Ahmed 'A.R.' Bukhatir Signs with Tiny Tree
Hoping to follow in the footsteps of Omani author and 2019 Man Booker International Prize Winner Jokha Alharthi, Ahmed 'A.R.' Bukhatir looks to become the next big author to come out of the Middle East. Already an internationally renowned singer, Bukhatir has signed a one-book deal with Matthew James / Tiny Tree, with a view to a three book series. Bukhatir's first title Dragon Boy will release in 2020.
The 43 year-old singer-turned-author has regularly topped the Virgin Top 10 Chart across the Middle East, with his best-selling albums running into the millions. A.R. — as he is to be known in his new literary role — is concentrating all of his efforts on the forthcoming launch of Dragon Boy. The epic middle-grade fantasy book is just the beginning of Bukhatir's journey.
A delighted Bukhaitr said: "Singing is in my blood, and I can never stop singing, but writing has always been in me since I was a child." The author continues: "Once I got the Dragon Boy idea I couldn't hold back... I started writing immediately and fell in love with what I've written".
On releasing his book in the UK, the author said: "The UK produced great writers such as Shakespeare, Dickens, Tolkien, and J.K. Rowling and I wanted my book to be reviewed, read and loved by the people who acknowledged those great writers".
The origins of Dragon Boy date back to a seminal cinematic moment for an 8-year-old Bukhatir who, on a visit to the USA, watched The Neverending Story with wonder. The dragons and monsters captivated him and he's had a fascination with fantasy fiction ever since. The spark was reignited in A.R. during another overseas trip where a chance viewing of Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon set his mind racing with ideas. "I just figured that there must be lots of other kids and young people who, like I had been all these years back, who would love this kind of story... I had to share my version".
An unpublished version of Dragon Boy took third place in the prestigious Montegrappa Writing Prize for first-time writers from the GCC (UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait), which was judged by acclaimed UK literary critic Luigi Bonomi.
Dragon Boy will release in the UK in 2020, with a tandem launch in Dubai.
A.R. Bukhatir is represented by Susan Mears of the Susan Mears Literary Agency.