At 15, a girl became a hit author. And I was…

Somehow I missed this crazy, out-of-the-box author news in 2010. That year, a 15-year-old named Amy Zhang became a Young Adult author sensation.

I can’t even imagine. There’s no way I would’ve been doing that at age 15.

When I was 15, it was 1991.

I was struggling in geometry and probably still pinch-rolling my jeans.

I spent my spare time listening to the R&B group, BoyzIIMen. I liked that they were a group of black guys who wore argyle sweater vests.

I loved Nirvana, and the grunge sound they created. I spent a lot of time trying to decipher the lyrics to Smells Like Teen Spirit. I still haven’t figured out what that song means, but it doesn’t matter.


At 15, I started wearing perfume, but not much makeup.

I wore braces and hadn’t gone on my first date yet.

I was writing, but nothing that could’ve been considered a cohesive, 200-plus-page body of work. Definitely not a novel.

But not Amy Zhang…

At age 15, she was signing a publishing contract with HarperCollins.

“It took her a few months to score an agent, and a mere three days for her agent to sell the manuscript to HarperCollins.” — Refinery29

Zhang woke up at 4 a.m. every day for a month to write her novel, Falling Into Place.

At 4 a.m., I was probably sleeping like the dead.

When Amy Zhang was in college, she was on a national book tour.

In college, I was touring the dining halls on campus, looking for which one served the best pancakes.

In the Refinery29 article, Zhang mentions that it was a challenge to balance her regular life and her writing career at such a young age.

I had a hard time balancing my classes and busy social life. Add a writing career to the mix? It would’ve been a total disaster.

Now, Amy Zhang is 22, and she’s working on her third novel. It’s amazing to learn about her and her early publishing career.

I believe in finding inspiration through people of any age, and I’ve found inspiration in 22-year-old author Amy Zhang.

Take me down memory lane: What were you doing at age 15?


Photo by FOTOGRAFIA .GES on Unsplash

Published by Rene Penn

Author. Blogger.

2 thoughts on “At 15, a girl became a hit author. And I was…

  1. Hopefully it didn’t effect her in a bad way. Sometimes when success happens at a young age it becomes more of a negative than a positive.

    At 15 I was bouncing around the halls of High-School my freshman year. Probably had a huge crush on a girl in the senior class, was trying to pass math and trying not to say to many stupid things.

    I can assure you I was not writing a best seller. That is so impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking the same thing about success happening at a young age and how it can sometimes be negative. I think it’s because of all the unfortunate things we’ve seen with child stars over the years. As for the things you were doing at 15, I can totally relate!


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