Young Gia Soni has made major headway in acquiring skills that we all struggle to perfect as grown adults. At 10, she has claimed her place on the pantheon of writers, adult and young with the publication of two books. She received an award for Bright Young Artist (She Inspires) from MPs Bob Blackman and Joy Morrissey at the Houses of Parliament in March 2019. She has been interviewed on leading FM stations including Carla Delaney on Marlow FM.
Besides attending a leading independent school in London, she spends her time swimming, playing with dogs and perfecting her craft.
Anandi Iyer talked to the pint-sized wordsmith and spent time getting to know her better. We reproduce the interaction below.
- Gia, who are your favourite authors and what kind of books do you enjoy reading?
My favourite authors are JK Rowling and Percy Jackson. I read all the Harry Potter books when I was 7 years old. I am intrigued by fantasy, mystery and magic. These books have all been made into super successful films and I have watched all of them multiple times.
Percy Jackson’s books are all about Greek Mythology and I am obsessed with them.
- When you write, what do surround yourself with? Music perhaps?
I love to write in my own quiet reading and writing corner in my room in complete silence and work my way slowly by drafting the theme first and slowly build upon characters and then weave a story together.
- What inspired you to write the Mystery of the Magical Sketchpad?
I have been a voracious reader from very beginning as I didn’t have any siblings and both my parents work full time. One day I was checking my mum’s desk and found a poetry book written by her and published by her grandfather. She was just 10 years old, so I was inspired by her to write my own stories. My first book was a compilation of 10 short stories. My mum helped me in typing them out as I was just six and a half and didn’t even know how to use a computer. During the Covid lockdown my mum, dad, maternal grandma (I call her Nanu) encouraged me to work on my second book. That’s when I wrote ‘The Mystery of Magical sketchpad’ and this time I typed it myself. It took me some time, but it was worth it. Moreover, I dedicated this book to my Nanu as she is my best friend, and it was my 70th birthday gift to her.
My teachers at the Haberdashers’ Girls school have always encouraged me immensely as well. I owe them big time for teaching me the power of words.
My mum and me always get tips from Rahul uncle (Asian Lite Associate Editor, Rahul Laud) on the nuances of publishing.
4. What are your aspirations? I know you have mentioned horses and a stable. Have you added any new dreams to your wish list?
Yes, I love Horse riding and want to own a stable someday. I also swim for the Barnet Copthall swimming club and want to, someday, win a medal for Great Britain!
- You are amazing Gia; can you give us and our young readers some advice on how to follow our dreams?
I read in an article somewhere that human beings have 70,000 thoughts every day. Those are a lot of thoughts! I would like to believe that if we can even tap into one single thought, we can create magic. From a thought to an idea to a full-fledged story, we all have the power to weave stories and spin magic. If you put your heart and soul into it, nothing is impossible. I would like to say to children my age: don’t get scared to dream BIG!
(Anandi Iyer is a content specialist, marketing communications and fintech entrepreneur based in Singapore. Her passions include writing, art, music and languages. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)