A TEENAGE author says she won’t let her six-figure book deal change her student lifestyle.
While 19-year-old Alice Oseman admits not having to find a first job when she finishes Durham University in two years’ time is a weight off her mind, she insists until then she will be just like every other student.
“I told my friends about it quite early on,” the first year English Literature student said.
“The announcement came out during Fresher’s Week and I put it on Facebook.
“Everyone was a bit surprised. They said: ‘So, you’ve written a book then?’
“But everyone’s been supportive. People haven’t treated me any differently.
“I’ll just be sharing a house the same as everyone else. I’m trying to keep my writing life and student life quite separate. I still want to get a good degree.”
The teenager, originally from Rochester, in Kent, who said she had been writing her whole life, penned Solitaire, a tale of coming of age, isolation and teenage angst, while at sixth form.
She sent it off to nine leading literary agents and one, Claire Wilson, of Rogers, Coleridge and White – whose writers include Ian McEwan and Hanif Kureishi, spotted its potential and got back in touch.
A bidding war followed, which was eventually won by Harper Collins, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation; and deals have since been struck in at least ten countries across the globe.
“It was amazing, I’m so fortunate,” Miss Oseman said.
“It really is a dream come true for me.”
The teenager denied the story was autobiographical, although she said she was partly inspired by things she saw happening around her at school.
Having passed her first year at Durham, she plans to spend the summer working on her second book, the rights to which have also been bought up by Harper Collins.
She wants to be a full-time writer when she finishes her education.
Solitaire follows Tori Spring, a lonely 16-year-old, as she tries to avoid the irrepressible Michael Holden and gets dragged into an online community of anarchists.
Described as where Breakfast Club meets the Tumblr generation, it is published on Thursday (July 31) and is available on Amazon priced £5.59 in paperback and £2.99 on Kindle.