About Annie

There was never a moment where Annie “became” a writer. In truth, she thinks that she has always been one, or at least ever since her clammy young hands first picked up a pencil and she sat down to do more than her elementary school homework. She doesn’t remember her first time trying out the sport of creative writing, but she does remember the first time that a simple idea splurged her of nearly all other thoughts, and kept her busy as she turned those simple thoughts into words, and set pen to paper. She was seven years old, and at the time her mother was pregnant with her second younger sister. As any typical seven-year-old, Annie was a big fan of simple happy endings, tiny little jokes (that most of the time, were only caught by the author), and the story concluding with the words “The End.” Unlike most seven-year-olds however, Annie’s room was filled with books (her favorites which at the time consisted of “Junie B. Jones” by Barbara Park, “Magic Tree House” by Mary Pope Osbourne, and “The Babysitters Club” by Ann M. Martin) and dozens, hundreds and possibly thousands (but only felt like two or three) journals. Her favorite books changed as within age, and when she was nine years old, her third-grade teacher read to the entire class the first novel of a series that would remain to be one of Annie’s favorites an entire decade later-“Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling. Annie’s love of books continued into middle school, high school, and college. In the sixth grade, she began reading “Percy Jackson” by Rick Riordan, in high school her tastes adapted to the works of Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, and Debbie Macomber. The more she read, the more ideas she had for her own stories. Looking back, Annie doubts that there was ever a time where she wasn’t writing some sort of story, whether it was a short story or a novel.

Annie wore her love for both writing and reading not just like clothes, but her very skin. Anyone who knows even the slightest thing about her or even nothing at all-but simply saw her in between classes-knows that “Annie loves books.” Unlike most rebellious teenagers, Annie’s biggest “crime” in high school was leaving class 5-10 minutes early, in order to get to her next class early and sit there with either an open book or a laptop where she dove into a world of her own creation. In her freshman year of high school, a staff member (who Annie remains close to this day) noticed her “hobby” and helped her find a website where she could not only write, but publish her stories and allow others to read them as well. For her entire high school career, Annie used “Wattpad”, however it wasn’t until her sophomore year that she began to write and publish what she is known for today…

In her sophomore year, Annie’s legs began to hurt, to ache and to turn themselves against each other (physically, not in the classic, dramatic and far more compelling “Hero VS Villan” way). It wasn’t long before she was sent to a hospital to get x-rays, and a brilliant surgeon (to say the least about him) described a procedure that could fix her “knocked knees.” This procedure was new to her, but not as uncommon as one might think. Throughout the coming months, Annie and her parents sent countless emails to her amazing nurse (to say the least about her) asking question after question about the surgery, the strange contraption that she would have to wear, and the recovery that she would go through. All questions were answered, and eventually, “Operation Day” arrived.

11 days after the surgery (the successful, but still a long, painful and exhausting procedure that would leave young Annie in a strange torture device looking brace) Annie (being 15 years old, and therefore not having all of her priorities straight) was left thinking about the sort of challenges that she would have to endure for the next few months. Now, she wasn’t thinking about the challenges that “learning how to walk again” would encompass her in. She wasn’t thinking about how much her legs would hurt (both as she learned how to walk, and LITERALLY and PURPOSELY broke her own bones. Instead, she thought to herself-

What will my friends and peers think once I go back to school?”

Ah yes, the sweet, innocent young mind of a hormonal teenager who already thought that she had conquered more than enough to be able to know everything, and face whatever without so much as a “hmm, well that wasn’t what I expected.”

Instead of dwelling on those meaningless fears, doubts and worries (or at least, in addition to them) Annie then thought of something else, and it was this simple statement, this simple question-no-this idea that would fill her with everything that she would need in order to get through not just the Taylor Spatial Frame, but the rest of high school as well. She thought to herself-

What if I wasn’t the only girl in school with the Taylor Spatial Frame?”

Annie Bellassai(‘s leg). In the Taylor Spatial Frame. Age 15

She began to write the first few pages of the first chapter of the first draft of “Taylor’s Bond” immediately. She knew right off the beat that she wanted two teenage girls who were both put in the “ugly torture device” for slightly different reasons. So she chose one girl’s “reason” to be as simple and complicated as-

An extremely rare form of skeletal dysplasia that Annie had to do very little research on (let’s leave it at that, shall we).

The other girl’s reason was slightly more complicated, and if not for Annie’s own physical therapist introducing her to another young girl (possibly around the age of 12 or 13 at the time), Annie would not have believed that this could be true. This girl was tall, and aside from the faded marks on her legs (that Annie didn’t even see), this “other girl” looked like any of the other girls in her school. In other words, aside from Annie’s physical therapist saying the exact words “she had the Taylor Spatial Frame as well” this girl looked like the last person to ever have “abnormal bone growth.”

So she wrote the story about the girl who’s never had any other symptoms and surgeries-and decided to make her a basketball player-no a captain-just for the sake of doing so. She compared and contrasted this character to another girl who has had many (emphasis on many) symptoms and surgeries. But the book was never about the Taylor Spatial Frame, nor is it about disabilities, surgery or even petty teenage drama (okay, maybe it’s a little bit about that).

Annie continued to write the first draft throughout her four months spent in the brace. When the time came to have the brace come off (sooner than she had expected it to, causing her to laugh, grin and nearly cry once the AMAZING doctor told her “the date” of when they could schedule the removal for) she brought a small blue notebook to the hospital, and wrote down every detail that happened that day, just in case she needed to look back on this day and describe it in her book.

She didn’t finish the first draft until the same day that she finished her last day of high school-online, because of the pandemic. At this point, she was already taking to “Make-A-Wish” about publishing her book-a dream that she’s had since perhaps the first time ever set pen to paper, or simply eyes to pages. She spent the entire summer editing, revising, and in some cases-rewriting large parts of the book. Another draft was made during her first winter break of college (online, because of COVID) and yet another draft was made during her second semester (also online). Finally, finally, FINALLY-the fifth draft was finalized in the summer of 2021, and she published (actually published) “Taylor’s Bond” on August 19th, 2021.

Annie is a sophomore biology student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth who has her hopes set out in participating in genetic engineering research and advancements. As she has always been a writer, she has no difficulty whatsoever in promising to always continue being a writer. She is an advocate for those with rare disorders and accessibility needs. She is a little person, a wheelchair user and someone who has always walked further than her legs have ever preferred to. She also apologizes in advance for any typos.

-Annie G.B

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: