Proof that you don’t have to be a celebrity to have a book published as a teenager from Newport, Gwent, lands a three-book deal with publishing giant Random House.
According to a report in her local paper, Beth Reeks, 17, always enjoyed writing short stories. And when she got a laptop she began writing longer books.
The A level student posted her stories – most of which were about romance – on website Wattpad – an innovative site where authors can write books and readers can be introduced to new writers. The beauty of the site is you can use a pseudonym so no-one need know your age of your background and the readers can be anywhere in the world. At the same time you can gain feedback from your readers. In fact, Beth’s chapters were so popular they attracted more than 40,000 comments, becoming the most viewed teen fiction title on the site.
Beth, who hopes to study physics at university and describes herself as ‘a bookworm and avid drinker of tea’, says: “Sometimes I won’t write for two weeks in a row and other times I will write for maybe 10 hours a week.’
With her book, ‘The Kissing Booth’ she was posting one chapter at a time every couple of days. The first chapter had one million reads alone and at one point she had a million hits in two weeks.
“My parents didn’t know I was writing until one day I said I was writing books,” she said, “to be published is incredible, it was a really big shock.”
Beth, writing under the name Beth Reekles, visited Random House in October with her family. Philippa Dickinson, Managing Director of Random House children’s publishing arm, said: “We are very excited to be partnering Beth at the beginning of her publishing career.”
She adds that one of the reasons for signing Beth is that she is a teenager writing for teenagers. “Her knowledge of her readership is spot on and her voice is completely authentic.”
Her book is now available as an ebook and a physical copy of the book will be published in the Spring.
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