Norcross teen writer publishes first novel

LAWRENCEVILLE - Seliman exists in a world that may seem bizarre to the readers of his story, living and working for his mentor in a facility called Floodbase, unaware of what he is really doing and what lies in his past but eventually searching for his identity, even if it costs him his life.

This is the premise for 15-year-old Nicholas Gupta's book, "The Unknown Species," a fantasy novel for middle and some high school readers.

The Norcross High School sophomore started writing his book in August 2007, working mostly on weekends, and finished before his freshman year of high school was over.

"My inspiration for writing the book came to me the summer of 2007 when I went to Europe for a week," Gupta said. "It was part of a school activity."

In Europe, Gupta said he was inspired by the cultural differences - ideals, values and ways of life - among the people there.

"It seemed so different from what I was used to," he said. "From my discoveries, I wanted to write a book about differences and self-discovery."

Gupta found he had a love for writing at the age of 8 when he penned a short story, "The Magical Slide," about children who are transported to other worlds via a slide, and while this story and "The Unknown Species" are grounded in science-fiction and fantasy, the young writer said he explores a variety of genres.

Gupta is currently working on a book that incorporates psychology and philosophy into the story, two areas he said are very different from those he has previously explored in his writing, and he anticipates "Secrets of the Veil," the title of his current project, will be published in the spring.

An aspiring teacher - Gupta hopes to one day teach literature at the high school or college level - the teen has also created curriculum materials and a study guide companion for "The Unknown Species." The book was published by SF Communications Inc. and is available through all online book stores.

For more information on Gupta, visit his Web site at www.nicholasgupta.com.