Mentee NameTitle of ManuscriptMentor NameAge CategoryGenre(s)Total word count (approx.)
Wendy BarkerThe Headhunters of No1 Morphus PlaceMandy RabinMGContemporary fantasy60

There exists an endless list of names. If yours is on it (NO peeking!), The Headhunters of No1 Morphus Place are coming to get you! Two families: The Hunters versus The Hunted. But both are victims. And to get to the truth the hunt must first begin…

The Headhunters of No1 Morphus Place is a 60k word contemporary, fantasy, upper-MG with a dark-tinged edge and an element of other worldliness. Its quirky, enigmatic tone could be likened to Malamander. I have been told the concept is highly original: Lemony Snicket x Almighty Boosh. 

The venomously enigmatic Morphuses: a kick-ass family of Bear Grylls (minus the waterproofs plus the heels with a spritz of Chanel No5 or SO2). These merciless head-hunters, who were blackmailed into ridding the world of poison, face their toughest ever ‘guest’ when their home transports them to England to vanquish a family of slave traffickers. But when this family reforms, the Morphuses are faced with a conundrum. However the price for choosing justice is priceless.

During my writing journey I have received positive feedback/suggestions for revision, which were instrumental in developing my writing. I have had ‘near-misses’ and requests for full manuscripts and other writing. Several agents have said my talent is innate but I needed to work on other areas. However as a self-taught writer I had reached the point where I needed a guiding hand. Being selected for the #WriteMentor Summer Programme has been that hand and a turning point for my writing.

I am currently undertaking a Writer’s Online course, and Keris Stainton, who critiqued my work via her writing course, likened my writing to Ruby Redfort and Mr Gum. 

My voice typifies my Liverpudlian/Irish working-class heritage, synonymous for its dark, tongue-in-cheeky humour. I am happiest trotting through the woods on my imaginary Connemara mare, acting out my scenes and frequently giving walkers a laugh or a reason to run in the opposite direction!

Yours sincerely

Wendy Barker

THE HEADHUNTERS OF NO1 MORPHUS PLACE

SENSITIVITY WARNING:
Contains flashing imagery and obnoxious characters you wouldn’t ever wish to befriend.


For most of us, moving house is stressful enough without the additional stress of what to do with the bodies… 

But the Morphuses are not “most”, and for them it’s all in a day’s work. They were never boringly normal like the rest of us, but on a fateful day 20 years ago atop the White Teeth Mountain in the Swiss Alps they became very more un-normal than previously. On that day the Morphus family (the head-hunted) became the head-hunters and no longer in charge of their own lives. 

The Morphuses. Secretive yet open. Shrewd but naive. Dangerous yet harmless. But always utterly charming, freshly showered and deodorised.

Before you dive in I sincerely hope for your own sake – and safety – that you’re not:
(a) a serial (or even one-off) killer; 
(b) a serial liar;
(c) a con-teen;
(d) an e-vile child (including ‘cheaters’ who change the rules when it’s their turn to be ‘IT’);
(e) any other type of obnoxious person (including selfie addicts, pouters and posers).

Hmmmm?? Be honest…

Fine. Moving on.

Should you ever bump into the Morphuses (I’ve enclosed their photo for ID purposes so please carry it with you at all times) PLEASE remember your manners: Tatianus Morphus is particularly hot on a ‘please’ and a ‘thank you’. 

You must understand that I cannot disclose too much at this point without blowing their cover because of course I’d have to kill YOU before being sentenced to life imprisonment for Treason in somewhere far worse than Azkaban, or being murdered by a Foreign Agency – or possibly Tatianus Morphus herself. And we don’t want that. 

So for now I can tell you only this… the Morphuses never stayed long enough in one place for anybody to really get to know them, because when their work was done it was time to move on…

…20 years to TODAY (yet the Morphuses haven’t even aged 1 day, let alone 7300!)…
when we find Mini and Maxi Morphus in their jeep, hidden amongst dense jungle vegetation, about to begin their next mission: Operation MacFurrectomy. So radio silence please as we parachute in to watch it unfold…


SUMATRA. THE LEUSER RAINFOREST. Outside a fenced-off compound with Buckingham Palace-level-suspicion-rousing barbed wire & ‘Beware of Lions Tigers & Bears’ (oh my!) where only exotic animal traffickers, exotic animals, poachers & the Morphuses would dare to venture (& probably David Attenborough & his brother, John Hammond, closely followed by a T-Rex), because this place has stepped right back in time…

High above his body Maxi’s eleven-year-old bloodshot eye dangled from the collar of his pet Harris Hawk – codename Hawkeye – like a highly-polished, amber Tiger’s Eye stone, controlling the bird and watching the movements of the two men in the compound below – Angus and Fergus MacFurrty. Their targets. The next on No1 Morphus Place’s list. 

The eye’s observations were reported by Maxi’s unflappable mouth (attached