Originally published by The San Pedro Valley News-Sun – April 16, 2019
She spouts ideas and sequels and their subsequent continuations in rapid-fire succession — constantly.
It’s no wonder then that Mahayla Palachuk, 13, of Benson, is about to become a published author.
The upcoming book is the inaugural installment in a “Crimson Archer” series, which is the story of “… an archer who finds she has a centuries-old family’s gift and then goes on her journey to fulfill her destiny and become The Crimson Archer,” explains Mahayla. The story, she notes, is set in Humboldt County California.
She’s hoping to have the novel featured as part of the 2020 Tucson Festival of Books held annually at the University of Arizona. Currently she’s in the process of working out sequel timelines.
The precocious teen embarked upon her dogged pursuit a few years ago, sparked initially by a self-professed love of reading. “I’ve always had a love for books and reading since a very early age… I love to read mystery stories and fantasy books,” she said. “I actually started writing stories when I was 9… and then when I was about 12, I decided it would be really cool to write a book and get it self published, so I started writing a book.”
The simplicity with which she describes it is more than obvious.
“The Rise of the Crimson Archer,” is a 21-chapter, 300 page novel set for publication later this year. She says there are many more to come.
Accompanied by her family, father and mother, DJ and Prairie Palachuk; sister, Aura Palachuk and grandmother, Margie Davidson, Mahayla discussed her passion with the News-Sun.
Her exuberance lights up Benson Public Library and the enthusiasm with which she discusses the book and her ideas is markedly noticeable.
She’s been reading and writing at adult level since age 9, according to her parents.
“She started learning to read at 5, and once she grasped everything she just took off… she was reading well beyond grade level very early on,” explains Prairie.
She’s benefited, and Mahayla agrees, from an online, eighth-grade school schedule through Arizona Virtual Academy. They say the flexibility and customized curriculum with regard to her advanced reading and writing aptitude has enabled Mahayla to seriously pursue her ambitions. At school, she’s involved in student government and is a Junior National Honor Society member at the Phoenix-based online academy.
“Mainly it’s the school I’d say that probably has the most to do with it… and she enjoys it and she’s passionate about it,” said DJ, discussing his daughter’s foray onto the literary landscape. But the concept is all hers, he pointed out. “She came up with it herself… everything has been completely on her own.”
An admitted “tornado geek,” Mahayla wants to study meteorology. “I’ve been fascinated by natural disasters since about six-years-old,” she said, noting the movie “Twister” helped spur the interest.
For now it’s her book and the series of sequels she plans to pen that will keep her more than busy before she’s onto post secondary education. She’s about to become a freshman following conclusion of the current school year.
Whether it’s writing or the study of weather or whatever Mahayla’s aspirations, she’ll no doubt approach the impending challenges the way she did her novel: With passion, spirit and gusto to spare.
To learn more about Arizona Virtual Academy, visit https://azva.k12.com/