Rather than being on Tik Tok, watching Netflix, or playing video games, 14-year-old Danit Knishinsky stayed occupied writing her first fantasy novel while quarantining during the pandemic.
The Scottsdale resident worked during the lockdown to write and publish her first fantasy novel called, “Maddie Skirkoff: World of Odds,” according to a press release, calling the book a “perfect summer reading” for ages 7-16.
“I strive to share my stories with the world,” said Knishinsky, the first-time published teen author, who has been telling stories reportedly since the age of two.
The release said her first written story was at 4 years old. As the pandemic forced teens to curb their extracurricular activities and shelter in, she put her energy into writing an adventurous story not only for herself but for her contemporaries, spending 12 months crafting her fictional novel.
Her father became her editor and helped her navigate through the publishing process, noted the release.
“I think one positive aspect of the pandemic was that it cleared the calendar for a lot of people, allowing them to pursue endeavors they didn’t have time for before, like catching up on a hobby or pursuing a personal dream,” said her father, Ran Knishinsky, in a prepared statement.
“Danit is a storyteller, and with time on her hands during quarantine, she was finally able to craft a fantasy novel and come full circle with her dream to write and publish Maddie Shirkoff: World of Odds – and she did it at age 14! We are so proud! Personally, I am grateful for this bonding experience with my daughter on this special book.”
Maddie Shirkoff: World of Odds is a story of a young girl named Maddie who always “dreamed of finding the extraordinary,” the release said, adding about what she does when “the extraordinary shows up at her front door” as a portal transporting her to a dream world including goblins, fire-breathing dragons, and magic potions to corrupt rulers.
Describing challenges including saving a daying dog, summoning spirits and more, the adventures are filled with challenges that the character, Maddie has to confront if she were to return home, the release said.
“I have been influenced by my favorite writers that include JK Rowling, Rick Riordan, Soman Chainani, and James Patterson,” said the young author. “I wanted to write a book that kept readers on the edge of their seats with action, emotion, and surprise.”
A voracious reader, she is inspired by the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson book series and their authors. Entering the ninth grade in the fall, she enjoys creative writing assignments in school.
She lives in Scottsdale with her father and mother, Alma and her sister, Yael, 11. In her spare time, she enjoys ice skating and loves dogs, especially her two golden retrievers, Casper and Chloe, added the release.
Published by Opuntia Press, Maddie Shirkoff: World of Odds is available at DanitBooks.com and Amazon.com in paperback and e-book editions for about $13.95.