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BOOK BLOG TOUR: Legal Crime by Samiksha Bhattacharjee [Author Guest Blog]

When this landed in my inbox (thanks to Random Things Tours), I was over the moon because not only does it sound fantastic – but Samiksha is only thirteen years old! Isn’t it an incredible feat that she already has a published book? I truly believe in fostering young talent and letting it flourish so I wanted Samiksha to give us an insight into herself, and Legal Crime in her own words. Without further ado, let’s have a read of this wonderful guest post…


Guest Post

Hi! My name’s Samiksha, and I’m thirteen years old, hello from London! I live with my parents and little brother. I recently found out that by publishing Legal Crime, I am the youngest YA author in the UK, so that’s exciting! 

I’ve always loved reading, so I think that’s what got me interested in writing. When I was younger, I always wrote short stories – in fact, I wrote my first little book when I was five! My writing has got better now, and I really hope that this skill progresses as I get older.

I started writing my debut novel Legal Crime when I was seven years old, but the story has developed a lot since then. It’s been a really long journey and I’m so happy that I am able to share it with the world, and I will definitely be continuing with writing; I love it as much as reading!

Legal Crime is a YA contemporary thriller following the story of runaway teenager Fiona , touching on themes such as underage drinking, drug consumption, bereavement and suicide. It focuses on peer pressure and the struggles of being a teenager and highlights the importance of family and true friends.

The idea for Legal Crime actually came to me in the bathroom when I was seven years old (I don’t know how; I was trying to think of an idea for a short story!).I wanted to write a story about a runaway, who, through her experiences, comes to appreciate her family. The story as it currently stands is very different and far longer than it originally was, but I still wanted to remain true to the first idea that sparked the beginning of this story. At this time, seven years old and naïve, I never expected my book to be any longer than ten pages, let alone be published!

Many people have asked me how I came up with the title Legal Crime. To be honest, it only came into my head very recently. Before then, I had experimented with countless other titles, some too cheesy to even mention. I was going to be happy with ‘I don’t want need you’ (inspired by a note in the story) before the name came to me. I was sitting in an English class next to my friend, and the lesson was about oxymorons. I was scribbling down notes about my story at the back of a scrapbook when I was asked for an example of an oxymoron. Looking up at the board, I saw ‘Cruel Love’ and ‘Freezing Fire’ staring at me and started considering them as potential titles before I thought of ‘Legal Crime’. When my friend told me that that was a really good example, I knew that I had chosen the right title for the book!

Writing Legal Crime took many years (I took breaks because of schoolwork and exam preparation), and it was challenging to come up with a writing style that suited me and addressed the difficult side to being a teenager. However, I really enjoyed the experience of being able to craft my own world and let my imagination run free, creating a new universe to add to the multiverse of books. 

I had many surprises in my publishing journey – I just thought that you needed to email a book to any random publisher and it was printed and became a bestseller the next day. 

Sadly, this is not how the publishing industry works. I researched a lot and when I finally got a vague idea as to how it all worked, I told my parents that I had written a book and it was accepted by the first publisher that my book was submitted to, two days after my thirteenth birthday. 

The publishing process involved a lot of waiting, but eventually, my book was published! 18th February 2021 was definitely one of the most exciting days of my life, and I’m happy that I took the leap to get my book published at age thirteen.

I am honoured to have received messages and best wishes from so many of my favourite authors including Karen M. McManus (One of Us is Lying), Louis Sacher (Holes), Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns), Cathy Cassidy (The Chocolate Box Girls), Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), C.L Taylor (The Island), Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together), J.Elle (Wings of Ebony) and Kathryn Evans (Beauty Sleep). All authors are an inspiration to me for doing what they do the best – creating fantastic worlds and bringing them to life with writing.

I want to encourage other children and teenagers to publish their work. If I could say anything to them, it would be this: read, write and research. 

I feel that there are so many people out there, especially teenagers and young adults, with such great stories that are simply unheard of because they don’t feel that they have the ability to write a book that can be published. You can write an amazing book that might even be better than you would ever expect it to be! Age is just a number attached to you, don’t be afraid to start writing what comes to your mind. I would say that you should look for inspiration in anything, and the story will blossom in your mind. You might surprise yourself! 

I’m definitely going to be writing more books… in fact, I’m currently writing a YA dystopian fantasy! More details coming soon…Thank you for reading this, if you want to connect with me you can email author@legalcrime.co.uk, visit my website (https://www.legalcrime.co.uk), subscribe to my newsletter (https://www.legalcrime.co.uk/subscribe) and follow Legal Crime’s FB page (www.facebook.com/legalcrimeuk). 

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