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Her Nightmare

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Merrol Hyde Magnet School student Olivia Sherry gave a copy of her first book “Her Nightmare” to best-selling children’s horror book series author R.L. Stine last month. SUBMITTED
Olivia Sherry, 9, recently released her first published book “Her Nightmare.” SUBMITTED

Merrol Hyde Magnet School student Olivia Sherry was standing in an unknown graveyard when she noticed a dark figure off in the distance - and then she woke up.

The dream, which many might have tried to quickly forget, was used by the nine-year-old fourth grader as the inspiration for her recently published first book titled "Her Nightmare."

"That's what I love about writing," said Sherry who lives in Gallatin with her parents and little sister. "You're able to create and imagine everything that you put into the story."

The book, which includes 10 chapters and an epilogue, took Sherry approximately one year to complete. She has been writing and illustrating her own short stories on pieces of paper that her parents stapled together since she was five-years-old.

"A few people have asked if she really wrote it and she did," Olivia's father William Sherry Jr. said. "When you read it, you'll hear there are a lot of phrases and things that aren't completely proper English, but they are coming from an 8-year-old at the time. We didn't want to lose that."

"Her Nightmare" is dedicated to Sherry's first grade teacher who hosted a writer's workshop for her students that culminated with them writing their own stories and presenting them to the class.

The book is the first published work by a Merrol Hyde student to be featured in the school's library.

"There was such a rush for kids who wanted to read it that we did have a (waiting) list," said Scotti Harris who is the school's elementary librarian. "They seem to like it and of course they are very impressed that their classmate has published a book. That's great for Olivia and it has also inspired other students to think about doing the same thing."

Since its release, the book has sold more than 100 copies. It can be purchased at Ms. B's Used Books in Hendersonville and the Book Attic in Madison.

Copies have also been sent to "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling and R.L. Stine, creator of the best-selling children's horror book series "Goosebumps."

"I really enjoyed reading it," Stine wrote in a message to the 9-year-old last month. "You definitely have talent, Olivia. Keep writing!"

Sherry spends about 30 minutes each day writing and is currently working on two more books that are expected to be released next year. She hopes to continue her professional writing career as an adult.

"I want to be almost as famous as J.K. Rowling," she said with a laugh. "Hopefully."

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