Amanda Hamende – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- For a small sixth grade girl at Sugg Middle School, getting your writing published might seem like a daunting task, but to now-LRHS senior Natasha Harlin, this was the reality.

The Magic Jellybeans
LRHS senior Natasha Harlin published “The Magic Jellybeans” in sixth grade

Harlin was fascinated by writing at a young age and when her critical thinking teacher saw potential in her, “The Magic Jellybeans” was born.

“The Magic Jellybeans,” set in America, follows Stella and her alternating spy partners and love interests Logan and Andrew as they go through a mission to Paris.  They jump out of a plane and defeat the villain. This mission is successful and in the end Andrew and Stella are married.

Harlin stated, “I like writing a lot and so in sixth grade I had an about 170- or so page book I was writing, and my teacher told me that we could publish it.  I thought it would be awesome, but she said that I had a limit of 10 pages.  That was hard for me since I wrote so much.  I had to cut it down and change it.

“The main character, Stella was my childhood secret identity in a sense and I wanted to be a spy like her growing up.  The other characters were just added for the general idea of the story.”  Harlin stated.

“There was a total of maybe two to three copies of the book in which one was given to me and one was given to my teacher.  My family and I were very happy with how it turned out.”

Harlin’s journey turning an idea turn into a physical novel shows how a dream can be a reality at any age.

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