British Warrior

Simon Morrell

Book Cover

GENRE

MEMOIR CRIME

    Core Theme

    SELF-BELIEF, OVERCOMING FEAR

    TIME PERIOD

    1980s & '90s,2000s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY, THE FIGHTER, KARATE KID

    CHARACTER LIST

    SIMON MORRELL, ENGLISH, A MAN WHO GROWS UP BULLIED BUT GROWS UP TO OVERCOME ADVERSITY TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL MARTIAL ARTIST AND TEACHER.

    JULIE – SIMON'S SUPPORTIVE AND SOMETIMES SUFFERING WIFE. SHE SHARES HIS TRIUMPHS AND TROUBLES.

    PETER – SIMON'S DAD. A MANIPULATIVE AND MERCURIAL FRAUDSTER WHO ISN'T AS TOUGH AS HE THINKS.

    GEOFF THOMAS – A FAVORITE AUTHOR OF SIMON'S WHO BECOMES A FRIEND AND A CONFIDANT.

    NICK – A SUPPOSED FRIEND WHO'S THREATS AND BETRAYAL ENDANGER SIMON AND HIS FAMILY.

    JIMMY – A NEIGHBORHOOD TOUGH WHO BULLIES SIMON AS A TEENAGER.

    Logline

    A true story of bullying and extreme violence a man who falls to panic attacks. His recovery to become one of the UK’s leading fighters is by a controlling father, causing the author abuse alcohol. With the love of his family he recovers again to become a Hall of Fame Top Fighter and author.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+,13-17

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    North Wales, United Kingdom

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Blue Porch

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    At a catholic school the protagonist suffers his first experience with bullies, spat at and punched at five years of age, continuing into his teenage years when he is set upon and nearly stabbed. He spends his teens in his bedroom with just his music, a controlling dad always in the background.

    Ending Description

    Finally gaining confidence and a top martial artist, he answers to gangsters for his father’s sins who owes them money. The pressure nearly kills him. Abusing alcohol he is hospitalized with withdrawal. He makes a choice to give up his dad instead fighting for his own family and his respect.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    9780956560384

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence,Substance Abuse, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Coming of Age

    Plot - Premise

    Quest,Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Simon Morrell

    Age: Teen to 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Modest,Selfless,Skillful,Honorable,Insecure,Leader,Underdog,Aspiring,Lone Wolf,Clumsy

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Julie Morrell

    Age: Teen to late 30s

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Modest,Selfless,Empathetic,Engaging,Funny,Romantic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Peter Morrell

    Age: 30s to 70

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Villainous,Narcisstic,Aggressive,Charming,Criminal,Power Hungry,Unapologetic,Outspoken

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Jimmy

    Age: 16

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Narcisstic,Badass,Aggressive,Criminal,Crazy,Blunt,Power Hungry,Outspoken,Unapologetic

    Development Pitch

    Author and fight coach Simon Morrell delivers his fascinating true story. Life is good now as he stands on stage receiving awards for his writing, fighting, owning Fight Fortress and public speaking. However, it wasn’t always this way, it was the opposite. A childhood spent at the hands of bullies with no confidence, he wanders the school bewildered at his classmates’ hate. Changing schools, doesn’t end his victim mode, abuse following him. As a teen he suffers violent knife attacks. Home isn’t any better. His dad is a powerful man who also bullies him, controlling with kindness then snatches it away with verbal abuse, becoming physical. Becoming a recluse spending his time in his room, music his company his fear becomes panic attacks. He gets comfort when he joins band, a girl enters his life, changing it forever. Julie sees something in him. They become inseparable. Simon still dominated by his dad, can’t go to a bar without locals aiming anger at the dad in his direction. Julie sees him sinking, becoming agoraphobic, his social skills spent. She encourages him to return to the only thing that gives him hope, Karate. Surprising all by excelling in it but before he can truly make it his own, he has to battle more demons including hard-men his dad has ripped off. His closest pal turns drug dealer, leading him into a three year war. Another fall sees him take to drink, almost killing him. Withdrawing, he makes a decision to attempt his next black belt.

    Genre

    ACTION, MATURE AUDIENCE, DRAMA

    Brief

    Simon Morrell grows up bullied and afraid but learns to conquer his fears and becomes a top martial artist. Along the way he overcomes betrayal from friends and his father, financial ruin, threats from criminals, panic attacks and finally alcoholism that nearly costs him his family and his life.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: EXCELLENT

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: EXCELLENT

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The profile has grammatical errors and gives too short a summary to give an accurate picture of the story.

    Draw of Story

    The emotional resonance of being bullied as a young child is immediately empathetic and unfortunately something many can relate to.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The amount of detail in certain points can be excessive, especially in the lead up to a dramatic confrontations.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that Simon is not Rocky Balboa trying to win a world title, he's finding the strength to overcome an abusive father, a failing business, local thugs and a drug dealer next store. These are problems people can relate to.

    Fanbase Potential

    The themes of struggle, overcoming fears and self-belief should appeal to a wide audience. However the intense subject matter and inherent violence will turn away a significant portion of people as well.

