Private: Unfortunately, the things I did behind my parents’ back at 19 weren’t so productive

Helen Oyeyemi, U.K. teen literary publishing sensation du jour, wrote her novel, which she sold for £400,000, without her parents’ knowledge:

“I told them I was doing homework. They thought I was writing a really long essay,” she says, laughing. “When I signed the contract I thought I’d better tell them. They thought I was joking. But then again, they had been getting reports from school saying, ‘Helen’s homework is never in on time.’ They couldn’t understand it.”