Eight-Year-Old North Carolina Prodigy Writes, Illustrates, and Publishes Novel, Where Keyboard Symbols Solve A Mystery

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Thomas Little, a home-schooled, eight-year-old boy recently became a published author. He used Lulu (http://www.lulu.com), a print-on-demand, self-publishing site, to publish “The Adventures of the Symbols,” his first--but not last--book. Characters such as “@,” “$,” and “%” engage in a classic struggle of good vs. evil. The 28-page story can be purchased at http://www.lulu.com/dlittle.

David Little one day last year noticed his son Thomas was busy typing away on his computer and asked what he was doing.

"Writing a novel," Thomas answered, "and no, you can’t read it until it’s done." Spoken like a dedicated author on a mission.

Just one thing: Thomas was eight.

Which didn’t stop him from writing “The Adventures of the Symbols,” a mystery about keyboard symbols caught up in a classic good vs. evil plot. The book was published on Lulu (http://www.lulu.com), a leading self-publishing website.

To be sure, Thomas, who is home-schooled by his college professor parents in High Point, N.C., is in many ways a regular kid who loves football and baseball, while spending quality time with his Legos, PlayStation and Sudoku puzzles.

Doing the book, he says, was “just for fun.” Thomas spent the summer editing and rewriting, a process more seasoned authors will tell you is anything but fun. As if that wasn’t enough, Thomas decided to illustrate the book too.

What led him to enlist symbols to solve a mystery?

“It just popped into my mind,” said Thomas, now a grizzled veteran of the literary trade at age 9, who goes by the pen name Thomas D.L. (the initials stand for David Little).

And what a mind it is. Thomas’s IQ is off the charts, and he can already understand college-level work, as well as the desire to reach a bigger audience than just his admiring parents.

A friend told him about Lulu, which spurred Thomas to get “The Adventures of the Symbols” published. The finished product was uploaded to Lulu and also listed on Amazon.

“I called the local papers about his book. Thomas wanted to see his name in the paper, as most children enjoy this thrill,” David Little says. “Frankly, I did not expect any coverage.”

But Thomas did indeed wind up on the front page of the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina. That led to the story being picked up by TV, radio and others.

“He wrote the book for fun and thought publishing would be neat,” Little says. “Thomas, as well as ourselves, never expected the attention that resulted.”

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Lauren Moseley
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