The Crossingway

Lynn H. Elliott

Book Cover

GENRE

YOUNG ADULT ACTION ADVENTURE CHILDREN’S DRAMA FANTASY MYSTERY

    Core Theme

    EMPATHY

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    HARRY POTTER

    CHARACTER LIST

    HOWELL (12) LEAD. GOOD-HEARTED AND BRAVE

    TAL (40S) MENTOR & QUIRK

    DANI (12) SIDE-KICK/ROM. INTEREST & KNOWLEDGEABLE

    LEONEL (12) SIDE-KICK & SMART

    BOLLSINGER (14) ANTAGONIST & MEAN PROFESSOR

    LUCIAN (50S) ANTAGONIST & CRUEL

    Logline

    Strange things are happening to Howell, a 12 almost 13 year-old boy. His mother disappears after a crash in the mountains, and his uncle insists that only Howell and his new-found friends can find her.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    California and New Mexico, USA

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Austin Macauley, London

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    When his mother disappears, Howell's strange Uncle Tal tells him that only he can save her. Unknown youngsters enter Howell's life, all offering to help him on this strange journey. He also confronts a terrifying man, all the time dealing with his sister's creepy new boyfriend.

    Ending Description

    In an explosive and terrifying final scene, Howell finds himself alone in a darkened kiva, surrounded by the pounding drums and shrieks of the thousands of drygoni (evil ones). His mother lies helpless on a central slab, an offering to the “Meister Drygoni,” the focal point of the evil forces.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    9781528942553

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Quest,Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Howell

    Age: 12-13

    Gender: Male

    Role: Skeptic

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Complex,Insecure,Visionary,Lone Wolf,Engaging

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Dani-Walks-Her-Pony, Navajo

    Age: 12

    Gender: Female

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Charming,Decisive,Selfless,Visionary,Honorable,Faithful,Confident

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Leonel, Latino, blind

    Age: 13

    Gender: Male

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Confident,Strong Moral Code,Empathetic,Charming,Selfless,Funny,Visionary,Engaging

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Dazmonique, Creole, deaf

    Age: 13

    Gender: Female

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Blunt,Outspoken,Visionary,Charming,Aggressive,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Strong Moral Code

    Development Pitch

    The Crossingway is my homage to my adopted country, the United States, with its colorful characters, language, myths, tales, and enchanting landscapes. Strange things happen to Howell, a 12-year-old boy. His mother disappears, and his uncle insists that only he, Howell, can find her. An unknown Latino blind boy rescues Howell from school bullies; a Haitian-Creole deaf girl stops him from falling into a pit that magically appears in his bedroom; and, a Native-American girl appearing in his town, accompanied by a large grey wolf. Howell’s uncle insists everything relates to Howell’s upcoming birthday and his need to journey through the Crossingway to complete the Transfer—whatever that is—and rescue his mother. But evil forces, drygoni, gather to prevent Howell’s journey. His sister new, creepy boyfriend watches Howell constantly. A tall, frightening man with a radar-spot eye-patch suddenly appears. Even the school bullies take on evil forms and habits. Throughout Howell’s doubts build. His journey takes him through the Sierra Nevadas, where drygoni lurk, to New Mexico and a mystically created school in the middle of the desert. Even here, fellow pupils, training to become forces of good (doeths) are vulnerable to drygoni. And so, Howell’s doubts accumulate. Overcoming these doubts, with the aid of his friends, eventually leads Howell via darkened tunnels to a haunted kiva where he finds his mother and confronts the Evil Master of the drygoni.

    Genre

    ACTION, DRAMA, FANTASY, COMEDY

    Brief

    Howell's mother is said to be a witch and he is bullied for being her son. The rumors spur the mystery of her disappearance off the side of a mountain. Howell is guided by his uncle to find her in another realm. It turns out Howell has some magic of his own to bring his mother back, but there are somethings better left on the other side.

    Overall Rating

    EXCELLENT

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: EXCELLENT

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: EXCELLENT

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The book's plot is reflected well in the profile save for the Crossingway itself is not explained as a different realm in the short summary. This context would help create a faster understanding of the strange phenomena and dynamic with Uncle Tal. The logline is really well done.

