Published peers

Prior Lake students Smriti Datta and Sanya Pirani are published novelists.

The Art of Two Souls Colliding by Smriti Datta — published in February 2023.

Smriti Datta loves to sit in her room snuggled up with a cup of chai while she writes. Pictures of her favorite celebrity, Taylor Swift, hang around her as a constant inspiration whenever she gets stuck.


When struck with ideas, Sanya Pirani writes anywhere she can to remember her thoughts. She uses her notes app the most and then copies her writing into a formal document.


Despite the different methods of writing, senior Smriti Datta and junior Sanya Pirani wrote their own books and got them published. These two Prior Lake High School students accomplished this in the early months of 2023. 


During the Covid-19 pandemic, Datta spent her time in quarantine brainstorming and letting her creativity flow. With all her extra time, she wrote every day and developed her ideas into plots to create full-fledged stories.


Datta wrote and independently published two books through Amazon. Released back in October of 2020, her first book, “Enchanted Creatures Don’t Exist,” follows the fantasy genre where twins must deal with a world of creatures based on the seven deadly sins.


She published her second book, “The Art of Two Souls Colliding,” on February 9, 2023. The story falls into the romantic comedy genre where two people with opposing views on fairytale endings are assigned to do a school project together.


Datta writes messages in her books that come from her life and what she sees in society. Her books use those messages to create depth and meaning in the stories that readers can relate to.


“It’s so important to be kind and to be accepting towards everyone. I think those are two messages that I’ve been pushing out in both of the novels,” Datta said.


She embraces her creativity when she writes knowing that whatever she comes up with is unique and special to her. Her experiences and beliefs contribute to her growth as does the mass amount of support she receives from her family.


Datta and Pirani share a lot in common with each other, such as their involvement in Speech. Another similarity between them is that they both agree that a writer’s worst challenge is writer’s block.  


“Writer’s block. I fixed this by not being so committed to writing and giving myself well-needed breaks,” Pirani said.


Available through Barnes and Noble, Sigma’s Bookshelf published Pirani’s novel “High Tide” on January 24, 2023. The fantasy book highlights a girl who receives a lost letter from her deceased mother regarding her destiny and participation in the High Tide Challenge.


Besides becoming a published author, Pirani is the CEO and founder of Sanya’s Hope for Children. She dedicates herself to volunteering, and her organization holds big plans for the future to help those less fortunate.


“I started the nonprofit in 2017, but I have been involved in volunteerism since seven years of age. We plan to build a library in Ghizer, Pakistan in the future,” Pirani said.


Pirani acts on what makes her happy and helps others. Volunteering and writing make up a big part of her beliefs and involvement since elementary school.


The two girls see independent creative writing as a hobby to do after their other commitments. They prioritize breaks when writing because they don’t want to lose their love for it by pressuring themselves to do it all the time.


“Don’t delete anything that you write. It’s better to edit it later than to be sad that you deleted it, and now it’s gone forever,” Datta said.