Meet the Aylesbury ten-year-old who has just had her debut novel published

Aaliyah Neil
Aaliyah Neil

Most writers dream of one day hitting the big time, and getting their work published by one of the big publishing houses.

For Aaliyah Neil, her dream has come true aged just ten years old.

Aaliyah Neil

Aaliyah Neil

Olympia Publishing have released “Simon Dovers”, her crime thriller story.

The book is centered around 13-year-old Simon Dovers, who has an eye for solving crime.

The blurb reads: “It’s no wonder he finds himself caught up in a real-life murder, stumbling across his neighbour’s dead body in the night.

“Adventure ensues when he identifies the killer - but is this a case of mistaken identity? And will the killer strike again?

Her father Ustestus Neil glowed with pride when talking about Aaliyah’s work.

He said: “She has always been interested in books, she’d come back from the library with books and books and books, spending all day and late into the night reading them.”

One day, Aaliyah came up to Ustestus and told him of her writing aspirations.

“She came up to me and said I would love to write a book, and I was surprised but said go for it!”

Three weeks later, Aaliyah presented Ustestus with a manuscript, and it blew him away.

He instantly called his wife, who is a teacher, to share the good news.

Aaliyah, looking to make a deal with her parents, secured funding per chapter, as a reward for her hard work and as an incentive to get her to finish the job.

Ustestus added: “It took her about five months to finish the manuscript, she did all the grammar herself which is an amazing achievement.

“We’re so proud of her and the work she has put in.

“It’s honestly just been so inspirational, she’s so young but has seen what she wanted to do and gone out and done it with no fuss.”

Once the writing was done, Ustestus called Olympia Publishing, to broach the idea with them and get some tips on breaking into the industry for his daughter.

He said: “They were keen from the very start to get involved, and expressed their enthusiasm for Aaliyah’s work and pretty much signed her up from the start.”

You can learn more about the book - which was released on May 31 here - https://olympiapublishers.com/books/simon-dovers

Aaliyah is not resting on her laurels however, and is currently working again on her second book, aged just 11.

Ustestus said: “It’s not usual for kids to do this, she’s doing it all on her own which is inspiring.

“I’ve never heard of such a young person writing, never mind getting published.

“She just reads all the time, she’s certainly a book person: she will go to the library and get books after books - that’s where it must have came on.”

Ustestus praised Aaliyah’s school saying they had gone beyond their call of duty to nurture and encourage Aaliyah’s rare talent.

He said: “The school she attends, St Louis’ in Aylesbury - I have to hand it to them, they deserve a lot of credit for the incredible work they have done with Aaliyah.

“They have really encouraged her to work hard and follow her dreams, and that, for me is a wonderful thing that all great teachers should do.”