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Alexandra Adornetto

Australia (1993 - )

ALEXANDRA Adornetto says she was 13 years old and on school holidays when she sat down behind her desk, closed the door and decided she would become a recluse.

"I remember my mum running into my room and saying, 'Please, please, go call a friend, go out, socialise, do something'," Alexandra said yesterday. "I lived in front of the computer."

But the MacRobertson Girls High School student was too busy writing her first novel for young adults, The Shadow Thief.

Less than a year later, the book has emerged from the cold corner of HarperCollins' "slush pile" - a large stack of unsolicited manuscripts - and Alexandra, 14, who recently signed a two-book deal with the publisher, couldn't be happier.

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