Royal Ballet star Carlos Acosta's debut novel is among 11 books by first-time novelists tipped for success this year.

The Cuban dancer, who joined the Royal Ballet in 1998 and has been its Principal Guest Artist since 2003, has been named in a literary first eleven picked out by booksellers Waterstones alongside authors from around the globe.

The 39-year-old said he had "low expectations" when he started writing Pig's Foot which is set in his native Cuba and will be published in October.

waterstones The selected authors


He said: "I have written an autobiography before, but it's one thing writing about yourself and another to invent a whole world.
"I think my writing and ballet complement each other quite well. I've been doing ballet all my life and by the writing I can disappear, I can fly away somewhere and disconnect from my daily routine.

"It helps me dance better, it is always healthy to disconnect for a while and come back to reality."

The other writers named in The Waterstones Eleven, which was announced at the chain's flagship store in Piccadilly, central London, tonight include Norwich-based Sam Byers, who is a graduate of the University of East Anglia's creative writing course, and Dublin-born journalist Kevin Maher.

Also named on the list is Limerick-based Donal Ryan whose novel, The Spinning Heart, is set in the aftermath of Ireland's economic collapse and Times journalist Sathnam Sanghera whose Marriage Material is a family saga with a Wolverhampton corner shop at its centre.

Waterstones Managing Director James Daunt said: "It is in bookshops - the bricks and mortar kind - that new writers are most easily discovered and championed. The Waterstones Eleven puts new writing at the forefront of the literary calendar and it has quickly become a celebration our readers trust. I look forward to reading, discussing and arguing about these books in the months to come and to following the brilliant writing careers our authors are destined to enjoy."

Last year's award-winning titles:

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  • Bringing Up The Bodies - Hilary Mantel

    Booker Prize and UK Author of the Year at the National Book Awards

  • Malcolm X A Life of Reinvention - Manning Marable

    Pulitzer Prize for History

  • Life on Mars - Tracy K

    Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

  • George F. Kennan: An American Life - John Lewis Gaddis

    Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography

  • Mo Yan (poet)

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/11/mo-yan-nobel-prize-literature_n_1957160.html">Nobel Prize for Literature</a>

  • 50 Shades of Grey - EL James

    Book of the Year at National Book Awards

  • Is It Just Me - Miranda Hart

    Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year at National Book Awards

  • The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey

    International Author of the Year at National Book Awards, a tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska

  • A Wanted Man - Lee Child

    Thriller & Crime Novel of the Year at National Book Awards

  • My Animals and Other Family - Clare Balding

    Biography / Autobiography of the Year at National Book Awards

  • Ratburger - David Walliams

    Children's Book of the Year at National Book Awards

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce

    New writer of the Year at National Book Awards and long-listed for Booker Prize, follows a man who decides to walk the entire length of the country

  • The Song Of Achilles - Madeline Miller

    Orange Prize for Fiction, story of a Prince in Ancient Greece

  • Dead Men Risen - Toby Harnden

    Orwell Prize, described as "the gripping story of the men of the Welsh Guards and their bloody battle for survival in Afghanistan in 2009"

  • Black Cat Bone - John Burnside

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/16/ts-eliot-prize-winner_n_1208732.html">TS Eliot Prize for Poetry</a>, (2011 winner, awarded in 2012)

  • The Sly Company of People Who Care - Rahul Bhattacharya

    Ondaatja Prize, described as "One of the most exhilarating novels I have read for years, with a verve and style that brilliantly evoked the history and inhabitants and landscape of Guyana" by judges.

  • The Yellow Birds - Kevin Powers

    Guardian First Book Award