British teenage author the 'new J.K. Rowling'?
June 8 (DPA) According to literary pundits, she is a name
to watch: Catherine Banner, who jotted down ideas for her
first novel during school lessons when she was 14, has just
published her first book.
19 and heading for Cambridge University to study English,
Banner's fantasy novel, The Eyes of a King, is tipped to become
a bestseller, according to publishers Random House.
book, the first in a trilogy, depicts "young people and
their adventures in a world of magic," and, with Banner
already on the third instalment, there is talk of a film version.
reports have hailed her as the new J.K. Rowling, the author
of Harry Potter. "It's a real honour being compared to
J.K. Rowling and pretty daunting," Banner told the London
Daily Mail newspaper.
Eyes of a King tells the story of 15-year-old Leo, whose prospects
in life are limited. He attends military school, lives with
his fearful grandmother, and looks after his brother.
constantly resists his innate powers, because those who demonstrate
any sort of magical ability are considered enemies of the
when he finds a blank book in the snow, his indifference melts
away. From the first moment he touches the book, he senses
its strange power.
reveal family secrets and tell the story of teenagers Ryan
and Anna in a fictional country - a fusion of England and
Leo's path takes a tragic turn, he finds himself on a journey
from which he can never return.
As he loses touch with reality, Ryan and Anna's story of
an idyllic summer romance - seemingly worlds away from Leo
- comes to the forefront.
was just a bit of fun. I had an idea for a story so I wrote
it down to see how it would turn out," Banner said about
her initial part-time jottings.
wrote in any available time I had - sometimes I was even noting
down a few sentences at the back of the class or in between
lessons so as not to forget them," she wrote on the Random
think that it was a good way to learn to write. It means everything
you put down on paper has to be thought out first," said.
also revealed that, when she was small, one of her favourite
games was to staple together sheets of paper and make them
into a book with stories and pictures.
favourite books were The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,
by C.S. Lewis, and later, To Kill a Mockingbird, the famous
novel by Harper Lee.
and writing at its best and most honest was one of the things
that most inspired me to want to write myself."
Eyes of the King, Banner wrote, began with the voice of Leo.
came to me so clearly that I wanted to write it down and try
and capture that voice somehow," she wrote.
said she was often asked why she wrote a story set in an alternative
think all writers are describing parallel worlds in a way
because writing is often about how to find a new way of seeing
greatest challenge for her to find "the most honest way"
of putting ideas into words. "That is what is at the
heart of writing for me."
who will start at university in her home town of Cambridge
in September, says she hopes to continue writing, but thinks
that her fourth book will be "quite different."
is a remarkable talent and definitely a writer to watch,"
said Lauren Buckland of Random House Children's Books.
has created a brilliant book...with a real sense of adventure
which leaves the reader wanting to know more. She may even
take on JK Rowling," said Buckland.