    Draw of Story

    The idea that a it is up to a twelve year old boy to find his mother on his own is very compelling. Especially when his mission only exists in a world that he has never believed in before. His bravery is commendable.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The Creole is a nice touch, but it is unnatural for bilingual people to auto-translate themselves. It is easier to insert phrases with enough context to be understood on their own to feel more authentic to real-life conversation.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that Howell must find his witch mother and save her in a different world he knows next to nothing about. The fantasy characters and visuals created are memorable. The children's lesson is relatable and well executed.

    Fanbase Potential

    As an original fantasy with good values and exciting action, this could have a huge fanbase for the family market either in theaters or on streaming platforms.

    Awards Potential

    This could win in the children's categories (either live-action or animated) and depending on the budget may even win for costume design or SFX.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, MATILDA, SPUD, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, X-MEN, PERCY JACKSON LIGHTNING THIEF, A WRINKLE IN TIME

    What’s New About the Story

    The originality stems from the objective that Howell is given in tandem with the development of his inner conflict. By making his flaws and need to transform more apparent earlier as part of his goal such as "he needs to believe in himself more" the development will be easier to follow along with the external conflict.

    Lead Characters

    Howell is an unassuming reactionary boy who turns into a confident, adventurous and brave teenager. Uncle Tal is a jovial and cryptic mentor. Dani is wise and a spitfire due to her self-assuredness.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is a rare original fantasy with solid character development and a fresh plot of a boy saving his witch mother in secret.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Streaming, Indie, Studio

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    The external conflict ties in well to the internal conflict of the protagonist in a compelling setting. Everything is easy to follow while still feeling fresh with strong moral themes that are great for growing kids.

    Brief

    When 12-year-old Howell's mom disappears on a trip to New Mexico, his strange uncle Tal summons him to enter a fantastical world. Now, Howell and his new friends need to fight evil forces to save his mom.

    What We Liked

    "The Crossingway" is a Harry-Potter-type of fantasy, targeted to a younger audience and with infinite possibilities to explore in the future. It has a complex world, unique characters, and a good message about empathy, so necessary in current times.

    Film: This book has a rich story, with a well-concocted character arc and many visually appealing elements--all essential components to create a great film. This children's fantasy has a similar appeal to Harry Potter by having a regular child enter a magical world where they find out they are much more than the school bullies believe. The message is important and leaves both children and their parents satisfied with the conclusion.

    TV: A rich world with interesting characters and infinite future storylines is the gold pot for a TV show. This children's fantasy can have a large fanbase, entertaining while still passing along an important message about empathy. Howell's journey is long and detailed, enough to be stretched into several episodes to comprise the first season. The book ends in a cliffhanger that perfectly keeps the audience wanting to go back for a second season.

    Key points:
    - Interesting fantasy world;
    - HP-type of story;
    - Good message;
    - Cliffhanger ending;
    - Unique ensemble characters;

    Synopsis

    When 12-year-old Howell's mother goes missing on a trip to New Mexico, the boy begins to notice many strange things happening around him. Until, one day, his strange uncle Tal summons Howell to follow him to escape a strange evil force known as the Drygonis, who also kidnapped his mother. Howell has no choice but to agree.

    Tal takes Howell to a different type of school, where he meets equally strange people and makes new friends and enemies. He learns that if he succeeds in the training, he might become a Doeth. After a series of tests, Howell, his friends, and a few adults need to escape the Drygonis who infiltrated the school.

    They successfully make it to the final test, where Howell has the chance to complete the transfer of power, which will make him a real Doeth. With the help of his new friends, Howell fights the Drygonis, saves his mother, and becomes a new Doeth.

    Back home, Howell is a new kid who can defend himself and other kids in need. And when one of his friends from the new school goes missing, he's the first to go on to help find him.

    About The Author

    Lynn Elliott was born in Cardiff, Wales, and resides in California, where he completed his MA and doctorate at the UC Santa Barbara and taught English literature and creative writing at California State University, Chico. He is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, and 'The Crossingway' is an homage to his adopted country, the diverse United States.