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Has 'Harry Potter' Met His Match?


'Hotter Than Potter' Author Strikes Again

By Dan Wooding
Founder, Assist News Service YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND (Assist News Service) -- The story of how a policeman turned vicar living in sleepy North Yorkshire village came to pen a children’s blockbuster called Shadowmancer, is the stuff that Hollywood movies are made of.

Taylor's first book, Shadowmancer, was an unexpected literary hit last year and has now been purchased as a movie by Universal Pictures. Now his second book, Wormwood, is expected to also become a huge hit and could become a rock opera.

Published in England last year, G.P. Taylor's Shadowmancer was dubbed “hotter than Potter” by the British media, outselling the latest installment of J.K. Rowling's blockbuster Harry Potter series when released on the same day. The book was jointly published this year in the United States by G.P. Putnam's Sons and Charisma House.

Now G.P. Taylor, a father of three, has agreed to talk about his new book, Wormwood, and also about his future plans.

WormwoodIn an interview from his home in North Yorkshire, Taylor said, “The name Wormwood comes from the comet mentioned in the Book of Revelation -- 'and Wormwood shall fall from the sky and many shall die from its bitterness.' It is very Dan Brown and loved by all the readers of The Da Vinci Code.”

When asked how he got the ideas for the characters in Wormwood, the Rev. Taylor replied, “The characters in Wormwood came from people I have met along the way -- some good, some bad. One of the main characters is based on a writer I know but I won't say which one. There are rumors that the villainess is based on Madonna. There are similarities but purely coincidental. She's a Kabbalist and changed her name -- so did Madonna.

As an explanation, the lapsed-Catholic diva and former Material Girl has recently embraced a mystical form of Judaism called Kabbalah, the obscure and undemanding form of Judaism which is sweeping Hollywood Hills, and has announced that she had taken the Hebrew name of Esther.

G.P Taylor then said that it took him about eight months to write his new book. “I wrote it on a battered old PC,” he said, adding, “I think my iPod has more memory than that PC.”

I then asked him how Wormwood differed from Shadowmancer.

“I have been told that Wormwood is a better book,” he stated. “It is faster paced with better developed characters and more exciting,” he stated. “The strange thing is that Wormwood and Shadowmancer are read by as many adults as teens and children, literally 8 to 80.”

When asked how the both books had been received so far by critics and readers, he replied, “The reviews from readers have been brilliant as have the reviews from the press – but beware when all people speak well of you. Wormwood has been to the top of the UK charts throughout the summer and has just been released in Germany and the USA. Shadowmancer is in many languages. I couldn't give you an exact number of sales but I know it is millions worldwide.”

Shadowmancer Movie

The film rights for Shadowmancer were recently sold. It will be Universal Pictures' first significant entry into the children's fantasy genre.

Fortitude Films, which made its first foray into the film business in March by paying Taylor for the book, will be the film's producer.

Universal Pictures, led by executive VP Donna Langley, has covered Fortitude's original acquisition tab, which included a promise of 15 percent of merchandising.

Fortitude's Steve Delaportas and Lisa Marie Butkiewicz will produce.

“The film is in pre-production and I am eagerly awaiting the announcement of a script writer,” he said.

Wormwood, The Rock Opera

G.P Taylor then talked about Wormwood being turned into a rock opera.

Wormwood is being produced into a rock opera by Fortitude,” he revealed. “They have approached Rick Wakeman [himself a committed Christian who has written many hit rock operas and is currently the keyboardist with YES] to write the music which will be amazing. I want Madonna to sing the part of Yerzinia.”

The last few months have been one dizzy round of TV and book appearances in the UK and in the United States, so I wondered how all this success had changed him.

“I’m the same old person just wearing nicer shoes,” he laughed. “I don't look on it as success; it is just a change in direction where people want to ask you more questions. God has a great way of bringing you back down and reminding you what is really important.”

G.P. Taylor is not resting on his laurels, but is continuing with his work.

“The next project is a book called Tersias, a chat show for American TV, as well as writing a pilot comedy for the UK,” he said.

It is not often that an Anglican vicar sees such success, but having met G.P. Taylor recently in Los Angeles, I can say that this success couldn’t have come to a nicer man.

More from Assist News Service

ASSIST News Service is brought to you in part by Open Doors USA, a ministry that has served the Suffering Church around the world for nearly 50 years. You can get more information by logging onto their website at

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