Scottish author and programmer Michael Howell has sold the movie and TV rights to his debut novel The Christmas Virus just one week after the Kindle/iPad version went on sale.
The technothriller shows a world taken to the brink of chaos after Islamic terrorists activate a virus in 95% of the world’s computers just before Christmas.
The rights have now been sold to film publicity company NoKidding Ltd for an undisclosed five-figure sum.
Self-starter Mike, 55, from Glasgow’s South Side brought the book out himself to take advantage of new sales channels like Amazon and the iPad and has been blown away by what it has done for him.
He added: “Today’s digital market empowers authors in ways not even conceivable five years ago, so this is fantastic.”
While author Michael, 55, from Glasgow is used to dealing with movie studios thanks to the software he has created over the years, he was taken aback by the speed of the sale.
He said: “Some people had shown interest when I told them I was writing a novel but I just took that to be polite chit chat.
“Then the book came out, went on sale digitally and the enquiries came in. It shows the power of digital.
“Needless to say I’m completely delighted. For any author, this is like living the dream – writing the debut novel and seeing the movie rights bought.
“Having said that, I’m long enough in the tooth to know that the film rights being bought is a long way from a movie being made, but it’s an essential first step.
“It’s a great Christmas present – definitely better than getting a virus, that’s for sure.”
NoKidding MD Wendy Kidd said: “Michael’s book is a fantastic yet all too terrifyingly plausible scenario – it has been ripped from tomorrow’s headlines – and would make a fantastic movie, so we were delighted when we secured the rights.
“The likes of Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton have shown that there is a strong market for this type of thriller.
“The Christmas Virus has a long life ahead of it – not just in print and digitally, but as a film or TV show.”
Notes to editors:
Michael Howell is available for interview. Please contact Craig McGill via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07703-175-151 or twitter @craigmcgill
The Christmas Virus website can be found at TheChristmasVirus.com