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Young Benalla author to be published

Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.

MONIQUE FREER April 18, 2014 3:27am

Fourteen-year-old Jaimee Linke will launch her first book, Leafpaw’s Story - A New Beginning, next month.

The adventures of two kittens have been brought to life in a 14-year-old Benalla girl’s debut novel.

Jaimee Linke will next month launch her book, Leafpaw’s Story — A New Beginning, the first in a trilogy.

Jaimee said she got the idea for the book after her beloved cat Dougie died in 2010 and the family welcomed new kittens.

‘‘I’ve always loved cats and I’ve got two at the moment, but I’ll have more when I’m older,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve wanted to be an author for a while but I also want to be a vet so I can look after animals.’’

The novel is an endearing tale about two kittens and their adventures, and is the first of three books that follows the story of Leafpaw.

‘‘It’s a story about cats, but written from the cats’ point of view,’’ Jaimee’s mother Lisa Linke said.

Jaimee began writing the novel in August 2011 and was so enthusiastic that her parents purchased an online course for her.

‘‘She was showing such interest that we bought her an online course that gave her ideas on structure, showed her how to plan, to make good plots ... and that helped a lot and gave her a bit of guidance on how to do it,’’ Ms Linke said.

After seeing an ad in the Ensign Ms Linke got in touch with Garry Baker in Deniliquin, who was delighted to edit and source a publisher for the book.

‘‘We hit it off with him and he did the editing. A few of her friends who are teachers also helped edit it,’’ Ms Linke said.

Although her parents tried to make the published book a birthday surprise for Jaimee, they needed her input in the editing process.

‘‘I was so excited when they told me, just so excited,’’ Jaimee said.

‘‘She was floating around for about a week afterwards,’’ Ms Linke said.

Having completed the trilogy of Leafpaw’s Story Jaimee is now working on several other projects and constantly planning her next creation.

‘‘I’m thinking of doing an epilogue to the third book, or maybe a prequel to it from (her dog) Pal’s point of view,’’ she said.

Jaimee Linke’s book launch will be held on Sunday, May 4 from 3pm to 6pm at Benalla Performing Arts and Convention Centre function room. Books can be purchased and Jaimee will be available for a book-signing session. Afternoon tea will be provided. RSVP by April 30 to Bruce on 0419159828, Lisa on 0447148400 or Judy on 0400253344.

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