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K D Lathar
News & Events
The Birmingham News
AUTHORS NOVEL IDEA OF SUCCESS
By Victoria Thomas
A City author is dreaming
of becoming the - next JK
Rowling after a copy of his
novel became an internet
sensation - and it hasn't
even been published.
A proof copy of Kamal Lathar's
children's fantasy The
Changeling fetched a staggering
£155 on popular auction site ebay.
The phenomenon, unprecedented
for an unknown writer, means the
45-year-old is now expecting high
sales when his book actually hits
If the novel, which is about a half
boy, half badger, is a success, it
will be a double celebration in the
Lathar household as Kamal's sis
ter Nina, aged 31, is the publisher.
Full-time lawyer, Nina, offered to
set up a company - Tarragon
Publishing - to Produce the book
as this was the best way to protect its copyright.
In addition, it meant Kamal,
pictured, who now lives in
Oxfordshire but was bought up in
Edgbaston, bypassed the agony of
being rejected by existing publishers.
Nina's gamble looks to have paid
off with the siblings still amazed
by the book's ascent on the auction site.
They stayed up until midnight on
Saturday to see what the final bid
"It was like staying up to watch
man land on the moon," said
Kamal, an IT consultant who
studied astro-physics at university.
"When it got past £70, I couldn't watch anymore."
The idea for the book came from
a discussion with Kamal's 12-
yeal'-old son about life.
"On a fundamental level it's
about good and evil," said father-
of-three Kamal, who was also
inspired by Spiderman. "But on a
deeper level it's about accepting
people who are different."
The family have been bemused
by its success but former
Lordswood Girls pupil Nina
thinks the book's gilt-edging and
unusual cover could have sparked
interest among book collectors.
"It looks like the kind of book I
remember from my
childhood," she said.
Ottakers have the exclusive
rights to sell the book, which is
expected to arrive from its print-
ers in India, next Monday.
But with advance orders already
exceeding the initial Print run of
500 hardback and 1,000 paper-
back copies, the Lathars have
high hopes for its future.
I just want children to read a
great story," Kamal added.