9 year old publishes first book, unpublished adults try not to cry

I’ve never seriously considered writing for the children’s market, but by all accounts I hear that it’s a tough one to crack. Kids are cutting critics, as are their parents and their publishers, so if you want to make it, you need brevity, tight ideas and perfect pitch to create a hit. And plenty of people have been trying to find the magic recipe for many years.

Not nine year old Manual Alguacil from Spain. His first book, Thok, the Vain Dragon has just been released and sold 1000 copies in the first day. What can I say to the tyke – who read the entire Lord of the Ring trilogy at the tender age of six – except ‘well-done’, without it sounding like cynicism or sour grapes?

He’s not the first kid to get a head start on the publishing game – what’s more, some of his predecessors have even been success stories. American protégé Amelia Atwater- Rhodes published her first book at 13, now 23 she’s published nine more.

Jealous? Me? Ha. Horribly so. But nevermind, they say people are happier trying to achieve their goals than they are actually fulfilling them don’t they? I wouldn’t want to have kyboshed by biggest one by the age of nine, would I?

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