In my December 7, 2009 column, I spotlighted teenager Manika Ward. She had written a book, “The Exciting Adventures of Boo,” in the hope of raising $15,000 to donate to the NSPCA. This young “mover-shaker” reached her goal, and made the donation live on TV Channel FOX5, Las Vegas, on Monday, May 17, 2010 morning during a segment called, “Pet Pals”, where a representative of the SPCA comes on every week with an adoptable pet to show the viewers.
But, that’s not all she’s been up to. I decided to follow up on what’s been happening in this amazing teen’s life and discovered that she is a performer who has been working with some of music industry’s highest caliber management, songwriting and production talent. Manika (pronounced Ma-NEE-ka) was discovered by Frank DiLeo, Michael Jackson’s long-time manager, and television personality and revered vocal performance coach CeCe Sammy (U.K.’s “Pop Idol”).
Inspired by such artists as Avril Lavigne, Pink and Alanis Morrisette, Manika is working on modern Top 40 tracks with a rock edge featuring attitude and fiery rock guitars. Says Manika, “I’ve always loved both writing and songwriting,” she adds. “The journey is fascinating to me.”
Here is part of the story that ran back in 2009.
Young Las Vegas author donates profits to save animals
Henderson International high school can be proud of Manika Ward. This student wrote a book entitled “The Exciting Adventures of Boo.”
In November of 2008 she read her book to some of the kids at the Torino classroom of Sunrise Children’s Hospital. This unique classroom is funded by the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation as a way to help them not only keep up with their studies, but keep their spirits up. Ward says she loves reading to kids. All of the kids she read to that day are patients at Sunrise who are undergoing cancer treatments.
This young author drew upon her own experience in facing some of the challenges life throws at you to create the ten stories that make up “The Exciting Adventures of Boo.” Each one ends with an important lesson. Boo teaches the reader how to turn challenges into fun.
She began the project at the age of twelve and today is a published author and a philanthropist. She gives all proceeds from the sale of her book to the NSPCA animal shelter. Ward said that when she visited the shelter she realized how much they need money and figured this was a good way to spend the proceeds. Her goal is to raise $15,000. With Christmas right around the corner, why not delight a youngster in your life with this book and help save animals at the same time?
In her interview on the website Eighteen Questions, she said her father is an author and she has been surrounded by books and writing all of her life. For two and a half years she worked on her book every day, writing, editing and drafting over and over again. This straight A student always wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps, and the book was a giant leap in that direction. Ward likes to get inside the head of her characters to make them real.
Check out her official website: http://manikaofficial.tumblr.com for more information about Manika.
For more information about Morgan St. James, visit www.morganstjames-author.com website or the Silver Sisters Mysteries website. Morgan frequently speaks and gives workshops for published and aspiring writers at conferences and events. Her next appearance will be at Partners in Crime, Sydney, Australia on September 11. Information on her website.
Because of the popularity of Writers’ Tricks of the Trade, she has recently added a blog, newsletter and the just-released Writers’ Tricks of the Trade: 39 Things You Need to Know About the ABCs of Writing Fiction book., available in paperback, eBook and Kindle. The hilarious third Silver Sisters Mystery, Vanishing Act in Vegas, was also released in August.
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