Complete at 26,000 words, The Curse of the Weird Wolf is a humorous fantasy middle-grade novel aimed at the 7-9 market. It’s The Worst Witchmeets Being Human.
Nine-year-old Stanley Wilde dreams of being a werewolf like the rest of his family, but unable to transform, he spends his full-moons alone, locked inside a cage, avoiding parents with one thing on their mind… EATING HIM!
On hearing of a possible cure, Stanley embarks on a treacherous journey around the World of Weird, also known as WOW! It’s an abandoned safari-park for fantastical creatures – think Longleat with unicorns, goblins and trolls.
Stanley’s determined to break his weird wolf curse once and for all, but is he about to bite off more than he can chew?
As a teacher of English with a vast amount of experience teaching children with Special Educational Needs, I am keen to write books that are not only highly entertaining, but also diverse, relatable and relevant for children of contemporary Britain. I am also passionate about engaging reluctant readers, which is a huge motivator for my writing.
I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and was one of their 2018 Undiscovered Voices. In 2014, I won a Northern Writers’ Award as well as the Commonword Writing Diversity for Children Prize. I have also been longlisted for both the Bath Children’s Novel Award and the Times Chicken House Prize. More recently, I won places on workshops/Open Days with Penguin Write Nowand David Higham Associates, both designed for underrepresented writers. I was also shortlisted for the Write Mentor Children’s Novel Award.
Thank you for taking the time to look at my submission, and please let me know if you require anything else.
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
My name is Stanley Wilde. I’m nine years old. And my parents are about to eat me.
Dad jabs the air with his snout. It’s a tell-tale sign he’s caught a whiff of me. Dad’s sniffer is a meat-seeking missile. There’s nowhere to hide once his hooter locks onto your scent.
I grasp the padlock of my cage with trembling hands and triple-check it’s secure. Last month’s OPEN-DOOR DISASTER nearly cost me a leg. And five toes. Dad munched on them like miniature sausage rolls. I still have the bite marks to prove it.
Dad springs from the kitchen table and heads straight for me. He slides to a stop at the bars of my cage and throws me his hungry look – fangs dripping with slobber.
‘Hi, Dad,’ I say.
He snarls, showing his weapons of MASS DESTRUCTION: teeth sharper than my Gran’s cut-throat razor – the one she uses to shave her back hair. Drool hangs from his chin like spears. I’m not sure what’s worse, being eaten by Dad or drowning in his spit.
I gulp. ‘There’s a nice Dad. Nice Daddy—’
Dad snaps his jaws. He tips his head back.
I plug my ears with a pair of stinky socks.
Mum stirs. She sits up, yawning. Full moons always make her sleepy, but even Mum can’t sleep through Dad’s howling.
‘It’s me, Dad,’ I say. ‘Your son, Stanley! Remember me?’
Dad ignores me. He never recognises me when he’s having one of his BEASTLY TURNS. To be honest, I don’t know why I bother, you’d think after nine years I’d give up trying to get through to him. To Dad, I’m just a bite-sized snack. Something to enjoy between meals without ruining his appetite.
He clamps his powerful jaws to the metal bars of my cage. Fortunately, even Dad’s gnashers aren’t strong enough to chomp their way through my fortress of steel.
It’s the same routine every full moon. If it wasn’t for the safety of my cage tucked away in the corner of our kitchen, I’d be halfway down Dad’s throat by now, heading for the vat of acid in his stomach. He’d be picking shards of splintered ribcage from his teeth in no time and burping to his favourite tune from the golden olden days: Hungry Like the Wolf.
Mum catches my scent and sniffs the air. She pounces to her furry feet, suddenly wide awake, and bounds towards me.
My heart notches up a gear.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Mum’s spine stiffens. Her hackles rise. She lets out a low growl, and like Dad, flashes her razor-sharp teeth. As if I need reminding!
I swallow the lump wedged in my throat. ‘There’s a good Mum,’ I say, hoping she might recognise me. ‘Good Mummy.’
Mum gives me proper evils. Right now, she hasn’t a clue who I am, even though she gave birth to me. She scratches the base of my cage with furry paws and starts digging for bones.