Big screen hopes for book

Author Ian Johnson
Author Ian Johnson

Film companies are queuing up to have a look at The
 Witcher Keys – a Tolkein-esque adventure by Malton writer Ian Johnson.

Several British movie-makers are looking at the teenage dark fantasy with a view to adapting it for the big screen.

Exclusive Media – the company which runs Hammer and Spitfire – were enthusiastic but said Ian’s debut book needs more followers before it would make a deal.

“Many readers ask if it will ever be a film because that’s what they would like to see it as – like me,” said Ian.

Ian, who is clerk of works for Birdsall Estates, has also undertaken lots of signings including a session at the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford where the Inklings met every Tuesday for more than 20 years.

The Inklings were an informal literary society whose members included Tolkien and author of the Narnia series CS Lewis

“I’m very proud to know that my picture is soon going on the wall next to those esteemed gentlemen - it’s probably the pinnacle of my writing career,” said Ian.

The book – which is set on the North Yorkshire Moors in winter – is about teenagers Victoria and Mark and their search for a magic potion to cure Victoria’s baby sister who has been poisoned by spriggans.

It was also long-listed for the Rubery International Book Award last year.

It is based on a true story about his encounter with elementals and ley lines during the building of a house on the North York Moors.

His curiosity was aroused and his conviction confirmed when builders on a nearby project ended up in a punch up when one worker told his mates he had seen an elf in a tree watching them.

Ian will be sigining copies of the book in WH Smith, Wesborough, Scarborough, on Saturday January 18 from noon.

“I am averaging 90 to 100 books a signing which is very pleasing,” said Ian.

Such events bring him into contact with fans who eagerly share stories of encounters with elves on the Moors.