Even at a young age, Anisa Hardin enjoyed jotting down stories and drawings onto the cardboard books and journals her parents would buy her.
Originally interested in art, when the Olentangy High School junior found out that artists study skeletons to better understand the human form, she squeamishly asked her mother, Edie Hardin, what other creative outlets she could pursue. Anisa’s interest in writing was born out of that conversation.
Anisa, 16, of Lewis Center, soon began writing stories about princesses and dragons, the weather, bad days or any tale that would bounce around in her thoughts. She would often tell her mother she had many different stories inside her head.
Growing up, Anisa would write her stories and make them a part of her personal library, then give her parents library cards, and if they didn’t return her books on time, she would promptly leave them a fine on their nightstand.
Anisa started writing what would become her first published book during the summer of her eighth-grade year. Intended to be practice, the first installment of The Heritage Diaries Diary of a Cabin Girl, follows the life of Nicole, a girl who works as a cabin girl on a ship.
Anisa, who was vehemently feminist during this time, thought a girl’s point of view of the 1700s was needed.
“I wondered why there weren’t cabin girls and girl knights,” she said.
Once Anisa had finished her story, her mother saw the potential in it and started searching for a publisher. Eventually, Anisa ended up at the Mount Vernon-based Koozzz, a Christian publishing company.
A Christian herself, Anisa said the central theme in the book is about starting a relationship with God and learning how to begin that process.
The idea behind the series is generational with the next book being set during the Revolutionary War, with Nicole’s granddaughter or grandson being the central character. She plans to have at least three books in the series and hopefully one set in more modern times.
Editing the first book for historical accuracy took the most amount of time, so Anisa said she plans to spend time preparing for the second book, researching the setting, where the character will live, the date and key battles surrounding the time.
“The process is a pain,” Anisa said. “But I’m enjoying the after effects.”
In Anisa’s spare time, she plays piano, knits, does cross-stitching and is a member of several clubs at school.
Her first book is available for $7.99 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders. The Hardins plan to organize a local book signing in the community.