Below you'll find the original synopsis I sent out with the book, unedited, and the plan is that every week or so I'll post the next chapter - always unedited. Then we can discuss it in the comments or on Twitter!
BLACK MARKET BEARDS SYNOPSIS
‘Black Market Beards’ is a novel for 8-11 year olds, featuring a unique blend of fantasy, adventure, and humour with a slight twist of surrealism.
The protagonist of the story is Rowan, an 11 year old who has spent the majority of his childhood acting as full-time carer to his severely disabled father. His life is turned upside down when his father dies in their home during a thunderstorm. Matters only get worse when two little men emerge from a portal in the curtains and steal his father’s beard.
Pursuing the men through the portal, Rowan discovers ‘the Pockets’, a world that exists just outside of our own. A sanctuary for the injured and distraught, an omniscient spirit has granted the residents of ‘the Pockets’ unique abilities in order to look after themselves.
But now the spirit is missing, and ‘the Pockets’ are dying. Rowan, teaming up with an eccentric magician, sets off on an adventure not only to retrieve his father’s beard, but to uncover the secret of this new world’s demise. Where has the spirit gone, and what does it have to do with the bandits that are using stolen beards to control the people of ‘the Pockets’? Is it more than mere coincidence that Rowan came to ‘the Pockets’ in its time of need?
Over the course of his adventure, Rowan must tackle mutant moles, bloodthirsty wolves, giant balloon animals, and pimped out camper vans. But he must also come to terms with his own guilt over the death of his father. Could he have done something to stop it?
‘Black Market Beards’ deals with themes of childhood independence, self-confidence, friendship, and the abuse of power. It also explores the topical issue of disability and its effect on children.
The novel is intended to appeal to both boys and girls alike, and has an approximate word count of 43,000 words.
Read Chapter 1 here!