Read about this book in The Sun-Herald last week. I’ll have to check it out. Nancy Yi Fan was inspired by some great books – Gone with the Wind, Johnny Tremain -, and she’s used those ideas in interesting ways; more of a fantasy epic. What’s amazing is that she’s only 13, a real literary prodigy. She reminds me a bit of Christopher Paolini, of the Eragon series; definitely an author to keep an eye on.

The only thing that annoys me is how she was published; I don’t mean Yi Fan, but HarperCollins. Yi Fan emailed Swordbird to important people at several publishing companies and caught the attention of the CEO at HarperCollins. The problem I have is that publishers are always saying to follow their submission guidelines, but then they’re happy to break their own rules! But on the other hand, Yi Fan wouldn’t have got attention through the normal route, so good on her for thinking outside the box.

She’s definitely got talent, so I’ll have to check out Swordbird. A lot of writers are getting published younger now, in their teens and 20s, so maybe this is a new wave we’re seeing; writers inspired by all media – books, movies, the web -, writing more visual stories. I don’t always like visual writing, but for fantasy it’s not a bad thing, so this’ll be interesting to read. And she’s only 13… suddenly I feel old!

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