Highland has a new novelist in 16-year-old Citrus Valley High School student Satwik Pattanaik who wrote “Rogue,” a spy thriller that he is using to benefit those in need of eye surgeries.
Pattanaik wrote “Rogue” over two summers while he was in the eighth and ninth grades and self published it through Amazon/Kindle last year with the assistance and encouragement of his father Jaydeep Pattanaik.
More a novella, at about 100 pages, “Rogue” makes for quick and enjoyable read written out a passion for creative writing and a desire to help those in danger of losing their vision.
“I like writing and I wanted to do something to give back to the community,” Satwik said. “In school I was limited to the analytical writing of essays so in my free time I started writing a bit more creatively and came up with the idea of this story.”
“Rogue” is a first person account of a boy who is kidnapped and then dragged into a globetrotting CIA manhunt as part of a team of teen spies. There’s plenty of action and a few plot twists and Satwik shows himself to be a clever writer.
According to Jaydeep, Satwik’s talent for writing comes from natural skills and a love of reading. Satwik says he most enjoys reading science fiction and action-adventure novels.
Satwik hopes his book will grip readers and inspire new writers among his generation.
“I want other kids to read it and be inspired to pursue writing. They can read it and say, ‘Hey, this guy’s 16. Maybe I could write a book too,’” he said. “Writing is fun and it really pays off.”
The book is dedicated to his grandparents in India who inspired him to write creatively by encouraging him to journal and his younger sister Sheersha, the first to read and provide feedback on his writing.
The book can be purchased on Amazon for $8 and Satwik is donating all of his royalties to the Sankara Eye Foundation, a U.S.-based non-profit that focuses on providing eye surgeries in India and other regions where people are in need of eye care.
For every $30 donated, Sankara provides a free eye surgery (usually cataract) in an effort to eliminate curable blindness.
“The gift of vision is really important to me,” Satwik said. “I think it’s one of the most important of the five senses. I want to make sure everyone has a chance to have the gift of vision. I feel privileged to have the gift of vision and I feel those who cannot see are really missing out on something in life.”
Satwik and his family came to the United States from India when he was three years old. Growing up in Highland, he attended Smiley Elementary, Cram Elementary and Beattie Middle School. He plans to study creative writing and computer science in college, after he graduates from Citrus Valley High School.