Owasso eighth grader Abram Smith made the most of his time outside the classroom in the wake of the pandemic last year.
When schools shut down statewide, the 14-year-old student stayed focused and took the opportunity to write a new book. He recently landed a publishing deal and plans to release his first title in June.
It all started for Smith after COVID-19 hit in mid-March when he took up an interest in the written word. It wasn’t long until he began turning paragraphs into pages full of different characters and storylines that all revolved around STEM — a subject he has long shared a passion for.
“I just found that creative writing was something I really enjoyed, especially when it was something I enjoyed writing about,” Smith said. “I took real scientific ideas and engineering ideas and applied them to a science fictional reality.”
That reality eventually paved the way for a completed 300-page paperback, titled “The Quantum State,” that Smith spent about two hours every morning for several months piecing together.
“It really just gave me something to fill my time and work for when I didn’t have school,” Smith said. “I wrote almost 4,000 words on my first day, so I was able to take my original idea, and over a few months I just kept expanding and expanding my idea until I ended up with a novel.”
“The Quantum State” tells the story of Alan Barnes, a 16-year-old prodigy in the world of engineering who has been recruited by the U.S. Quantum Defense Agency to fight a nuclear threat amid a cold war with China due to suspicions about the origins of the coronavirus.
“He gets evermore intertwined within the Agency and eventually realizes that the people he thought he could trust may not really be as they seem,” Smith said. “Really, wherever the story took me is where I created new characters, new plotlines … I just went with it.”
During his time putting pen to paper, Smith stayed in close contact with his seventh grade English teacher Cathy Hill, who coached him along the path to achieving his dream.
“She was a really large encouragement while writing my book,” Smith said. “In her English class before the pandemic, I really strengthened my writing skills and really just gained confidence in writing, and she … just encouraged me to keep writing.”
Now a published author at only 14, Smith said the months-long writing process has taught him more about patience and perseverance — but even more that age is just a number.
“It’s in my book, and almost kind of just relates to me as well, that age doesn’t matter,” Smith said. “That’s what I would say to all young authors or really any person is that age doesn’t matter what you accomplish, as long as you stick to your goals on it and you work for it.”
“The Quantum State,” released by City Limits Publishing, will be available to purchase in June. More information about Smith can be found at abramsmithauthor.com.