Mallory Herrmann

Raleigh Wallace can add “published author” to her résumé before she even finishes her second year of high school. “Tessellation” is a science-fiction and adventure novel that is set more than 600 years into the future. It was released this year by the 15-year-old’s own company, Electricity Media.

The 184-page book developed out of a series of short stories Wallace started writing after reading Madeleine L’Engle’s classic “A Wrinkle in Time.” But what started as fan fiction about three years ago gave way to Wallace’s original characters and storyline. After working on the novel for two years, the book was printed and became available for sale in January.

While working on the book, the two most important recommendations that kept coming up in Wallace’s research were to hire an editor and to create a website. She did both and it’s paying off. Wallace is profusely grateful to her editor, adding that changes were made very carefully and gave the book a more professional feeling.

Wallace says she was surprised by the amount of time – and the number of drafts – she needed to complete the book. But she adds that watching her characters develop as she kept writing has been the best part of being an author.

In fact, her advice for other aspiring writers is to persevere. She also recommends keeping an outline of your story handy to help keep you on track. Having an outline can help you get through periods of writer’s block or a frustrating part of the story if you know that an exciting scene or plot point is coming up. Plus, you always have the chance to revise.

“If you write a bad first draft, you can make it into a good draft,” Wallace says. “But if you don’t write anything at all, you can’t make it good. So just keep writing.”

“Tessellation” takes place on the planet Heckren in 2679. Three children escape the influence of Computer, a powerful machine that leaves thousands frozen. Ten years later, the kids meet other survivors and are forced to confront their fears and decide whether to do something about the machine (and its creator, known only as Programmer) before it’s too late.

Wallace is a Lee’s Summit resident and is in tenth grade.

Copies of the book are available for purchase on the author’s website: