Rachael Craw’s YA title Spark has been optioned by New Zealand film company Miss Conception Films, fitting perfectly with their mission to “make films with strong female protagonists”. A perennial favourite among young-adult fiction fans, the gripping action and fast-paced narrative was always perfect for film.
Spark tells the story of Evie – one day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer. The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.
This award winning series of contemporary science fiction YA novels has received accolades from the 2015 Storylines Awards, and was shortlisted in the 2015 Children’s Choice category of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2015 and the 2015 Silver Inky Award.
Producer Ainsley Gardiner says “Miss Conception Films is excited to be working on the film adaptation of Rachael Craw’s Spark … Making films we want to see and films we can show our children is of utmost importance.
“Rachael has written a novel that speaks directly to its audience and is already very clear to articulate in a visual sense. We are looking forward to bringing it to the screen.”
Author Rachael Craw says “Writing Spark was a cinematic experience as I tried to capture in words the intricate detail of everything I could see, hear and feel in my mind. It’s exciting to learn others see the potential in these characters, and the world of the story, to translate from page to screen and I’m thrilled Miss Conception Films have optioned the rights.”
Walker Books Australia and New Zealand President Angela Van Den Belt says “We are incredibly excited that Miss Conception Films have optioned the rights to bring Rachael Craw’s Spark to the big screen. We look forward to new fans discovering this thrilling series.”
About Miss Conception Films Ainsley Gardiner
Notably Ainsley produced the short films Two Cars, One Night and Tama Tu written and directed by Taika Waititi. She went on to collaborate with Waititi on his feature films, Eagle vs Shark in 2005 and his (original) No. 1 Box Office hit, BOY in 2009. Ainsley has produced other features, most recently The Pā Boys with writer/director Himiona Grace, as well as drama for television. Ainsley has hosted a short film programme on Māori Television and has also dabbled in writing and directing.
Her first short film, Mokopuna, had a successful festival life, winning Gold at the Dreamspeakers Indigenous Film Festival. Ainsley often works as an external script assessor and mentors a number of emerging Māori writers, directors and producers. She is focusing on Producing until her children get old enough to cook for themselves and then she will work on her aspiration to be New Zealand’s next Taika Waititi.
About Rachael Craw
Rachael began her working life as an English Teacher after completing a degree in Classical Studies and Drama at the University of Canterbury. She dabbled in acting, directing and writing for amateur theatre productions and small independent film ventures. Her passion for dialogue and characterisation finally led to long-form writing with the Spark series. Rachael’s enthusiasm for classical heroes, teen angst and popular culture informs much of her creative process. She enjoys small town life at the top of the South Island of New Zealand where she lives with her husband and three daughters.
About Walker Books Australia
Walker Books Australia has been bringing the best of children’s publishing to Australia and New Zealand for over 20 years. The company is dedicated to publishing books of unwavering quality for children and young adults to read and treasure. Walker Books Australia is also passionate about the Australian Children’s book industry and is a haven for the most highly talented authors and illustrators, both emerging and award-winning. Walker Books Australia is proud to be the home of Black Dog Books, an award-winning imprint with a reputation for publishing some of Australia’s finest writers including Carole Wilkinson, Sue Lawson and Suzy Zail.
For all media enquiries:
Claire Smith, Publicist Walker Books Australia [email protected] +61 2 8666 8330