A Dewsbury man who dropped out of school at the age of 12 has fulfilled his dream of becoming a writer.
David Jester has been handed a bumper deal with independent publishers Skyhorse after his self-produced debut novel topped the Amazon book charts in the UK and America.
David, 30, left education as a child due to severe depression, and feared he mad missed his chance to achieve literary success.
His raunchy, dark comedy tale An Idiot in Love - described as a mix of Bridget Jones’s Diary and American Pie - was an unexpected overnight hit, racking up 6,000 downloads in its first 24 hours on sale.
It went on to sell 10,000 copies and remained a bestseller on the website’s charts for an entire year.
The former Thornhill Academy pupil has signed a six-book contract which will see a new draft of An Idiot in Love hit the shelves this week.
His stablemates at Skyhorse include Nobel Prize winners Samuel Beckett and Octavio Paz and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have signed to Skyhorse Publishing. This has been a long time in the making and I can’t wait to see where this leads,” said David.
“Skyhorse Publishing have worked with some of the best writers of my generation and it is an honour to be listed alongside them and to add my books to their catalogue. They believe An Idiot in Love has all the makings of a bestseller and have been working with me to bring it to bookstores globally, so we’ll see how things go.”
David wanted to be a writer from the age of 11, and managed to sit some GCSEs despite having to leave school. He completed an Open University degree in English literature, but was troubled by bouts of depression throughout his twenties and used writing as a form of therapy.
Despite his self-published debut becoming an online hit, it was rejected by traditional British publishing houses as being too ‘niche’ and he turned to the American market, signing up with San Francisco-based agent Peter Beren.
“An Idiot in Love has always been a big hit with the readers, but it’s a very unusual book and doesn’t really fit into any genre, so getting a publisher to pay attention has not been an easy task,” added David, whose inspirations are Stephen King and Terry Pratchett.
“Thankfully, Peter loved my book and has been incredibly supportive throughout. It has been a stressful few years, but I’m now in a much better place and though the enormity of my book deal is still sinking in, I’m enjoying it immensely.”
David’s literary agent Peter Beren said:
“David is an incredibly talented writer, and the UK literary scene’s loss is America’s gain. He came to me after struggling to make an impact in the UK. I was stunned by the lack of interest because his work is so wickedly funny and engaging. It immediately grabs you and doesn’t let go.”