Conversation with…Elijah Frederick, Teenage Author

Elijah Frederick is the 13-year-old author of action-adventure book ‘Shifted Code’ launched in October 2018.

Before writing his book, Elijah was a junior blogger for the Obi & Titi series, a competition winner and contributor across a variety of publications.  His love for writing prompted him to ask the creator of Obi & Titi, Oyehmi Begho, for guidance on how to publish his first book; Oyehmi then mentored Elijah through the whole process.

‘Shifted Code’ is about Tadeo, a tormented genius who is isolated and excluded by everyone in his class. He is also bullied by the brawny Nathan, and his friends, and ends up being paired with him on a computing project. The victimized Tadeo must then deal with the misery of working with his nemesis.

Shifted Code Author Picture

Elijah Frederick, Author of Shifted Code

How old were you when you wrote your first story?

I was in Year 3, but my best memory of writing is from Year 4, when we literally had to write our own book. We had to design the front cover, write the blurb, everything, on our own. After that, my passion grew, and I started to read more.

What or who, or what and who, inspired you to write?

I think my Mum inspires me to write, because of her personality. She’s a very determined woman and is one of the main reasons why I kept on going and not drift away from writing my book. Writing a book can drag sometimes but with my Mum’s encouragement, I was determined to keep going.

She also took me to a lot of writing events and would show me videos of young authors, and we’d talk about them. I then thought, ‘if they can do it, then I can do it too.’

How do you fit in your writing with school and homework and all the things that a 13-year-old likes to do?

Well I have good time management skills, so I make time. My secondary school finishes quite early too, at 245pm, so I have time to get my homework done and relax then think about my stories.

 What other activities do you do?

Well I went to rugby club today and I quite enjoyed it! I really like to brainstorm ideas for stories. I like playing chess and draughts, and I like playing a little bit of blackjack – my Dad is a player. I like money games as well.

When you read, what kind of books do you like to read?

I like to read action and adventure mainly because of the characters and because there are so many plot twists. Anything can happen. The characters are unique too.

Shifted Code is an action and adventure novel, right? How did you come up the storyline?

The story started out with the main character getting sucked into a chess game but that was difficult to get around. So, because I like computer games, I thought why not create my own game that the character gets sucked into? Then I found that mixing action and adventure and my love for computer games worked.

How long did it take you to write the book?

It took me about 2-3 years, because I was still in primary school when I thought of the concept. The plot was altered a couple of times because we needed to make sure that it was right for the age group I was writing the book for.

Did anyone help you to write the book?

My Mum did as well as my mentor, one of the authors of Obi and Titi. I met him [Oyehmi Begho] at this book event that my Mum took me to and then I read the books. After that, I wrote a review on one of the books, we kept in touch and he became my mentor.

Have you got another book planned?

I’ve got ideas for a few books and I also have ideas for a sequel.

If a young boy came to you and said, ‘Elijah, I’m thinking about being a writer too,’ what are 3 pieces of advice you would give him?

I’d say to them – get in the environment of writing, never give up on writing, read books that you genuinely enjoy and use them to improve your vocabulary.

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Further Information:

Contact: Candice Bryan; Website:; Email: Phone: 07930 637 902

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