Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Wednesday, 13 July 2005 09:06 UK

What happened to the next JK Rowlings?

Almost every first-time children's author published since the Harry Potter books first had global success has been dubbed "the next JK Rowling".

Rowling's achievement has been nothing short of a publishing phenomenon, earning the Scottish writer millions.

Many authors quickly realise the writing profession is not a guarantee of riches. But for some the dream does come true.

Here are some of the authors who were tipped to follow in the footsteps of Rowling and how they have fared.


Michelle Paver was touted as the next Rowling following the 2.8m advance she was paid for her book Wolf Brother. Having written the book more than 20 years ago, she rewrote it as a children's fantasy novel.

Michelle Paver
Michelle Paver's Wolf Brother is being turned into a film
Although Paver was already an established author of love stories, it was her best-seller Wolf Brother that put her on the map. Hollywood has bought the rights, with Sir Ridley Scott set to direct the film version. The second book in the saga, Spirit Walker, is published in September.


Reverend Graham Taylor was seen as an unlikely successor to Rowling but his Shadowmancer books, chronicling the tales of the wicked Obaidah Demurral, captured the imagination of both publishers and readers.

Reverend Graham Taylor
GP Taylor relinquished his church

Writing under the name GP Taylor, he received a 314,000 advance from a UK publisher. Like the Harry Potter books, it has been marketed to both children and adults - with different cover designs. Film rights have been snapped up in a seven-figure deal with Universal.

His success has taken a toll on his health and he has given up his parish, although he continues to work in the ministry.


Book shop assistant Anna Dale was picked up by Bloomsbury, publishers of Harry Potter. Whispering to Witches, her first book, was transformed from her masters dissertation in children's writing.

It has been published in more than 12 countries and has been reprinted a number of times. Her second title, Dawn Undercover, is set for release in November.


Zizou Corder is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of Louisa Young and her young daughter, Isabel Adomakoh Young. Their joint pen name is taken from their pet lizard.

Louisa Young
Louisa Young co-authored her books with her daughter

Their Lionboy trilogy netted a six-figure publishing deal. Louisa had already published four books but it was Lionboy that brought her fame.

The story tells of a boy who can speak to cats and travels the world seeking his missing parents. The second in the trilogy, Lionboy: The Chase, was published to critical acclaim. Movie rights have been snapped up by Steven Spielberg.

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