Gerry Anderson's books are go, thanks to his son, Jamie
A NEW series of books written by the UK’s answer to Walt Disney is on the cusp of being launched after a flood of financial support from the creator’s fans.
Gerry Anderson’s Gemini Force One is a series of books he began writing in 2008, but failed to finish as he dealt with rapidly worsening Alzheimer’s before his death aged 83 on Boxing Day last year.
Gerry is, of course, best remembered for his series in the 1960s, Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and still has legions of fans.
His son Jamie, 28, of Hampton near Highworth, made it his mission to ensure all of his father’s creations saw the light of day, and now he is approaching his accomplishment on this set of books.
The project has been listed on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter, where project creators set a funding goal and deadline, and if people like the project they pledge money to make it happen.
Listed on September 5 and due to close next Saturday, the project had attracted almost £21,000 of funding at the time of writing, with just over £3,000 still required before the pledging window shuts.
The two single biggest pledges have been £1,000, with one a particularly high profile anonymous backer, who is no stranger to Hollywood directors’ chairs.
The money is required to have the first run of books printed, pay MG Harris, the Anderson Estate’s author of choice to finish the works, pay a cover designer, plus marketing and advertising.
Despite Gerry’s success, he lost control of the series and never benefitted financially to any great degree.
Jamie and his collaborators must raise the money to launch this book series, and have chosen to do so in order to remain faithful to his father’s original vision.
He said those publishers he spoke with wanted to age down the characters in the books and make the lead characters children, in order to entice the child audience Gerry’s previous works appealed to.
“We want to keep it true to dad, but it’s taken time. The very fact we have said no to those publishers offering money should show fans we are to keen to keep it as genuine as we possibly can,” said Jamie.
Jamie grew up in Oxford, but moved to his home north-east of Swindon four months ago. He became familiar with the area having previously worked in Farringdon.
The project is currently ahead of schedule according to Jamie, and he fully expects pledges to go beyond the £24,350 target he has set. Should the remainder of his timetable go to plan, the series of books, based around a secret organisation involved in disasters and terrorist events, will be released to Kickstarter backers in April 2014.
The book is due for a full launch in August 2014 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Thunderbirds television series.
l Anyone interested in backing the project should visit: www.gerryanderson.co.uk/GF1
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