school and my leg was close to being fractured.”
“In December 2010 I got really sick with swine flu and almost died. The next few months I spent going in and out of Addenbrooke’s Hospital and it was after that I started writing. Because I’m quite a creative person I needed something to do to stop me going nuts.”
Set in the French Alps, the book’s protagonist is called Solena and is the leader of a ski team which encounters trouble from a mysterious figure.
“I like action and adrenaline sports. I’m an avid skier and I like paragliding, husky riding and anything that involves heights,” said Saffra. “I finished writing the book in November and received offers from four or five publishers, and that is quite a lot for a rookie author.
“I think my book fits in well with the type of fiction like Hunger Games that people seem to be hungry for at the moment.”
Saffra who is currently on a gap year after completing her A levels at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, has already started writing the second instalment, called The Breath of the White Dragons. She is also considering going to university to study film making.
Pegasus Publishers said: “Saffra has immersed herself in the world of writing and is passionate about what she does. It is a huge achievement for her to be one of the youngest writers published with Pegasus.”
The book is available on Amazon, the Pegasus website, and can be ordered in at Waterstones, Heathers and Smiths for £8.99. To be kept updated about the Destiny Falls saga, like her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Writer-Saffra-bambi-Monteiro/1539962116229746.
The target audience is anyone who likes to read ... Twilight or Hunger Games, there’s a lot of action, romance and
I am a model and an actress and I used to write poetry.
Saffra has experience as an actress in the Cambridge Film Festival and hair modelling.