Magnus Theobald is what you might call ‘unusual’. At eleven years old he has never spoken, has never had a friend and due to his parent’s lack of interest in his upbringing is looked after by the family’s Guatemalan butler. Starting at Warshall Manor school changes his life as he meets Frederico Bon Voyage, and the pair embark on a breathtaking journey filled with teleporting, colourful characters, near misses and lots of celebratory dancing.
The Mystery of Liberty Island is an adventure story for children aged 9 to 12 years young. It is a fun, action packed journey which has received rave reviews from several small people (small, both physically and in age). The story is the first in a five part series. I am currently writing the second story.
How do I sum up the story briefly enough to keep your interest? Have a look at the attached video for a quick run-through of what the story's about. I'm no Spielsberg but it should give you an idea...hopefully
Who am I?
My name is Ian and I’m 32 years old. The moustache on the picture is not real.
I live in Chester, England and have a wife and two boys. I started writing a couple of years back with a blog to describe my progress as I trained for a 10k race. Having never run before in my life it was a way for family and friends to laugh, cry and celebrate my pain and eventually my achievement. I got the writing bug and carried on blogging (was that a film?) http://iannobeerforayear.blogspot.co.uk/ and earlier this year released a short book entitled ‘A Year without Beer’ , which chronicled a charity challenge I took on, by giving up alcohol for a year in order to raise money for Claire House Children’s Hospice. This was self-published through Amazon with all profits going to the charity. From there I began fiction writing, which is why I come to you.
I firstly went down the traditional route of contacting literary agents but to no avail. Most literary agents are looking for a couple of new authors per year and alas I was not chosen. The feedback I got was very positive though which has given me the confidence to keep going to bring my work to the masses.
So why am I looking to publish the book independently and not leave it on the slush pile with so many other unwanted novels? Because I believe the story is very good, in fact I would go as far as to say it will be a huge success. How do I know this? Well quite frankly I don’t, but I’m willing to try, and with your very kind help am focussed on working to make it a success.
What will the money be used for?
A luxury break to Barbados for me and my family. Not really, although that would be nice (anyone willing to donate flights & accommodation please get in touch). I need the following:
·An editor. To edit the work.
·An illustrator. To illustrate the work.
·A print service to manufacture the book in bulk, thus keeping the price down.
·Miscellaneous costs (ISBN numbers, costs for registering book on online stores, registration fees)
·Envelopes, packaging, postage costs
Here's the first chapter to wet your whistle. Enjoy and get funding you lovely people!
From a young age Magnus Theobald wanted to be a scientist.
Magnus wasn’t like any other children. The best way to describe him would be to use a phrase his year 4 teacher, Mrs Bloomingdale once said:
‘Magnus is by far the strangest child I have ever met’
These were tough words given some of the other children in Magnus’ class. In a class with Billy Johnson and his oddly shaped teeth, hairy ears and constant nose picking or Molly Handsworth who could only speak in an imaginary language called Frengam (possibly caused by her mother being French and her father being German), for Magnus to be called ‘the strangest child she had ever met’ was a bold statement.
What made Magnus so ‘strange’? Was it that his mother insisted on tying his long flowing Orange hair into pigtails? Or perhaps the way he didn’t talk with any of the other children, instead preferring a communication method of clapping (one clap for yes and two claps for no)?
Magnus, whilst supposedly being ‘strange’ showed great talent, talent that set him apart from the rest of the class. His mathematical skills were at a highly advanced level for a boy so young and his intricate drawings of ingenious inventions grew gasps of admiration from children and adults alike.
Growing up as an only child in a family of great importance was never going to be easy for a young boy. Albert Theobald, one of the country’s leading astrophysicists and Florence Theobald, a noted freelance journalist - whilst being wonderful raconteurs to have at a dinner party, their parenting skills left a lot to be desired.
Albert was a striking man. Only 5 foot 5 tall but with a bushy orange beard, neatly combed orange hair and bright blue eyes, he could best be described as a walking beacon. He was neatly dressed at all times with a fine selection of suits and dickie bows to match, he looked every part the man who regularly met with world leaders to answer their questions such as what type of cheese is the moon made of? The president of Uzbekistan believed it to be made of Gruyere whilst the Prime Minister of Scotland opted for aged Stilton. The Prime Minister of Micronesia didn’t believe it to be made of cheese. Instead he came up with the far out idea that it’s actually just a big ball of rock. No-one cared what he said though with his ridiculous thoughts and his fictional country*
*Micronesia is not a fictional country. In fact it is a sub region of Oceania, comprising thousands of small islands in the Western Pacific Ocean
Florence on the other hand looked as bizarre as some of her journalistic writing would lead you to believe. Often contributing to such publications as Bricklayers Weekly and Underwater Knitting her style screamed out eccentricity. Purple hair which sat tall on her head to mimic a rather colourful bird’s nest, dark and drab clothing with fluorescent coloured jewellery, she wouldn’t have looked out of place as a pantomime dame.
