Tyler Rae Swampillai recently launched her very first book, The Sea Monster, among an audience made up of her friends, at her grandfather Benedict (Ben) Morais’s home in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. It was just 12 days after her ninth birthday.
Inspired by her mother Rowena Morais, an editor and writer, Tyler Rae began writing her magical adventure in February last year. Rowena self-published the book as well as designed the cover.
The story begins with a spirit from a distant world approaching Tyler Rae, as she is studying, to ask for her help to kill a mighty sea monster which is terrorising its village.
Tyler Rae agrees, and the spirit takes her to its village, where she rests for a few days. During this time, she practises wielding the sword with which she will kill the sea monster.
As the adventure unfolds, Tyler Rae tracks the sea monster to a cave, then follows it out to sea. The sea monster reveals that it is exacting revenge upon the spirits which had caught and tortured it a long time ago.
The two agree to a duel and, if Tyler Rae wins, the sea monster will leave the spirits and ghosts alone.
Tyler Rae wins but the sea monster reneges on their deal and continues to attack the spirits and ghosts, so Tyler Rae slays it with her sword. The spirit Ben then takes her home.
However, two weeks later, Ben reappears and again asks Tyler Rae’s help to defeat a powerful woman who is threatening the spirits and ghosts in his village.
Ben informs her that the woman is her biological mother, who had left her on a doorstep to be found and adopted. Shocked and angered at being abandoned, Tyler Rae sets off again in the magical carriage to defend the village against this powerful woman.
In the battle which ensues, Tyler Rae strikes the woman with her sword, causing her to faint, after which the spirits and ghosts carry the woman off to their maximum-security prison.
The story ends with Ben taking Tyler Rae home in time for bed, though the girl indicates that there are more adventures to come.
Simple as this adventure story may be, The Sea Monster should serve as an inspiration to budding young writers, even in primary schools, to publish their thoughts, whatever their medium of choice.