Book collaborations with Kickback Media
The Dragon Keys by Anna Orridge
Genre: Middle Grade Magical Fantasy Adventure
Log Line: “Swallows and Amazons meets How To Train Your Dragon”
Status: On Submission
Twelve year old Marion Blount has never found it easy to make friends. She has a sharp tongue and quick temper but these are just Marion’s well learned defences against the goading and taunts she gets at school. Marion can make a horse leap a high fence and climb the tallest of trees but in 1917 these are not the accomplishments a young lady should be proud of as her peers and her mother continually remind her. But Marion thinks she’s finally found true friendship with Judy who comes to play on her father’s estate. Judy doesn’t judge Marion like everybody else seems to do. Marion has promised Judy they will go on a camping adventure this summer. But promises are sometimes hard to keep. Marion’s Mama has firm views on who her daughter should be socialising with and that does not include common labourer's children. But Marion is determined not to jeopardise her precious new friendship. She tricks her mother into thinking she is staying with the very respectable Galways in Hereford, when in fact she will be off camping with Judy and her brother Tommy.
And Marion becomes even more excited about their adventure after she is given two magical divining rods by a scruffy and most peculiar woman, wearing trousers of all things, who appears out of thin air on the family estate. ‘Trousers’ already knows an awful lot about Marion, in fact a little too much for Marion’s liking. Trousers wants to find out if Marion has the ‘Knack’ - a magical gift – like her ancestors had. She gives Marion the pair of magical rods and the challenge of seeing what she can so with them. But Marion has far more ‘Knack’ than Trousers anticipates and the children’s camping adventure soon takes an unexpected turn when they find an injured young water dragon, Malachite, who has fled his home, destroyed by the raging war in France war.
It is not just soldiers dying on the battlefields of France and Belgium. The Armageddon of WW1 is unknowingly wiping out huge numbers of dragons and fae that have lived secretly below ground for thousands of years. Now England is being flooded with dragon fleeing the carnage but with the refugees comes talk of a new dragon uprising, of dragons returning to the Above and making war on humans.
So when Marion and her friends decide to help the injured Malachite escape from rebel dragons it is a decision that takes them underground, deep into the hidden dragon’s world and into grave danger.
21% Monster by Peter Canning
Genre: Middle Grade Boys Action Serial
Log Line: “Hulk/X-Men meets stranger Things”
Status: Book 1 - Publishing Spring Summer 2021
When twelve year old Darren Dudlow tears down his school with his bare hands it’s not just the police who want to talk to him. Marek Masters, 14yrs old, is 19% alien and the smartest ‘almost human’ alive. He is also the ‘Most Wanted Human’ alive. Marek had thought he was the only survivor of “Project Helix” a top secret intergovernmental experiment to ‘improve” the DNA of Western children; that is until Darren hits his and everyone else’s radar. But Darren isn’t at all like Marek, for a start he’s 21% ‘monster’ and unlike Marek, Darren has felt like a useless freak all his life. Darren has no memory of what happened at school, he just knows that he got angry, really angry. After Marek tells Darren about Project Helix and what is likely to happen to him, Darren allows Marek to ‘SQUID’ them to freedom through the walls of the juvenile detention centre. Now all Darren wants to do is get back to his family and the life he had before he flattened his school. But the ruthless “Project Helix” isn’t ever going to let that happen. Darren doesn’t know who to trust, least of all the amoral Marek Masters and his high tech, sci-fi gadgets. But does he really have any other options?
Rise Up, Rise Up by Dawn Treacher
Genre: Middle Grade Magical Fantasy Serial
Log Line: “Christmas meets Narnia”
Status: On Submission
Kara Carroll used to love singing, especially with her Dad at all the music festivals they attended each year. But then dad left to follow his musical dream, in America – and never came back. Since then Kara has been unable to sing a note. After dad left Kara’s Gran took over managing the festival tours and looking after Kara, but when Gran tells Kara that she’s sick, and that next year’s festival season might not happen Kara can’t help thinking the worst. Kara goes to bed on Christmas Eve feeling sad and alone. It’s a horrible, restless night, full of scary dreams but it is the noises on the roof, above her attic bedroom, that draw Kara from her bed on Christmas Night.
A combination of excitement and a compelling disembodied voice speaking to her from her mother’s old mirror, finally drive Kara out onto the roof to see if she can catch a glimpse of what is there. Was that a jingle of bells? When Kara climbs out of her window, freezing to death on the roof top was never part of her thinking but then neither was hitching a ride on Santa’s sleigh!
However ending up in Kringleset, home to Santa Claus, his grumpy twin brother Farmer Claus and hundreds of Carrot Elves - is a total disaster for Kara. The portal back to the human world only opens on Christmas night and meaning Kara is stuck in Kringleset – for a whole year.
