On any ordinary day, Bella Jay Dark is just a normal six-year-old child. She is bubbly and playful, adventurous and brutally honest. On some days, she has to remain calm for the cameras and the many interviews she does as the world’s youngest published female author.
She is a Guinness Book World Record holder, a title she was crowned in June 2022 after her book titled, The Lost Cat, sold more than 1,000 copies.
“It feels funny seeing people fight over my books everywhere. It makes me know that people actually love my books,” Bella told The Standard in Sharjah, UAE during the Sharjah Children Reading Festival.
Bella is from Weymouth, UK, and now travels the world talking to people about the power of reading, writing and storytelling. She was among the guest speakers during the 14th edition of the event which attracted over 122,000 visitors across the world.
To her, age really does not matter when writing books because every writer has a story to tell and a lesson to pass. Her stories, she says, are inspired by her cats.
“My first book teaches children that it is not safe to wander about all alone because one can get lost,” she says. Being her first trip abroad, she now feels the perks that come with her current title, but her work does not just end here.
“It makes me really happy,” she says. Bella is eyeing to break another Guinness Book world record to be the youngest female author who has written a series of books.
Earlier this year, she wrote another book, titled Snowy’s birthday party, a book also based on her own cats. The book, she says, teaches the importance of friendship.
To claim the second title, Bella will have to sell over 1,000 copies to surpass the current record held by Laiba Abdul Basit from India who was 10 years old when she published a series of novels called Order of the Galaxy. Her book has since sold more than 600 copies.
According to her father Myles Dark, it all started with bedtime stories where Bella seems to have developed a fondness for stories.
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“We have been reading stories for Bella and her sister Lacie since they were very young. Bella used to tell us that she would one day write her own book and we really never thought it could be that sooner,” Myles said.
At one time, he said the family had attended a book fair and someone expressed an interest to publish a book she had scribbled with illustrations in it and that is how it all began.
“She came back and wrote and sketched the entire book in about a few hours,” he said.
But for Bella, putting her own thoughts down was something she did.
“I wrote the books all by myself and it makes me so happy and it is encouraging that other children are now writing books after seeing me publish my own,” she says.
Bella is now writing her third book titled; Snowy and the Lily Pad Frog which is expected to be released later this year.
According to the Guinness World Records website, becoming a record-holder requires determination, extraordinary skills and commitment. Guinness World Records documents and celebrates superlative achievements.