By Kat Schuster
Alexandra Adlawan illustrated her first storylines and characters in the 5th grade and now, at 24, she’s publishing her first children’s book – no easy feat, but Adlawan is used to clearing any alleged obstacles in her path.
The Long Beach native unveiled her new book Aug. 13 at Gatsby Books in Los Altos, where she signed copies and read her book aloud to family, friends and locals. One of Adlawan’s goals was to also contribute to local bookstores, making Gatsby the perfect location.
“So far I’ve gotten all positive comments about the book,” said Adlawan, who was born with autism. “And that it’s amazing that I did it in the first place.”
Adlawan said the inspiration to write and illustrate “Wild Imagination: The Adventures of Maddie and Albert,” came in November; she was already finished in June and published by August.
“It was really fun in the beginning, [but] I reached some points that really stressed me out,” she said. “But I went back to it.”
Her mother, Catherine Adlawan said it was the Millikan High School graduate’s creativity and perseverance that pushed her to keep going.
“She reads like crazy and has a book blog,” Catherine said. “She’s been drawing since she was little and we’ve always talked about ways she could show her work.”
Adlawan began exploring her artistry by writing and drawing greeting cards but the desire to become an author eventually pushed her to take her imagination to the next level.
“I just always knew I wanted to do something that involved drawing,” Adlawan said.
Riding on the incredible feedback she has received from the community, she is now mapping out her next three books, which already have storylines planned.
“We’ve had a lot of people write and say their children really like it,” Catherine said. “Recently we had an interview with the Long Beach Public Library … we were really excited to see that library sticker on it.”
The new author’s next book signing is Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at The Better Half: A Good Time Boutique & Gift shop, 3974 Atlantic Ave. in Bixby Knolls.
“It’s amazing for me as her mother and [for] her father,” Catherine said. “We are so excited for her … it’s hard for kids with autism to navigate the world. She has so many talents and we’re hoping she’ll share hers with the world.”
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