Young Scecina alumnus publishes ‘The Lost Child’ on Amazon

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Andrew Clegg holding a copy of his book The Lost Child

Andrew Clegg published his first book, “The Lost Child,” in June.

By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications

Just 21 years old and a rising senior at Hanover College, Scecina alumnus Andrew Clegg is now a published author.

The 2017 Scecina graduate started writing “The Lost Child (A Tale of Night and Day)” during his second semester of his sophomore year at Hanover, where he is double majoring in secondary education and health and movement studies. “The Lost Child” started selling on Amazon on June 15, 2020.

“When I was younger, I liked writing stories,” Andrew said. “In fifth grade, I wrote a 30-page story based on a computer game. In sixth grade, my English teacher at Little Flower (Catholic School) was into reading and writing. We wrote short stories all year long. At some point, I told my mom I wanted to write a book, but I didn’t have an idea. I have always enjoyed writing.”

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“The Lost Child” is a young adult fantasy set in a magical world in the vein of “Harry Potter.” The main character is Oliver Hawthorne, the last name an homage to the Little Flower neighborhood street where Clegg grew up.

“The way I came up with an idea is really strange because it’s not remotely what I ended up writing,” Andrew explained. “I had an idea for a character pop in my head and I started writing themes. I would slowly get ideas and plot events.

“I wrote 100 pages, deleted 70, and started over. I basically wrote a whole new book,” he said.

The book’s summary reads:

“Oliver Hawthorne has lived in hiding for as long as he can remember. That’s because he’s a grudder, an illegal citizen in the capital city of Maldenney. If anyone ever discovers he exists, he’ll be killed. But when a girl with unusual abilities shows up in the city looking for her missing sister, Oliver has no choice but to step out of the shadows and try to help save her. For the first time in his entire life, he finds himself thrown into a world with people and creatures far more extraordinary than he ever knew existed – and an age old fight much greater than himself.”

Andrew plans for the book to be the first of a series and is already at work on the sequel.

He was studying abroad this spring at the University of Wollongong in Australia and was disappointed he was forced to return home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was able to use the time productively to see his book to print. It originally was available as a paperback on Amazon for $10.99 and is now $12.99, and also is available via Kindle.

Andrew also learned about the world of independent publishing via Amazon.

“Amazon is pretty easy, because it doesn’t cost them any money, so they’re not concerned about whether it sells,” he explained. “They only print the book if it’s ordered.”

Andrew is very happy with the early sales of his book. He plans to market the book through word of mouth, social media, and visits to schools.

Just finishing his own book gave him a sense of accomplishment.

“I think finishing that first draft in about a year and a half might have the best part. Just the feeling of having done it is more exciting and worthwhile than the sales,” he said.

Andrew, who runs cross country at Hanover, plans to become a physical education teacher. If he hits it big in the publishing world and becomes a working author, “That would be a dream,” he said.


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