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Nico Minguela with his first published novel, which was launched last week, during an interview in the SUR newspaper archive. Migue Fernández
Nico Minguela, a teenage novelist on the Costa: five books at just 15
Literature

Nico Minguela, a teenage novelist on the Costa: five books at just 15

The young author from Marbella has launched, Malachite, The Sorcerer’s Heir, the first instalment of a series of seven novels he has written in English

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Friday, 10 May 2024, 12:34

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If you are a fan of literature, look out for this name because it is sure to be on the bestseller lists in bookshops soon. At just 15 years of age Marbella teenager Nico Minguela has so far finished writing five novels, of a series which he plans will have seven instalments, all written entirely in English.

The first of these, in which he introduces his main character Malachite, is called The Sorcerer's Heir and was launched last Friday at an event at the Hotel Senator in Marbella, organised by publishing house Samarcanda.

Nico is a student at Laude San Pedro International College and is bilingual. "In fact, I think I speak better English than Spanish," he said. He also studies Chinese. He started creative writing at the age of nine, and between the ages of 11 and 12 he gave shape to the novel he is now publishing.

"One day my parents brought me a computer as a gift, because at school they always make us write short stories; it has become a hobby that I really enjoy," Nico said. So much so that he has already been recognised in three of the children's short story competitions organised by SUR in English.

On his influences, he said: "I'm a big Harry Potter fan, like everyone else. I like Lord of the Rings, and Mistborn entertains me a lot as well." The young author acknowledges he draws inspiration from these fantasy universes, among other sources, and the result is the first novel of his series Malachite, which is the name of his central character, which has just been published.

Malachite is an 11-year-old werewolf cub, exactly the age Nico was when he wrote it. He meets a detective who introduces him to a magical world and together they solve cases to prepare for a final destiny, which he prefers not yet to reveal. The novel is 370 pages long, and the remaining instalments (to be published soon) are around the same length, except for the fourth, which is 450. The locations are divided between real and invented, and the former are in Madrid, Valladolid and London.

And all of this is self-taught, as he pointed out that no one has given him any guidelines or advice on writing. "I've been learning and improving with practice and with classes, but above all, with a lot of reading, which they teach us at school, because they believe it is important," Nico said. In his style, and especially in his humorous notes, he mixes his Spanish background with writing in English as well as his American and British influences from books and films.

Only as a hobby

Of the seven books that will make up the collection, he has already finished five. This summer he plans to write the sixth and, in 2025, the final instalment. From then on, the young author is looking forward to new challenges. "I really like the idea of the werewolf," as he is attracted by "the mixture of animal (he is passionate about wildlife) and human". "In the future I want to write about the first one that existed, Lycaon, who is mentioned in Greek mythology but very few people know about him; I hope he can get out into the world," he said.

Despite his storytelling skills, Nico sees writing only as a hobby, not as a way of life. "I plan to do a degree and maybe a master's in creative writing, but it's a hobby. I see myself as a writer, but I don't see it as the only thing I'm going to do, but something for my free time." As he loves animals, he would like to study something related to marine biology.

The young writer has caused a sensation at his school, where teachers are already asking him to give talks to 11-year-old pupils (the age at which he started) to inspire them, although so far few have had the opportunity to read his work. Up to 40 teachers and as many colleagues were among the 200 guests at the launch.

"They all knew I write, but now that they've seen it, they've taken it more seriously. My friends are excited and say they're going to get dressed up as if it were a wedding," he laughed.

The novel is already on sale on Amazon (digital version) and on the publisher's platform, Libros.cc, for the printed version (19.95 euros). Initially, 100 copies have been printed, although the publishing system allows for reproduction on demand. Nico Minguela is already working on a translation of his novel in Spanish.

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