Who were some child prodigy writers

Portrait: Writer Benedict Wells: An Adult Child Prodigy

He was praised as a literary child prodigy when he published the novel “Beck's Last Summer” when he was in his early twenties - with his favorite publisher Diogenes, to which he has remained loyal to this day. The name Benedict Wells is now almost a guarantee for bestsellers. The most recent novel “Hard Land” also took first place on the Spiegel bestseller list in no time at all.

The youthful-looking German-Swiss, born in 1984, repeatedly succeeds in creating books that critics refer to as “masterpieces”. A satisfaction for Wells, who shares with other successful authors the experience of having received rejections at the beginning.

After graduating from high school, Benedict Wells moved to Berlin to write

After school years, which he had spent mainly in boarding schools from the age of six, and the Abitur, he decided to write and moved from Munich to Berlin, in a "fabulously shabby one-room apartment" - full of expectations of a life as a writer . "During the day I worked, at night I sat anxiously in front of a blank sheet of paper and tried to fill it with life."

His teachers were favorite authors such as Steinbeck, Nabokov, Tolstoy, Marc Twain, but also Otfried Preußler with “Krabat” and Stephen King with “Life and Writing”. But above all, John Irving. Homer Wells from Irving's “God's Work and the Devil's Contribution” inspired him to change his name, which he applied to the registry office after graduating from high school. "A homage to John Irving" is the name chosen, says Benedict Wells, and a statement that he wanted nothing to do with his grandfather Baldur von Schirach, the Reich Youth Leader under Hitler. He also wanted to distance himself from his cousins, Ferdinand von Schirach and Norris von Schirach, both successful authors: "I just wanted to be judged according to myself," is how his family supported him.

When Benedict Wells feels the "flow", he writes for 16 hours at a time

Benedict Wells has made a name for himself, he has grown from his books. With a sympathetic understatement, he describes himself as the “Schisser type” who faces the challenge of writing - with great euphoria and a lot of diligence. When he feels the "flow", he can write 16 hours at a time. Hard work. The freestyle is the revision, for him "years of probing over several versions". Because the 37-year-old is not only a book author, he is also a book lover and wants to see his colorful pictures in his head in black and white in printed books

That is why he likes to read in bookstores where books are valued, such as at Hans Grünthaler in Schwabmünchen. And preferably in front of many fans with whom he can discuss and with musical accompaniment. Because none of this is currently possible, Benedict Wells is currently sitting in front of a stack of books in an empty hall and signing them for his fans.

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