As far as Desert Wind 7th grade Blended Learning student, Gabriella Fisher, can remember, her mind was “constantly swimming with all sorts of stories and ideas.”
She had notebooks full of her short stories and she enjoyed sharing them with her friends.
“It’s always been a struggle for me to remain in reality, but in my writing I can go anywhere I want,” Fisher said.
As a fifth grader in the Maricopa Unified School District at Pima Butte Elementary School, she started writing a story called Inferious one day when her class had a substitute teacher.
The story was “mainly about a high school girl who gets captured by a secret organization known as Covax and discovers that there is an entire other world that she never even knew about, filled with demons, magic, and adventure. She meets all of these new people, good and bad, and for a long time she struggles to decide who she can trust, especially after learning about her true identity,” Fisher said.
She stated, ” I passed it around to some of my friends and before long nearly everyone in class was bugging me for the next chapter.”
Even with her dozens of ideas, and countless short stories, Inferious became popular and really stuck out as something that she should continue to write.
Writing the rest of the story took another year and a half, but according to Fisher, that was the easy part.
“Once you get writing it is the best feeling in the world. My fingers just fly across the keyboard as I get to watch the story come to life,” Fisher said.
Editing, publishing and marketing Inferious followed. That process was stressful for Fisher and not nearly as fun as writing.
The final step was coming up with the pen name, R.J. Carestia.
“R.J. stands for Riley Joanne, which was the name of a character in one of my very first short stories about a published author who was 13. Carestia is my family name on my mom’s side, my great grandma’s maiden name,” Fisher said.