Congratulations to MBS senior Alexandra Miskewitz ’21, who recently wrote, illustrated and published her first book — Zero Sympathy From Me: Just Sharing. The humorous middle school adventure was inspired by Diary of a Wimpy Kidand The Dork Diaries, and Alexandra devised the story as part of her creative writing class at MBS.
The book, which took Alexandra nearly a year to write and illustrate, follows the life of middle schooler Jessica Yermack. With her obnoxious classmates, horrible teachers and tragic pumpkin disasters, Jessica can’t catch a break. Luckily, she has her best friends, Maya and Will, to help her. But when her relatives arrive for Christmas, she must overcome the most difficult challenge of all: her family!
Alexandra began writing and drawing at a young age, but never considered publishing any of her work until recently. “To improve my creative writing, I wrote lots of short stories during my sophomore year and went on the MBS Writers’ Retreat twice. Last year, I decided I wanted to write and publish a book, so I signed up for an independent study and asked Mr. Lovelock, my former English teacher, to be my advisor.”
Alexandra’s original plan was to write an anthology of short stories accompanied by original illustrations. After she finished writing, however, she scrapped the idea. “I actually came up with the story for my final book on the spot during my intro to creative writing class,” she said. “I was just supposed to be writing a short story, but I enjoyed the plot so much that I converted it into a whole book.”
She said that Darren Lovelock was extremely helpful throughout the project. “He has edited my book, helped me craft a fluid story and characters, and assisted me through the publishing process,” said Alexandra, who is also grateful for the help and advice from MBS teachers Alison Williamson, Renee Kenny, Erinn Salge, Peter Donahue, and Kate Muttick.
Alexandra says she plans to keep writing, and has already begun brainstorming a sequel to her book. She has also created a website and YouTube channel to promote her work. “My main goal at the moment is to build my company’s popularity and market my products. I do want to keep taking classes in writing, but I’m hoping to pursue an art/film/animation degree in college and minor in business. Hopefully by the time I get to college, I will have more eyes on my business and can continue to build on it,” she said.