She is a fifth-generation Chautauquan, a boxer, baker and an author. And she’s 12.
Today, Ylan Lockwood will read from her book Through My Eyes at 12:15 p.m. at the Smith Memorial Library. The book is told through the perspective of a bichon frisé named Fernando who, along with his 11-year-old owner Ivy, competes in dog agility competitions.
“I wrote the first chapter, and I was like, ‘OK, I feel like this could go somewhere.’ So then I wrote the second, and the third,” Ylan said. “And then when I got to around the fifth chapter, my dad was like, ‘Hey, you should keep going with this because it’s good, and you never know where it might lead.’ ”
The book became available for purchase on Amazon on July 6.
Despite the topic of the book, Ylan has no experience with — or even interest in — dog agility.
“I remember I was like, ‘OK, there has to be something special about this dog,’ ” Ylan said “It can’t be a talking dog because it needs to be realistic. So I looked up ‘world’s most unnecessary sport for dogs.’ And the first thing that came up was this agility site.”
Agility — where dogs race through obstacle courses — is an unusual sport, but it is not known for being highly exciting.
“I tried to dramatize it as much as I could,” Ylan said.
Ylan is also working on her second book while at Chautauqua Institution. Having completed Through My Eyes, she is ready for a very different style of writing.
“I cringe when I read this [book], but everyone’s always like, ‘Every author does that.’ ” Ylan said. “I’ll do much better on the second.”
At the moment, that is a novel about child spies in the CIA titled The Devil and the Angel. Although Ylan’s writing is taking a darker turn, she still thinks maintaining humor is important.
“Even Stephen King has a dark sense of humor,” she said. “No one likes a book with no humor. I’m not saying that you don’t want to make things very dark, but you need to have a sense of humor in some places, too.”