It takes time, but Kara gradually begins to feel at home in Kringleset. She makes friends with a tinsel yeti and two mischievous pixies and discovers the magic of the Wishbirds and how Carrot Elves are grown. But Kara finds her real joy in Santa’s reindeer – especially Dasher and Dancer - and being able to ride them and the training sleigh through the skies!
However Kara’s arrival in Kringleset was no accident. Somebody has done their utmost to bring her there. In the nearby land of the ogres, a new queen has her eye on the portal between Kringleset and the human world. If the ogress succeeds, Christmas would be destroyed forever and ogres will once again feast on human flesh.
Kara slowly comes to understand that she has a magical heritage that she knows nothing about, a heritage that is now of vital importance and will help save Christmas. Kara will need courage, bravery and the help of all her new friends to succeed – but to discover who she truly is, Kara must find a way to re-embrace her love of singing...
Lily Wicked by Lindsay McKrell
Genre: Middle Grade Mystery-Magic Adventure - set in 1979
Log Line: “Magic meets Bake Off!”
Status: On Submission
Twelve year old Lily White has lived at Broadsea Bay Hotel all her life. She has never really been to school, never had a holiday. Lily’s father died when she was small and her Mum, Rose, never really recovered, always keeping Lily close to her for comfort. It is Lily who more or less runs the family hotel now. Inside Lily is feeling lost and isolated, so when the dashing and charming Mr Wicked checks in for a whole month, Lily’s guest radar doesn’t spot a rat – a very big rat. All too quickly Mr Wicked inveigles his way into her mother Rose’s affections, usurping Lily’s position. Mouldy Macaroons. Mr Wicked starts to ‘help’ Lily’s Mum mange the hotel, cutting costs, even sacking staff. Then, out of nowhere Lily’s Mum has agreed to marry him. Curdled Custard. Lily’s world comes crashing in on her. As Lily White becomes Lily Wicked, she wonders how her mother can be abandoning her all over again. But Mr Wicked then ducks out of the surprise honeymoon at the very last minute, promising to catch up with Rose in Rome, Lily truly knows he is up to no good. Mr Wicked promptly begins fleecing the business and openly searching for something valuable. Salty Sundaes! It seems there is treasure hidden somewhere in the hotel! Lily Wicked must use all her smarts to save her beloved hotel from ruin and have something for her mum to come home to. If only she could find the treasure first. But as she follows the clues long forgotten memories begin to bubble up as Lily slowly begins to realise that her own treasure hunt has nothing to do with jewels. Spama-langa-ding-dong! It is all a test, a test to see if she will work out her future, a potentially very culinary and magical future.
Terra Electrica by Antonia Leckey
Genre: Middle Grade. Near Futuristic-Dystopian Adventure
Log Line: “The road for Middle Grade”
Status: In Development
Mani is waiting. His father has gone; to hunt for food. It’s been many days now. Mani must not leave the cave. It’s not safe out there. Mani knows. Everyone in his village is dead. Mani is still waiting. When the food runs out what is he to do? Mani never disobeys his father. Mani must not leave the cave. But Mani is starving. Father! Where are you father?
Mani disobeys his father. The science-man has food; and he has the virus. Keep your distance. But Mani has the virus too. He can see it now, in the window of the science station, dancing in his eyes. He must be dying. But Mani doesn’t feel sick. The science-man shows him in the microscope what his blood looks like. The blood is sick, see! But Mani’s blood is different to the science-man’s. It doesn’t look sick. The science-man is confused. Suddenly the science-man is excited. But Mani is not interested in science. He just wants food. And he wants to find his father.
When the polar ice caps finally did melt, it wasn’t the rise in sea levels that brought mankind to its knees, it was something else. Something that had lain, long buried, beneath the ice, for over two million years. The virus, once safely entombed, spread like wildfire the moment Earth’s ever inquisitive scientists dug out the unusual red rocks that concealed it. The virus fed off electricity. Even human electricity. They called it Terra Electrica. One touch passed the virus on. It burned from the inside, very slowly. But then the electricity supplies that humans lived by began to accelerate the speed at which the virus spread – the speed at which it killed. Everything electrical had to be switched off. The world as anyone knew it shut down.
When Leo, science-man, discovers Mani has the virus but his blood shows no sign of disease, he knows it does not make scientific sense. Could Mani have immunity to the virus? Maybe the boy is the key to curing the virus? To saving the world even? Leo says they must leave the scientific outpost. They will surely find Mani’s father at The Ark. Mani allows himself to be persuaded. At last, he is going to find his father. In truth Mani is beginning a journey to find himself and his place in the world. It is not the journey he expects or wants.