A Sheffield student is celebrating having his first novel published – after overcoming problems with reading and writing.
Scott Short, aged 20, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was 10-years-old, in his final year at Wisewood Primary School. The condition meant he struggled to read and write, but he was still determined to become an author.
“Up until I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, the teachers believed I was not paying attention in class as I struggled with the work in my lessons,” he said.
“Even before I was diagnosed I had help learning to read and write. Every day after school my mum would help me. After I was diagnosed I had more help with my lessons. I had a support teacher in every lesson and I would carry on learning to read and write when I got home.
“By this point, I had written my first short story and all I wanted to do was to carry on writing.
“It had always been a dream of mine to get a book published.”
Scott’s book ‘The Underground Case Files presents: Thirty Pieces of Silver’, tells the story of teenager Jason Wilson and what happens to him after he’s attacked by a werewolf - and finds he can take on the form himself.
One teacher in particular helped Scott at Wisewood Secondary School.
He said: “The support teacher who helped me the most was my English teacher, Mrs Jan Barker. She believed that I could achieve in life and encouraged me to keep writing.
“After Wisewood Secondary School was shut down and all the students and most of the teachers were transferred to Forge Valley, I stayed in touch with Mrs Barker and she tutored me through my GCSE exams.
“When I finished school, in 2012, I stayed in touch with Mrs Barker and she was always the first to read my stories when I had written a new one. She was the first person to read Thirty Pieces of Silver and proof read it for me before I sent it off.
“When I got the book published, she was both proud and speechless and I will always be grateful for all the help she has given me over the years.”
It took Scott, who is studying Level 3 Art at Hillsborough College, a year to write his first full-length novel and a further two months to get it published.
He said: “My mum got an advertisement in an email about getting books published on Amazon. From that I got in contact with Gold Wind Publishing and sent them off my manuscript. Their replies were positive and they were more than happy to publish my book.
“The process took only two months for my book to be made available to read by the public and was easy to do.”
Scott added: “I still cannot get over the fact that I have written something that has been published.
“I have a copy of the book and every morning before I go to college, I look at it and it still makes me happy to see my name on the front of a book I have written.
“The feedback I have been getting from friends and family has been nothing but positive. When the book came out, both my parents bought a copy each and read it.
“Not too long ago, I was on the tram and I spotted a college student my age reading a copy of my book. I didn’t say anything to her but it was absolutely amazing to see a complete stranger reading something I had written.”
He is writing a sequel to Thirty Pieces of Silver called The Book of Monsters.
Scott’s father, Christopher Short, said: “His mother, Delyse, his older brother and sister Wayne and Kirsty, and I are very proud of him.”
n The Underground Case Files presents: Thirty Pieces of Silver, published by Gold Wind publishing, is available to buy now via Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.