Friday, December 20, 2013


 Ben Sanders, the 24-year-old author of The Fallen and this year’s bestseller, Only the Dead, is moving into the big time. Earlier this week, Sander’s signed a contract with New York publisher MacMillan Publishing to develop a new, US-based crime series specifically for the American market.

            It’s not the first time the North Shore author has beaten the odds in an industry that is defined mostly by ‘slim chances’. When his first book, The Fallen, was released, Sanders was just 20 years old, a university student and still living at home. The book was number one on the New Zealand fiction bestseller list for five consecutive weeks, and a New Zealand Listener Best Book of 2010. His follow up book, By Any Means, was a finalist for New Zealands Dame Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, and spent a number of weeks on New Zealands top-ten bestseller list. Now, at 24, Sanders is a structural engineer, still living at home (or, more accurately, living at home again) and already a veteran author with a folder of glowing press reviews and three bestsellers under his belt. 

            That was enough to catch the eye of Brendan Deneen, Senior Editor at Thomas Dunne Books and head of MacMillan Films in New York City, who, in mid-November, approached Sanders with an invitation for the author to pitch an idea for a totally new American-based series of crime novels; a challenge Sanders took up with enthusiasm. Less than two weeks later, the publisher predicted a bright future for the rising star and offered him a multiple book contract based on Sanders’ three-page synopsis. The author is now taking an indefinite leave from his day job to commit himself full time to project.

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