June 24 event showcases young authors

Ruby Schwieger. photo courtesy of Sigma’s Bookshelf

Student author, Justin Anderson. photo courtesy of Sigma’s Bookshelf

Roseville 13-year-old makes her debut

Roseville author Ruby Schwieger isn’t your typical local writer: she’s 13 years old and just finished seventh grade at Mounds Park Academy.

The launch of her first book, “The Murder at Emerson’s,” is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 24 at the Barnes and Noble at Har Mar Mall. The event will also feature Justin Anderson’s “Nothing But Trouble.”

Anderson, a 16-year-old from Wayzata, is the founder of the nonprofit Sigma’s Bookshelf, which published both books.

“I’m really excited but I’m nervous because I don’t know what to write in people’s books,” said Schwieger of the upcoming event, where, beyond signing some autographs, she’ll discuss her book and read an excerpt.

“I’m not nervous about public speaking,” she added, “but I’m nervous about reading from my book.”

Making a mystery

Schwieger said “The Murder at Emerson’s” started as a project in English class.

“I decided to go further with it and publish the story I wrote,” she said.

“The Murder at Emerson’s” is set at a boarding school. Two teen-aged protagonists come upon an apparent murder, but teachers step in with a coverup. The teens turned sleuths then help police solve the case.

“It’s a very brilliant little concept,” said Anderson’s mother, Rachel, who handles publicity for Sigma’s Bookshelf and edited Schwieger’s book.

“One of my favorite authors is Stuart Gibbs,” Schwieger said, “and he writes mystery books for kids and so I decided to write a mystery book for kids, too.”

Writing mostly on her mother’s laptop — Schwieger said she has a typewriter but couldn’t fathom working on that — her book came together in about three months. The editing and publishing process took about a month longer.

“I sent it in and [Sigma’s] accepted it to be published and then it was a lot of editing because I had to mainly change the ending,” Schwieger said. “There were a lot of loose strands I had to tie up.”


Sigma’s Bookshelf

“Nothing But Trouble” is Anderson’s second book. It’s about a drug company CEO and his search for a test subject for a cancer cure. The science fiction book, as the title suggests, goes to interesting places from there.

Anderson’s first book is called “Saving Stripes: A Kitty’s Story” (he said he shifted gears with “Nothing But Trouble” in order to not be pigeonholed as an animal writer). 

Following the death of a supporter of that book, John Goodman of The Goodman Group, Anderson said he and his mom started Sigma’s Bookshelf in October, 2016.

“My mother and I decided to start up the company that would empower other teens to get their books published at no cost to them as a tribute to John,” Anderson said. “The [publishing] service is 100 percent free for the teens thanks to grant money given to the company by generous donors, including the Wayzata Rotary.”

Rachel said donations to Sigma’s Bookshelf are dispersed by Springboard for the Arts, adding the young writers deserve the support.

“It’s really not fair to have kids spend money to do these things,” she said, adding the teens are paid royalties for their work. “It’s a good deal for the kids and we just really want to be able to support good writers.”


Leaving her mark

Schwieger is Sigma’s Bookshelf’s first author beyond Anderson. She said she’s always been a reader.

“Yeah, all my life I’ve loved reading — even since I was in elementary school,” she said, noting her favorite class at school is English, followed by science class.

Anderson, who said he enjoys reading George Orwell and Roald Dahl, said he’s already working on ideas for his next book, which has a working title of “Home Sphere.”

“It is very loosely connected to ‘Nothing But Trouble,’” he said.

Whether or not she’s planning a book beyond “The Murder at Emerson’s,” Schwieger said she feels like she’s already done something for which she’ll be remembered.

“I just think it’s really cool to leave my mark on the world because even after I die my book will be there,” she said. “Even if people don’t read it, it will be there.”

For more information about Sigma’s Bookshelf, its books or to donate, go to www.sigmasbookshelf.com.

If you go:


The launch of 13-year-old Roseville writer Ruby Schwieger’s first book, “The Murder at Emerson’s,” is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, at the Barnes and Noble at Har Mar Mall, 2100 Snelling Ave. in Roseville.

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. 

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