Brother's Gift

Book published decades after author's death wins recognition

About 25 years ago, a young author gave his family and friends his last manuscript. Will Allen wrote the story, filled with magic, heroes, villains and humor, and then died of cancer at age 22. His brother, Paul, later realized the manuscript might be something more than a family heirloom. Paul, who lives in the Cincinnati suburb of Mariemont, began typing, publishing and marketing the manuscript. The book is aimed primarily at young readers aged nine. It's called "Swords for Hire." It chronicles the adventures of a 16-year-old boy and a misfit soldier in a fantasy tale. It has won independent publishing awards. Reviews of it are glowing.

As of early August, 55-hundred copies of the book had been sold. Analysts say that's a substantial number for self-published books.