The pair first met at the 19th Annual Astrophysics Awards. Albert had been nominated for the Astrophsycist of the Year award and Florence was covering the awards ceremony for Which Planet? magazine (a magazine which talks about planets. each week a planet expert is interviewed and tells the reader which is their favourite planet and why. It’s a very popular read within the astrophysics circle). They met over the buffet table. Albert was spooning pasta salad onto his plate when Florence walked by.
Oblivious to Florence’s presence, Albert turned from the table to make his way back to his seat. The pair hit into each other knocking Albert, his plate and portion of pasta salad into the table.
‘Oh my goodness! Are you ok?’ said Florence as she stood over Albert’s buffet covered body. ‘Erm yes I think so’ said Albert, wiping seafood sauce off his face. As he went to stand up his eyes locked with Florence’s and at that moment two became one.
Whilst the thought of having children was something they both had wanted, the reality of having a child meant that they could not focus enough attention on their work and their selves. Once Magnus was born they quickly realised that being parents wasn’t for them. They would rarely spend time with him and they left the important task of childcare to their trusted servant, Goji.
Goji Makabangba had been the family’s servant for the past thirty years having been rescued in the Guatemalan jungle by Albert during a fact finding trip to where a meteor shower had landed. On this particular day Albert and his team were wading through the jungle to find fragments of meteor rock when from the corner of his left eye he saw a tiger running towards a very thin man. The tiger pounced through the air knocking the thin man off his balance. As the thin man stumbled backwards, he tripped over a thick tree branch which had fallen onto the floor. His body fell into a pile of leaves with a thud and the tiger pinned his helpless thin frame to the ground with all four paws. Albert, having seen all of this drama unravel ran towards the incident and pulling out his thermos flask from his rucksack threw it towards the tiger. The thermos hit the tigers head and cracked open spraying piping hot Earl Grey tea onto its striped torso. Whimpering, the tiger moved its paws away from the helpless man and made its way back into the jungle. Albert extended his arm to the thin man. ‘Here, grab onto me. Let me pull you up’ The man was clearly shaken but had a beaming smile on his face. He grabbed Albert, hugging so hard that Albert’s face turned red. ‘Thank you my kind sir. For this gift of my life saving (Goji’s English wasn’t very good) I am truly debt to you’ he said in his Guatemalan accent.
The group plus Goji returned to base camp, where Albert sat with his new friend discussing everything from Guatemala to a tiger’s dislike for hot beverages. Albert learnt that Goji was orphaned at the age of three after his parents were involved in a freak steam roller accident. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Mr and Mrs Makabangba were pushing Goji in his buggy next to a road which was being resurfaced. They were strolling along when they heard men shouting behind them. As they turned around three construction workers were yelling and waving their arms rapidly at the family as an out of control steam roller headed towards them. Knowing that the steam roller was going too fast for them to get to safety, Mr Makabangba grabbed the buggy off his wife and pushed it with vigorous force. As the buggy hit the side of the road the steam roller flattened Goji’s parents into the newly laid tarmac. The inquest heard that the electrics of the steam roller had been tampered with by a small monkey causing loss of steering for the driver. No one knows if the monkey meant to sabotage the steam roller or if he was just bored but the primates actions cost the lives of the two people Goji held most dearest in this world. The two men were inseparable and as Albert was packing up his belongings, preparing for his flight back to England he asked Goji a simple question. ‘Goji my good man. I know this is short notice and all but would you be interested in coming to live with Florence and I in England? Leave Guatemala behind with their tea scolded tigers and join us in Blighty where we have no towns named after savoury dishes*’
*This isn’t an entirely true statement given that Melton Mowbray is famous for making pork pies and Bakewell for making tarts
Goji, having no real family or ties to his homeland, decided to give England a try for he had always dreamt of visiting London’s West End to see a musical.
His love for musical theatre started when as a young boy the Guatemalan National Theatre played host to the touring production of ‘Warbling Goosefat’ - a musical set in Victorian England about a group of aging sea swimmers who loved to sing. By Sir William Aurelius Floggleheart, the musical was a worldwide hit with critics claiming it as ‘The greatest musical since Bean curd Rendezvous’. Goji sneaked into the theatre through the fire exit which was easily opened from the outside. When inside he sneaked into an empty seat and for the next 2 hours of his life he witnessed pure theatrical magic. From that day on Goji wanted to see all that the National Theatre brought to its stage. To make this possible he applied for a vacant post as Theatre Usher thus allowing him to view all, good and bad, which adorned the stage in front of him.
Goji loved every minute of his time in England. Even though he was working for Albert and Florence Theobald as their housekeeper he was essentially a part of the family, albeit a family member who worked 18 hour days for minimum wage. Goji was happy though and he and Magnus had a strong relationship as you would hope any surrogate father to have with his surrogate son. They spent their days playing, laughing and inventing.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge is promotion. Getting the book out there and getting people to read it. This is one of the main reasons for using Kickstarter, to get people interested in the work and expand my reader base from there. Anything else in comparison will be easy...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)