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A true tale of a kid author: 11-year-old from SD has self-published mystery novel

Fifth-grader Evan Anderson published his own book over the summer titled "The Adventures of Waffles the Cow Detective: The Kidnapping of Chris P. Bacon." Matt Gade / Forum News Service1 / 3
All copies of L.B. Williams fifth-grader Evan Anderson's book "The Adventures of Waffles the Cow Detective: The Kidnapping of Chris P. Bacon" are currently checked out in the school's library. Matt Gade / Forum News Service2 / 3
Fifth-grader Evan Anderson created the illustrations to go with his self-published book. Matt Gade / Forum News Service3 / 3

MITCHELL, S.D. — Evan Anderson, 11, is busy working on his second adventure mystery novel.

Yeah. He's 11, and he's already written a book.

After publishing "The Adventures of Waffles the Cow Detective — The Kidnapping of Chris P. Bacon" in June, the L.B. Williams Elementary student has already started to work on the next volume of his mystery series.

"After my first book was done, I felt like I had to make another sequel and have started writing again and am in about 22 pages on the next volume," Anderson said Thursday morning, Oct. 4.

Anderson has always enjoyed reading and is a fan of Harry Potter.

Last year, while participating in the gifted and talented program at the school, fourth-graders were given an assignment by teacher Stacy Morgan to write a fictional story.

"It's just one of those things you do, and I started actually liking writing a lot more and my story evolved, sort of naturally, into a book," Anderson said. "I was reading Harry Potter during that time and just picked up on the descriptive writing and how to tell a story in different ways."

Morgan told her class that many people enjoy reading mystery novels, which in turn inspired Anderson to write a short story called "Space Cows."

"That made me think of continuing and working on my characters for this book, and I put the cow and the detective together. I came up with the name 'Waffles' because I had waffles for breakfast that morning and it just fit," Anderson said.

In the book's plot, the pig, Chris P. Bacon, gets kidnapped from a town called Few Pork City in a fictitious state called Kenturkey. Waffles the Cow Detective is hired to solve the case.

"The ironic thing about all of this is that I actually started the book process by interviewing Jean Patrick. She told me about this place called Create Space, where you can self-publish and have more control of your work," Anderson said.

Patrick, of Mitchell, is the author of several books for children, including "The Baseball Adventure of Jackie Mitchell, Girl Pitcher versus Babe Ruth" and others.

At the time he met Patrick, Anderson was 10 years old. He thought it was too complicated to try to sell an 18-page book to a publishing house, so he followed Patrick's advice.

"I also didn't have a phone number and still don't. I self-published a book and don't have a phone number," Anderson said, laughing.

The young novelist typed up his own book, formatted it and designed all the illustrations on his own.

"It took a while. Not just the editing part. From idea to finish it took me about two months. I didn't want to publish it with any mistakes," Anderson said.

Anderson's family and teachers have been supportive of the aspiring novelist, and sometimes he receives a little help from his friends during the creative process of developing the story and characters.

Anderson plans on self-publishing his new book "The Disappearance of Albert Einswine" soon and sees being a full-time author as a perfect career choice for himself.

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