Broke Aussie Author Inspires Bidding Frenzy
Rebecca James' debut has publishers seeing next JK Rowling
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2009 7:47 AM CDT
Rebecca James.   (Conville & Walsh)

(Newser) – The publishing world is in a frenzy over a debut novel whose Australian author is drawing comparisons to JK Rowling (Harry Potter? Perhaps you've heard of it.). “Beautiful Malice was one of the most extraordinary manuscripts I’ve read in a very long while,” one editor with an insufficient bid says of Rebecca James’ thriller, intended for teens and up. “I'm still reeling over having lost it.”

James, a 39-year-old mother of four, was literally facing bankruptcy after her kitchen-sales business went bust, only to see her novel picked out of a pile of unsolicited manuscripts. Now, she says she’s “gobsmacked” over becoming an overnight millionaire, with Beautiful Malice to be translated into 30 languages. “It was very scary,” James tells the Wall Street Journal of the ride, but “this is now an amazing fairy tale.”