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News : International Last Updated: Oct 12, 2017 - 4:07:42 PM

Leila O’Brien: A Creative Flower in Full Bloom
By Kandice Eldon
Oct 12, 2017 - 1:22:20 PM

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Miss Leila O’Brien, internationally published author of ‘Candy Land is in Trouble’ will launch her book at Louis & Steens New Orleans Coffeehouse on Saturday, 21st October 2017.

Internationally published author launches first book ‘Candy Land is in Trouble’

The more Leila O’Brien reads, the more she writes, blossoming and flourishing like the beautiful flower she is, inside and out. With loose leaf paper on her desk and pen in hand, the third grader’s vivid and creative imagination bursts forth colourfully, naturally and quickly.

As an avid reader, at the tender age of 7 her creative writing teacher at the time Ms. Carly Burrows at Genesis Academy discovered she had a way with words. Even more, she discovered Leila had an innate ability to clearly and articulately create new, exciting worlds full of adventure we all wish we could escape to.

Leila’s bedroom, with its sea blue walls, a reading lamp and personal library with treasured paperback and hardback jewels piled high around the room are read and re- read, makes the perfect incubator for her flamboyant imagination.

Her parents, Tariq and Cherran O’Brien gently encourage and feed her voracious appetite for words reminding her to think creatively and have fun expressing her ideas. “She is still young, but we allow her to write as the creative juices flow,” explains Cherran. “She is growing up as a young writer in an age where social media has changed the way we spell, punctuate and fully express our thoughts. We emphasize having a good command of the English language to supplement her gift, so we take seriously her English Language and English Comprehension classes.”

Often reading multiple books at a time, Leila’s current reading interests span mystery, comedy, historical to women’s rights and art & crafts books. “I really like Rachel Renee Russell who writes the ‘Dork Diaries’ series; Carolyn Keene, who writes the ‘Nancy Drew’ series and Jeff Kinney the author of ‘The Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ series,” says Leila with a grin.

In 2016, the Principal's Honor Roll student penned ‘Candy Land is in Trouble!’ centred around an unexpected visitor who shows up and turns Candy Land upside down. The page turner has readers wondering: can the citizens of Candy Land protect the home they love so dearly? The story earned her a runner-up award in the Commonwealth Writers of The Bahamas Young Writers Competition in the 7-9 age category. As a member of the Commonwealth Writers of The Bahamas Association, Leila was invited to read her book at the 11th Annual Writing Awards in February of this year.

Additionally, she was awarded first prize for the 2017-18 poetry competition 7-9 age category for her poem, ‘A Pirate and a Mermaid’. She also entered several international competitions and is awaiting word on the results.

Now available in bookstores and online through Amazon.com, Leila is one of the country’s youngest published authors with international acclaim. “As her parents, we were shocked and ecstatic at the same time because she was just doing something that she liked to do. We then became very thankful to God for allowing us to see and recognise this gift and also grateful for others around her that helped to foster this talent, like her teachers, her school, as well as the writing and literary associations that also poured into her and encouraged her,” says Cherran.

Leila, now nine years old dreams of turning her books into movies and becoming a fashion designer one day. In the meantime, “I also want to make ‘Candy Land is in Trouble’ a series, I have some ideas for a second story already,” she explains. Her encouragement to other budding writers: “They should read books that they are interested in, like animal books if they like animals. That’s how it starts. They should write whatever they want to write about, not what they are told to write about. They have to like what they are writing about,” she says.

As Leila continues to ink new pages full of exciting adventures, one thing is for certain; as each flower has its own distinctive DNA, Leila O’Brien will write stories in her own unique and creative way.

The ‘Candy Land is in Trouble’ book launch will take place on Saturday, 21st October 2017at Louis & Steens New Orleans Coffeehouse on West Bay Street with a reading by Leila at 2:00 p.m. The Louis & Steens family is a proud supporter of Leila with each book purchase patrons will receive a Candy Land Hot Chocolate or a Candy Land Frappe!

For more information on Leila’s upcoming book launch or to purchase ‘Candy Land is in Trouble’ call, 424-7961 or 525-7961 or email cherran_obrien@yahoo.com. The book is also available online on Amazon and in major bookstores in the US.

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