Author, nine, hopes to inspire others to ‘live in the power of their name’

A nine-year-old author hopes that her book will encourage others to “live in the power of their name” and celebrate being unique.

Isis Damali, who was just seven when she began writing her book called Isis Meets Isis, told the PA news agency that she wanted to write a book that would pay homage to her name, which has roots in Ancient Egypt.

Little girl holding a book to the camera
Isis Damali holding her book (Subira Damali/Enomwoyi Damali/PA)

“My name is from an Egyptian goddess with the powers of life,” the young author from south-east London said.

“I really like my name because it is exotic and I love the Egyptians and how they lived and wanted to write about it and share that with others.”

In the book, Isis explores Ancient Egypt alongside a goddess who shares the same name as her.

Isis said she hopes the book will encourage others to share her love of Ancient Egypt, as well as discover the beauty their own name holds.

“I would want readers to live in the power of their name,” she said.

Isis has advised young budding authors to “try and try again” when it comes to the writing process and to be positive about their work.

Girl wearing pink jacket and holding a book in her hand
Isis Damali with her book (Subira Damali/Enomwoyi Damali/PA)

“Even if you write a book and it does not get published, keep your work and know that you can try and try again,” she said.

“Have lots of positive thoughts about your work and know that it is special.

“And if you ever worry about your work being different, know that being different is unique. Just be you and bring your perspective.

“People can write books at any age and I want it to be less surprising when younger people write books.”

Isis’s grandmother Enomwoyi Damali, who she affectionately refers to as her Tan Tan (Trini for grandmother) and is also an author, told PA that Isis would constantly talk about her name, which prompted her to tell her granddaughter to write a book about it.

Girl and woman smiling at the camera
From left to right, Isis and Enomwoyi Damali (Daniella Blechner/PA)

“She used to talk about how she loves her name, how her name is so special, how her name is so unique and I said to her, ‘Goodness Isis, why don’t you just write a book about it’,” the 59-year-old said.

“Because she is named after an Egyptian goddess, she kind of put the two together – the love of her name and her love of all things Egyptian and she’s just written this amazing story.”

Ms Damali added that Isis had a clear vision for her book throughout the process and would not let others stand in the way of her book being just right, even her Tan Tan.

“Isis wrote a draft well over a year ago and handed it to me and I read it,” she said.

“And I had a comment to make about something that comes at the end of the book and said, ‘Is that really what you wanted to say?’

“And she was adamant that she wanted this in the story and they agreed that this comment – this really funny line – absolutely needed to stay.”

Three women looking at the camera and smiling
From left to right, Daniella Blechner, Isis and Enomwoyi Damali (Daniella Blechner/PA)

Daniella Blechner, the founder of publishing house Conscious Dreams Publishing, which published the book, added that the line – “She smelled strange, like a pair of old shoes, but I felt safe with her” – was “my favourite line because authors often leave out referring to the sense of smell in their descriptions but this vivid description really brought Isis to life and emphasised just how old she was”.

She also shared Ms Damali’s sentiments about Isis’s clear stance on what her book would look like.

“Isis wrote her book herself and in so much detail and she worked so well with our illustrator Bryony Dick to make sure all the images were right and her vision was always so clear throughout the whole process,” the 43-year-old, from West Norwood, south London, told PA.

“She is just so wonderful to work with.”

She added that the young author has also already begun sharing her “pearls of wisdom” with the next generation of writers.

“We run storytelling workshops and Isis came to one as a guest speaker,” she said.

“It was just so beautiful to hear her give her pearls of wisdom in such an articulate and expressive way and witness her instil confidence and inspiration in our other young upcoming authors.”

Ms Blechner added that Isis’s mother Subira Damali, 27, initially approached her about getting the book published and that she has been really supportive of her daughter’s writing, commenting: “I am so proud of my daughter.”

Even though the nine-year-old has already achieved an astonishing feat through having one book published, she has no plans to slow down anytime soon.

“Maybe the next book I write will be about Gods in Egyptian times,” Isis added.

“I will continue to write even more because it feels really good having your name on a book and it feels like part of you as it is your creation.”

The paperback version of Isis Meets Isis is out on February 18, and pre-orders of signed copies can be made at https://consciousdreamsbookshop.com/products/isis-meets-isis and it is also available at platforms such as Amazon and Waterstones.