A 17-year-old Tolworth Girls’ School pupil has been signed by a publishing company to write two young adult books.

Rachel Cotton, who will shortly be sitting her A levels, was approached last summer by Edinburgh based Black and White Publishing.

The company had spotted her work on writing and reading website Wattpad and she was signed up for two books under their young adult imprint, Ink Road.

Rachel’s first book ‘Nowhere else but here’ will be out on May 3, with the second one out next year.

When she was 13, Rachel was introduced to Wattpad by a friend.

She said: “I immediately fell in love with many of the stories written on the site, and was quickly inspired to have a go at writing my own story.

“It took years of giving up and trying again, and a lack of inspiration or motivation at points, but about five years later I’d finished my first story and was so happy I’d persevered.

“There was also a time when my mum was sadly diagnosed with grade three breast cancer when I was fifteen and I found that writing was really cathartic for me.

“Writing stories was my form of therapy, and it really helped me develop my writing style as well as get through such a hard time.”

Rachel, who found writing the beginning of her book the most challenging, urged other aspiring authors to stick with it.

She said: “Always keep practising.

“Whether it’s a novel, a short story or a piece of poetry, every single word you write will take you one step closer to where you want to be as a write.

“And make sure you write for yourself and no one else – there’s no point in trying to write something if you don’t enjoy writing it.”

While her dream of becoming a published author has come true, Rachel also intends to study journalism at Cardiff University next year.