Kids and Publishing Deals
WHEN Reet Kapur was six, her m o t h e r got her to write stories almost daily in her brown diary, stories like The Day My Dog Went Flying and The Day I Vanished. She found it appealed to her more than studies and she was off to a flying start – as an author.
At 14, she embarked on her book, about a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder. The now 16-year-old is ready to see it in print. “Two publishers have expressed interest,” says Anuj Bahri, who runs the Red Ink Literary Agency, which was also behind the Conspiracy of Calaspia, published in 2006, by teenaged twins Jyoti and Suresh Guptara, who wrote the first draft at the age of 11.
Recently, the Slumdog Millionaire child actor Rubina Ali was also in the news for her book Slumgirl Dreaming, based on her life. Actor Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana has also drafted a book on a girl with six-feet (false!) eyelashes. And, some years ago, pop icon Madonna’s daughter Lourdes wrote a Christmas story for a book. While Reet Kapur extensively trawled the Internet for information and case studies related to the disorder, 14-year-old Anshuman Mohan, a student of St Xavier’s School, Kolkata, drew from life. His book, Potato Chips, has been snapped up by Harper Collins, who plan a respectable first print run of 5,000 copies early next year.
Says V K Karthika, chief editor, Harper Collins India, “It’s smart writing and there’s nothing like it in the market. We hope to grow with him.” Anshuman, meanwhile, is already on to his second book. The Agatha Christie fan says a movie based on his book won’t hurt. “It has all the elements of school life… the exams and the cheating; romance and thrills. As I wrote, I did visualise some parts of it as a movie,” he says.
Other publishers are also investing in young authors. For instance, Niyogi Books brought out Wings of Fantasy, a collection of stories by Ragini Bali in 2005, when she was 12 years old. The book jacket tells us, “I don’t compose words, something deeper does.”
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