MACON, Ga. — Fatima Tiozang Sappi started jotting down a story in her notebook when she was 13 years old.
She's a sophomore at Howard High School, and she already has her first book published.
When she first started writing, she didn't have plans to write a novel.
She said she always loved reading, and she said the Accelerated Readers Program at Bibb County Schools helped her read more.
She also loved writing things down on paper, and she realized if she wanted to write a book, it would have to be electronic. She didn't like using computers at the time.
Her dad encouraged her to keep writing and to remain perseverant.
She said famous authors inspired her to keep on trying because their books took many attempts.
"I saw something on YouTube one time and how Dr. Seuss and J.K. Rowling took many, many failures of sending to editors and them declining it," she said. "So that's what I started doing, too, sending it to editors."
Sappi's book, "Unfiltered," is a story about a girl who's trying to face family conflict. She said she wants the community to know they are not alone in dealing with their problems.
"In life, there's going to be a lot of difficult moments," she said. "When you want to do something in life, I didn't think I could do anything, but I'm just trying to at least impact the community the best way I can by at least doing something."
Her friend and fellow student at Howard High, Sienna Morris-Crisp, said Sappi is a very positive person.
"She is like the nicest, most charismatic person you'll ever meet," she said. "She's nonstop happy."
Crisp is proud of Sappi for taking a risk.
"It's like a proud big sister moment," she said.
Kristi Varnadoe, a literature teacher, said Sappi is a role model in the classroom who always asked intelligent questions.
Varnadoe is proud of the progress her student has made.
"When she first came into my class as a freshman, she was very quiet and reserved," she said. "By the end of the semester, you could see her coming out of her shell."
She is proud of her for becoming an author, and she is looking forward to her future accomplishments.