Publishing a book at the age of 14 is a highly unusual feat.
It’s even more uncommon when the author, Piper Sehman, is fighting a benign brain tumor.
The daughter of town residents Nicholas and Marina, Sehman has had two surgeries where doctors removed the hearing and balance component of her right ear, and it has affected mobility on the right side of her face and functions like being able to write and draw.
Make-A-Wish Arizona intervened in making her wish to publish a book possible. Make-A-Wish provided the information in this article and the accompanying photo.
To help Sehman with her writing, Make-A-Wish Arizona enlisted the help of Dr. James Blasingame, a creative writing professor with 40-years’ experience and a focus in Young Adult literature at Arizona State University.
“Piper was a little nervous both to have someone critique her work and to be meeting with a college professor, but within moments he had her at ease and into a really great conversation,” said her father. “He was so supportive in an authentic way that really boosted Piper up and he’s been meeting with her once a week to help her with her story.”
Sehman said she had been working on a book since she was in sixth grade.
“I love dystopian styles and my novel is about four teenagers who pretty much save the world,” she said. “There’s a character named Z who is inspired by my brother. He’s like the really extreme version of him. Then, I created a character named Blossom, who kind of represents a version of myself that I would want to be like.”
The sci-fi novel, “Paradox,”was released last month at a book-signing appearance at the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale.
“I hope it will be a book that teenagers can really relate to and I think it’s something that can help boost my confidence as well,” said Sehman.
Her parents said they observed a huge change in her attitude and energy level because of the wish.
“This has given her purpose and hope in a way that’s been all positive and I think her wish has been one of the biggest components of her recovery so far,” said her father,
“It’s been a supplement to her therapy and really helped her emotional state,” added her mother. “It’s given her something to focus on instead of the tough news we often get from doctors and it’s truly helped her heal.
“So many people donated their time and energy so Piper’s wish could be possible, and I think a wish really makes a difference in a child’s recovery and how they view their illness.”