14-year-old local author releases 11th book

"Neverdying" is the 11th book by 14-year-old Shanti Hershenson.

At 14, incoming San Dieguito Academy freshman Shanti Hershenson has already published 11 books.

For her latest release, “Neverdying,” she will be hosting a book signing at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore on Rosecrans Street in San Diego on June 25.

Shanti Hershenson

“It’s always been a lifelong dream of mine to be able to sign my books,” said Shanti, who once scribbled ideas onto paper in elementary school and hasn’t stopped writing since. “It’s hard to process that my dream is coming true.”

“Neverdying” is a 450-page young adult novel set in a dystopian future where a small segment of the human population is immortal because of a genetic mutation. But government forces known as “Exterminators” hunt down the Immortals, who are in the minority.

The protagonist, Scarlett, is a young Immortal woman who meets an exceptionally attractive Exterminator with a dark secret: He too is an Immortal.

Some of Shanti’s other titles, which are mostly science fiction, include “You Won’t Know Her Name,” “The God’s Right Hand,” “Biome Lock,” and “The Accidental Insurgent.” The COVID-19 pandemic gave her an opportunity to step up her writing and publishing.

“I started writing in the middle of the pandemic, however, I feel like I’ve been writing just as long as I can remember,” she said.

Shanti said she aims for about 1,000 words per day. After spending about one to three months writing, she said she’ll get started on another draft before going back and editing the first one.

“Usually I’ll start writing once I have just the basic plot of what I want to happen,” she said. “Not even an outline, just a little idea and the characters. I like having their names and faces and how they dress first, because that helps for some reason.”

She added, “Usually I’ll start writing a book when I have an idea. The idea doesn’t have to be perfect.”

Shanti also mentioned fantasy author Leigh Bardugo, who has written the “Shadow and Bone” trilogy and “Six of Crows Duology,” as one of her influences.

Shanti’s goals include building up her social media platform, which already includes more than 25,000 followers on TikTok, and one day having a film adaptation of one of her works.

“I have so many goals,” Shanti said.

The book signing will begin at 2 p.m. on June 25 at Mysterious Galaxy, located at 3555 Rosecrans St. #107 in the Midway District. For more information, visit Her books are also available on