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Sixteen-year-old Isabelle Nettle from Tonbridge publishes lockdown novel The Darkness

If there is one thing lockdown has been good for, it's literature. Lots of people have suddenly found the time to put pen to paper and start that novel they always intended to write.

Isabelle Nettle, from Leigh, near Tonbridge, is one of those. But not only has the 16-year-old started her novel, she's also finished it and had it published.

Author Isabelle Nettle
Author Isabelle Nettle

The Darkness, published by Peripeteia Press, came out three weeks ago and Isabelle, a former student at Hilden Grange School, is enjoying the satisfaction of being a published author.

She said: "I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember - but usually short stories, up until now.

"I’ve always wanted to write a novel but I’ve never really had a good enough idea or had the time to write one.

"So when lockdown happened, and school closed and my GCSEs were cancelled, I thought it was the perfect time.

"It took right from when lockdown started until when I went back to school in September."

Isabelle Nettle's book: The Darkness
Isabelle Nettle's book: The Darkness

Her family, including parents Jo and Terry and brother Thomas, are all talented musicians but Isabelle is the first to write a book.

The Darkness tells the story of Subterrane, where every citizen knows that a deadly war is raging on the surface. The Thirteen Founders have told them so, repeatedly.

Born in the Subterrane, 17-year-old Eleanor has never known anything else. She is perfectly content until she finds herself standing in front of the door to the Surface, when she has an overwhelming urge just to see what's out there.

Isabelle is currently a boarder at Wells Cathedral School in Somerset, where she is doing A-levels in English, music, and Latin.

She said: "I’m hoping to go on to study English and creative writing at university.

"After that, I’d love to do something in publishing, hopefully on the way to becoming a professional writer."

The Darkness is available on Amazon priced £8.25.

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