What started as a classroom quiet time project has grown into a published picture book for one grade 7 student. At 12 years old, Desirae Messmer has published her first book “The Monster Hunt- The Curga”.
The book is a story of two friends who try and hunt down a monster to discover they were being misled. The book carries a theme of not judging a book by its cover. She asked her teacher if she could spend her time writing instead of reading, and as her story came together, her friend Summer started to draw some of the first illustrations. When her teacher asked to see it, he was very impressed.
“So when I finished at recess one day, I handed it to him and he read it, and he said ‘this is really good, this is something that should be published,” says Messmer.
With the help of her mother Katy, she learned the process of what it takes to get an ISBN number and put a book together. Around 200 copies were printed, half of which were sold in places as far as Europe. A copy of her book also ended up on Hawaii, where she visited to read to a special needs classroom at Kamaile Academy in Waianae, Oahu.
This class features varied students with different disabilities. One of these students, Capoti, was himself a talented illustrator with autism. Messmer was impressed by the drawings he could make and wanted more for him.
“I went there to inspire him to keep going and to someday maybe become an author or be an illustrator for an author. It just so happened that the next day, across the condo from us, there was a man looking for an illustrator, and he was an author.”
Once she showed him the drawings that she was given from the boy, the writer was thrilled. It was exactly what he was looking for. Desirae left Hawaii with a sense of accomplishment in herself, hoping that she left an impact on the students and an opportunity for the talented young man.
Messmer says she learned a lot throughout her journey. She stepped out of her shell and read out loud to strangers and realized how small moments and the connection of people can open up new opportunities. She’s very pleased with the achievement of becoming a published author and is already looking ahead to a sequel.
“It feels like I’ve grown since grade 6. It used to be just me playing with Barbies and toys and my own imagination. But now, I can share my imagination with everybody else.”
Messmer hopes to write more stories and has some ideas for future books. Her current book can be purchased at Triland Welding & Machine Ltd, 5316 51 street. Email requests for a copy can also be made at [email protected] A sequel is currently in the works and looks to take readers under the sea.