Nick Radano's book is called "The XNA Trio"

Rogers Middle School student Nick Radano is a published author!
Posted on 03/26/2021

Back when he started in December of 2019, Nick Radano didn’t set out to write a whole book. The Rogers Middle School student just started typing up some thoughts and creating characters – students in a fictional school that existed only in his mind. But then the word count grew – 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 and so too did the twists and turns of what became a mystery novella called “The XNA Trio.”

Less than 18 months later, he was a published author with a book available on Amazon.

“You’ve got to have determination,” the 11-year-old sixth-grader says about the discipline it took to write a book that’s nearly 100 pages. “You’ve got to write for a while (each day) … you can’t just write a couple paragraphs and put it off for a week. You have to have consistency.”

The book was released a few months ago. You can buy it for $12.95 via this link. It’s about three students who use their different skills to help find a teacher in their school that has gone missing. Radano stresses that nothing depicted in his book, from characters to the places and story, comes from his experiences at Rogers. It’s all fiction.

In a way, the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantining last spring helped him develop a routine to write. He’d do this school work remotely daily, then write for a couple of hours. The word count seemed to motivate him, then the storyline did. Radano said kept thinking there was more he wanted to see happen to his fictional pals. When he got “writer’s block,” he took short breaks. He said he’d watch TV to get ideas and feel motivated to get back on track.

His parents, Jeanne and Andy, are extremely proud of their only child, who enjoys reading sci-fi and fantasy books, plays video games and soccer. Jeanne says his teacher in first and second grade at Southlawn School, Ms. Emily Swanson, fostered his affinity for reading. “I really credit her for his love of reading,” she said.

By May of 2020 – about six months after Nick started – the book was done. Nick did more than just tell his parents he wanted it published. He researched it. That process started last summer. There was a cost get to that, though. The Radanos paid for about half of the $3,500 cost via a GoFundMe account.

The publisher seemed impressed with Nick’s writing ability and story, Jeanne said. It didn’t alter the story or title much, either. “The XNA Trio” is listed under Kids’ Books and Action & Adventure. The publisher did help with some grammatical corrections, however, the Radano family did much of the proofreading and continued that during the editing and design process. The idea for the book jacket cover – three students standing in front of a school – was Nick’s idea, but the publisher designed and illustrated it. He is not one of the students pictured.

“It was cool. I was excited when I saw it on Amazon, I thought: It was finally accomplished,” he said.

Nick doesn’t forecast an XNA Trio sequel, but he did say he thinks he’ll write more books in the future. “He did this all on his own,” Jeanne said, her voice full of pride. “We never knew much about the story (until he was done).”