Have you ever wanted to travel through time? Or go on an adventure or crack tough cases as a detective? You can do all these things—just by reading some of Samuel’s stories! Samuel S., age 11, writes poetry and adventure, mystery, and science-fiction stories. This young author from Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, England, enjoys creating exciting plots and interesting characters. And it takes time and careful planning to get everything right.
Making a Plan
Writers have different ways of getting their thoughts down on paper. When Samuel starts to write a story, he creates a flow chart on paper first. “I’ll write a general idea of each part in the story and then draw arrows to link it up with what comes next,” he says. “When I’m writing my story, if I need help I’ll look at the flow chart and write about what I’ve planned there.”
Samuel uses the same system when he prepares talks to give in Primary. First, the Primary presidency assigns him a theme and scriptures. “I’ll sit down and think about it, and then ideas come into my head and I write little notes,” Samuel says. “Then I write them up more fully into my talk.”
All of Samuel’s creative planning paid off when he had some of his stories published. He turned in a writing assignment to a teacher, and she asked him for more of his stories. The teacher worked to have Samuel’s stories published as a book. They named it The Adventure Collection, and it was given out at a teachers’ conference. The teachers who attended the conference received a copy of the book to take back to their schools. Samuel even got to speak at the conference and autograph his books. Samuel says he was really happy. “I said to my dad on the way home that I didn’t want the day to end!”
A Fun Family
Samuel comes right in the middle of his family. With two older sisters and a younger brother and sister, there’s never a shortage of people to play games or jump around on the trampoline with. Samuel has a long list of trampoline games that he likes to play with Connor and Rachel, including Mummy, Pig in the Middle, and Crack the Egg.
Hanging on the wall in Samuel’s home is a family home evening chart where everyone gets an assignment for the week. “We open with a song from the Children’s Songbook, and then we say a prayer,” Samuel says. “We’ll have a lesson, and sometimes my mom will bake a treat like cinnamon rolls.”
In addition to yummy cinnamon rolls, Samuel enjoys his mom’s chili, fajitas, and enchiladas.
A Special Name
Just as he creates names for the characters he writes about, Samuel has his own unique story of how he came to be named for Samuel in the Bible, who heard the voice of the Lord. At first, his parents didn’t know what to name him! “In the hospital, my dad was reading the Ensign,” Samuel says. “He found an article about Samuel, so they named me that. Then he flipped the page and there was an article about Jacob and the twelve tribes of Israel. So my middle name is Jacob.”
Samuel understands the importance of being named after two righteous people. “I picture myself being a bit like Samuel,” he says. “I think of how he was obedient, and I know that is Christlike. I want to be like that.”
Bury St. Edmunds
Turn to page 38 to read one of Samuel’s poems.
Photographs by Jennifer Maddy and Janet Thomas