Of the many talented writers at University High School (UHS), Zachary Dignan (Fr.) may be one of the most successful, with one novel already published and another on the way. I interviewed him to find out more about the first book he published.
Sword & Shield: Why did you start writing?
Zachary Dignan: I started writing because it is fun and I wanted people to get lost in my adventures. I get lost in other books’ adventures, especially when they are detailed, and I sort of feel a part of it. When I am a part of a book, I become one of the characters and follow the adventures wherever they may take me. I wanted to do the same for my readers.
S&S: What inspires you to write?
ZD: The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan inspires me to write. The series is really good and, as a good book should, makes me lost in the adventures. Riordan makes his books very exciting and extremely hard to close. Rick Riordan inspires me to keep on writing books with thrilling adventures that grab the reader’s attention.
S&S: How did you get published?
ZD: When I was very young, I wrote short stories. One day, I decided to take all those stories, edit them, and make them into a book. This process took me two months. My mom found the publisher and editor, and from there my book was born. My advice to anyone who wants to write is that you need to have really creative ideas to share in your books to make them exciting.
S&S: What are these stories mostly about?
ZD: The stories always consist of different heroes saving the day. There are 16 short stories in the first book and 20 short stories in the second book which is currently not published yet. The shortest story is one page and the longest story is three pages. Some of my stories are about adventure and the hero saving the world or that area where the story takes place. I like to write about action, adventure and fiction.
S&S: What is the cover illustration about?
ZD: The cover shows a “super family” because each of the characters represents a person in the book. They represent people and their stories. I wanted my readers to have a visual aid for picturing what my characters look like.
S&S: What do you hope to do in the future?
ZD: I hope to attend CalTech College in Pasadena, write more books and be inspirational to anyone who loves to write. I also want to make new technology like flying cars. Maybe I’ll help the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena to invent new technology.
Dignan will soon publish his first chapter book. Whether it is short stories or chapter books, writing is a way for Dignan to express himself and connect with others. Dignan’s journey of passion and perseverance should inspire UHS students interested in writing to consider pursuing it as a career.
Written by JESSICA TSAI