The teenager of Sierra Leone descent, becomes one of Britain’s youngest professional authors
11th August 2010: Kevin Konomanyi has penned down his success story. The 15-year-old schoolboy of Sierra Leone descent, who penned a short story for an English project, became one of Britain’s youngest professional authors after securing a major publishing deal.
Teenager Konomanyi received an ”undisclosed sum” for the worldwide rights to ‘Born2Rule: Memoirs of Frederick III’.
His 154-page ”historical epic” chronicles the rise and fall of Robert Holstein, a fictional member of the German Royal Family, from humble beginnings as a lowly orphan to one of the world’s most powerful and respected leaders. There is even talk of a film version.
Kevin, who lives with his parents in Downley, Buckinghamshire, told of his plans to make a career in writing.
”I’ve always loved writing and telling stories,” he said. ”As I got older, writing became a passion and I realised that I wanted to do it full time.
”I’ve still got to finish my studies but, when I do, I plan to become a full-time author and, I hope, sell lots and lots of books.”
Kevin – who has no family background in writing – was inspired to write the novel by a school English assignment.
His class at St Bernard’s Catholic School in High Wycombe was told to write a short story on a topic of their choice.
Kevin, who describes himself as an ”average teenager”, based his on the German Royal Family in the 19th-Century.
‘The Four Stages’, the story’s original title, was so good that he had trouble convincing his teacher he wrote it himself.
Given the feedback he received, his parents sent the story to a leading literary agent in London, who said in an email: ”My advice is that you give this story the time and space it deserves and develop it in a full-length novel, which I’m looking forward to reading…”
”I jumped at the chance,” he said. ”The original short story was only 3,000 words in length, so it needed lots of work.
”I worked on weekends, after school and even, at times, at the back of the classroom!”
Once the manuscript was completed, Kevin sent it to the same literary agent – who signed him on the spot.
Within weeks, the publisher Pneuma Springs Publishing offered him a contract.
The story has also been passed to movie producers, who are ”seriously considering” adapting it for the big screen.
Kevin, who is already working on a sequel, said: ”I’m just over the moon. This is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to see what the public and reviewers think.”
A spokesman for Pneuma Springs Publishing said: ”We were really impressed when we read the story.
”He has created a brilliant book – it’s got pace, great historical characters, and a real sense of adventure which leaves the reader wanting to know more. He is a remarkable talent and definitely a writer to watch.”
‘Born2Rule: Memoirs of Frederick III’ is out now priced £8.99.