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8th Grader Publishes First Novel

Franklin Middle School student Caroline Maltsev will do a book signing at Barnes and Noble on April 11 for her first novel, Howling for Flame.

By Jeff Flynn
Library Media Specialist, Franklin Middle School 

Franklin Middle School eighth grader Caroline Maltsev has hobbies like any other 13-year-old. She loves Krav Maga, the Israeli form of self-defense, reading a good book, and more than anything, she loves to write.

She recently published her debut novel, Howling for Flame. The novel is the story of three young friends who embark on a journey to find pieces of a magical stone that will turn one of them back to human after a bad encounter with a witch.

“There’s adventure, and a bit of magic and fantasy. If you like books where loyalties are really strong, and friendship is really treasured, you’ll like the book,” Caroline said.

She wrote the story over a six-month period two years ago, and is already thinking of additional volumes. The toughest parts were overcoming bouts of writers block, and in making edits to her initial draft, she said.

Still, writing is something she loves. “I like to make stuff up. I want to be able to bring readers into another world. Those are the kinds of books I know I like to read,” she said.

Her own imagination helped Caroline fill pages, but she said reading her own favorite authors helped her perfect her craft. A particular favorite is the Harry Potter series.

“There’s a lot of magic, sorcery, and tiny little details that fit together. I love everything about it,” she said, adding that those were qualities she hoped made their way into her own book.

Caroline will be signing copies of her book from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Pikesville Barnes and Noble. Copies are also available from digital and online outlets.

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