Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A six-figure publishing deal at 18

I've always loved writing about a good success story and there's no doubt 18-year-old Melbourne-based author Alexandra Adornetto qualifies. With the release of her new book Halo, she has secured a lucrative three book deal in the US, sold the rights to her book in over 15 European countries, and is set to begin a national book tour of America in September.

Did I mention she's just 18? Alexandra first came to public attention at the ripe old age of 15 when her first book, The Shadow Thief, was published. Did I mention this was a book she wrote when she was 13?  This is now Alexandra's fourth published novel and she has two more in the works to follow up Halo.

Here's a bit from Alexandra about her incredible experiences:

"Before I went to New York to meet with publishers, I was constantly reminded of how difficult it is to get published in the USA, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. My agent called my hotel the morning after our meeting and told me that Feiwel and Friends were offering a national publicity campaign and a national tour, which is rare for unestablished authors.

"I was so grateful that they saw enough potential in Halo to organise something like that. It still hasn’t sunk in that I’m travelling all around America in a couple of months.

"The idea for Halo came about quite suddenly. I hadn’t intended to move into YA [young adult fiction] and was working on a science-fiction novel for younger readers when I had this idea about a novel written in the voice of an angel adjusting to life on earth. I thought it would be interesting to have the heroine as the supernatural creature and the male protagonist as the human boy in contrast to the current trend. I ran the idea past my publisher, Lisa Berryman, thinking she would dismiss it entirely. I was very surprised when an email popped up in my inbox that read: “Drop everything! We’re running with this idea!”

"After that, I became totally engrossed in the Halo project. I enjoy writing for readers my own age and Halo was the perfect transition. In Halo I was able to include all the emotions and experiences that come with being an adolescent and a lot of the conversations and the relationships are based on my own real-life experiences.

"Right now, I am putting my energies into next two installments in the series, Hades and Heaven, so readers are not disappointed."

Although so thrilled for Alexandra for her incredible success I have to admit, I am jealous. Yup, I am. What do you think? Have you ever met an 18-year-old who has inspired you with their success?

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