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Is Rebecca James the next J.K. Rowling?

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Hmm, let's see – how many times over the last couple of years has an author been proclaimed "the next J.K. Rowling"? Try Googling the phrase and you may find that your eyes start to glaze over before you can even get past Catherine Banner, Leo North, Maggie Stiefvater, G.P. Taylor, Heather Mills, and Michelle Paver.

So you might want to take the question raised by today's Wall Street Journal (proposing that 39-year-old mother of four and former kitchen salesperson Rebecca James is the next J.K. Rowling) with a grain of salt. However, there are definitely some similarities in back story.

Like J.K. Rowling, James amassed a sizable collection of rejection letters before striking gold. Like Rowling, she risked her economic all on her manuscript.

More dramatically than was the case with Rowling's first book, however, James's manuscript has set off a worldwide bidding war. Already the book is poised to be translated into 30 languages, with publishers begging for more. (It will be published by Allen and Unwin in Australia, Bantam Dell in the US and Faber in the UK.)

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