My inspiration

First Posted: 11/21/2014

Stephanie Yatko, a fifth grade student at Our Lady of Peace School (OLP) in Clarks Green, has good memories of listening to her older sister, Katherine Yatko, tell fantasy stories she made up for her. But when Katherine left for Air Force Academy, the sisters were no longer able to spend as much time together.

So, Stephanie decided to create a story of her own, with her sister as the main character.

The now-10-year-old worked for over half a year writing and illustrating “Crazy High School Days,” which she released in April through Xlibris, a self-publishing company. She then got started on her second book, “The Wood People,” which is now at press, also published through Xlibris. Both books are available for purchase online at and in hard copy and e-edition, and each are registered with the Library of Congress.

“The Wood People,” Stephanie said, “is about four friends, and they’re in a castle and all these magical creepy things happen.”

In the story, the four friends, who are humans, are trying to help another group of beings, “wood people,” by finding three possessions which were lost to them in the castle. The book ends on a cliff-hanger, with readers having to wait for the next book release to find out what happens.

The young author’s goal is to write one book every year for the rest of her life.

“I just thought it would be really cool,” she said, “because you gain more knowledge every year.”

Stephanie is a daughter of Steve and Natasha Yatko and a student in Mrs. Orr’s class at OLP. Her best subject is English, and her favorite things about going to school at OLP are hanging out with friends, learning new things and taking tests. She said she always loves to read, and although she doesn’t have a favorite author, she especially enjoys mystery books.

She said she likes writing because “it expresses your ideas and thoughts, instead of keeping them cooped up inside you.”

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