    Awards Potential

    Films about fighters have often been a great showcase for actors, this story has the ingredients for a juicy role for the lead and main supporting characters.

    Envisioned Budget

    LOW BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY, THE FIGHTER, KARATE KID

    What’s New About the Story

    The way that it's told. The first half is a seemingly straightforward story of a weak kid grows up, learns to fight, overcomes his fears, scares off the bullies in his life and with the support of family and friends achieves the success he always wanted. When it unexpectedly resets halfway through it shows the full story to be more complicated, dangerous and the hero more human than we first realized.

    Lead Characters

    Simon faces so many challenges that almost anyone is guaranteed to relate to at least one of them. His story shows that fear is not something that can be avoided but only overcome.

    Uniqueness of Story

    Yes, it gives a more complicated, more rollercoaster portrait of rocky path to success than most films or tv dramas in the same genre.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    While in broad strokes in may be similar to other offerings in the fighter/uplifting narrative genre, it possesses a complicated story told in an interesting way. The inner battle Simon experiences could be a challenge to display, but the battles he fights give space to dramatize a message of courage and perseverance.

    Brief

    Simon Morrell grows up bullied and afraid but learns to conquer his fears and becomes a top martial artist. Along the way he overcomes betrayal from friends and his father, financial ruin, threats from criminals, panic attacks and finally alcoholism that nearly costs him his family and his life.

    What We Liked

    British Warrior has a nuanced and realistic take on the problems of substance abuse, family dysfunction and gaining self-belief. It shows that life is neither one rise or one descent, but many.

    Film: British Warrior shows the grit and drama of surviving life in the so-called ordinary world. A struggle that exists deep in the mind is played out in karate matches, in the circle of thugs at his drug-dealing neighbor's house, in the pool cue his abusive father swings at him, in the gun wielding toughs that accuse him of theft and in the trembling hands from alcohol withdrawal. This story shows what it means to overcome fear.

    TV: The story of Simon's life is naturally episodic, with each experience dramatic and unpredictable in it's own right, but all coming together to form the story of a larger struggle against a common enemy: fear. With each new challenge his life explores new ground in the struggle to overcome fear that exists in all corners of life.

    Key points: Fight scenes. Family drama. Real life crime drama. Uplifting message. Happy ending.

    Synopsis

    Simon gets bullied on his sixth birthday, by teachers, at his new school, on his way to soccer. When you can't stand up for yourself the torment follows you everywhere.

    He takes up Karate as a teen and finds success and confidence for the first time. At 19, his life is looking up, he's playing in a band and got a new girlfriend, Julie, but his life is quickly by a sudden onset of panic attacks. As he begins treatment he begins to understand that fear is not something to be avoided, but to overcome.

    He continues to build a life with Julie, with a proper home and a new daughter, but he is still searching for an elusive control and purpose. He finds purpose in the desire to open his own karate gym under the banner of World Champion Alfie Lewis and with the help of new friend Geoff Thomas gains his black belt. It normally takes someone five years, it took Simon fifteen.

    He wants to open his own gym. Tries to sell his rental business but is betrayed by his neighbor Nick, a fraud on his way to becoming a drug dealer. People, including his dad, urge him to resort to violence but he won't do it. He goes for the next level of blackbelt, second Dan, and gets knocked out cold. He gets back up again and finishes. He has a final confrontation with Nick, surrounded by Nick's thugs, but none of them will fight Simon. Nick is soon arrested and flees. Everything should be fine again.

    But he started drinking heavily to cope with the stress of the past few years. He sleeps on the floor of his gym after a fight with Julie then tries to quit cold turkey. The hallucinations start. When he sees dancing chimneys Julie calls the police and they take him to hospital, one officer has to tie Simon's shoes because his hands shake too badly.

    The rise to glory hasn't been as straightforward as it seemed.

    His dad was always a wannabe gangster. A father who bought him the best drum set and ridiculed his dreams of success. Who hit and screams at his son to assert dominance.
    The more contempt Simon gets, the more he craves respect.

    At 38, having achieved a third Dan, Simon left a burgeoning career in Martial arts to buy his father's factory, but the business is a dead duck. Simon deals with gun wielding toughs and the IRA, both of whom his dad ripped off. In a situation where fear and intimidation are everything, Simon cleans up that mess but the business itself cannot be salvaged.

    They have 1000 pounds and a decision to make as a family. Simon Morrell's Black Belt Center for Excellence is born. As they try to rebuild Simon deteriorates. He can see through the booze how his own kids are starting to work around their own dad's erratic behavior. Julie has enough, she can handle all they've been through, but not losing him to drink. Then comes hallucinations and the hospital.

    At rock bottom he decides to go up, to get his fourth Dan. On his first day of training again he falls off a bike because his feet hurt too much, and he laughs. Thirteen years after his first black belt test and six months after being in the hospital he passes the test, only the latest in a life filled with them. He has his family, he has a purpose in a now successful gym, he has nobody after him. He is a warrior.

    About The Author

    Simon Morrell grew up bullied at school and at home, but found strength in martial arts and support from his love Julie. With these he found the ability to overcome his fears and survive threats from criminals, financial ruin and intimate betrayals to become a successful trainer, speaker and author.