Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen
By Maximilian Hawker
A boy, struggling with OCD, must journey with his social worker through space to rescue his mother.
Publication date: July 2021Support this project
Super Patron Paperback (EARLY BIRD)
Super Patron Paperback
Teacher's Package with School Talk
- Five copies of the paperback edition.
- Your school’s name in the front of the book.
- The author does a talk to your school class (date to be agreed via email) about the book and its themes of OCD and care-experienced young people.
- Children will be given a 'goody bag' of novel artwork and an age-appropriate information pack about OCD, and will have the chance to buy discounted signed copies of the book on the day.
Super Patron Paperback + Alien Whale Talisman
Name a Character, Alien Creature or Exo-Moon
- A character, alien creature or exo-moon is named by you in the book (subject to author agreement – just nothing like Booky McBookface, please!).
- Plus everything at Super Patron level.
- You will be able to discuss the name with the author once the book is in production.
- Twenty available.
- Everything at the ‘Name a Character, Alien Creature or Exo-Moon’ level.
- Original canvas artwork based on the novel as painted by the extraordinary Eli Allison (eli-allison.com.).
- You will be able to discuss the name and artwork with the author once the book is in production.
- Two available.
Artwork Package Plus
- Everything at the ‘Name a Character, Alien Creature or Exo-Moon’ level.
- Original canvas artwork based on the novel as painted by the extraordinary Eli Allison (eli-allison.com.) featuring your likeness painted into a book scene.
- You will be able to discuss the artwork with the author once the book is in production.
- Only one available.
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Eleven-year-old Rory Hobble has it tough: he gets upsetting thoughts all the time and they won't go away – 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)', the head doctors call it. His mum hasn't been very well for a long while either. Perhaps it's his fault... Maybe that's why she doesn't always feed him; maybe that's why she screams at him. At least Rory has his binoculars – gazing at the unchanging stars keeps him calm. But, one night, Rory sees something impossible in the sky: mysterious lights – artificial and definitely not of earthly origin.
When his mum is abducted by the shadowy Whiffetsnatcher, Rory – accompanied by his space-faring, care-experienced social worker, Limmy – travels beyond the Earth, chasing those mysterious lights to the frozen ends of the Solar System. Along the way he must outwit a breakaway human civilisation living on a Martian moon; survive the threat of otherworldly monsters; and learn to speak to alien whales.
But his greatest challenge left Earth with him and it will take all the courage he has not only to overcome his OCD, but to decide whether he wants to rescue an abusive mother if he gets his chance…
© 2019 Eli Allison
© 2019 Eli Allison
As a sufferer of OCD, the author is proudly partnering with the charity, OCD Action (https://www.ocdaction.org.uk/), to raise awareness of the particularly devastating effect the condition has on children. He will be donating, in perpetuity, 15% of all royalties from the book (so long as it is successfully funded) to OCD Action and hopes Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen will demonstrate to children with OCD that they can be heroes too.
Exo-Easter Egg Challenge
As a little extra, the author has secretly stashed away twenty-five references to science-fiction books, films and games, all waiting to be found within the pages of this novel. If you pledge to Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen at the ‘Super Patron’ level, or higher, you will receive a list of clues to help you on your way and you will be entered into a competition. The first person to successfully uncover all of the references in the book and contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org wins a very special prize!
Unofficial Book Soundtrack
Music is an important part of the creative process for the author and many songs have, in some way, inspired him as he wrote. If you pledge to Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen at the ‘Super Patron’ level, or higher, you will be given exclusive access to the hidden unofficial book soundtrack on YouTube, Spotify and iTunes, featuring one song for every chapter in the book.
Maximilian Hawker works in frontline children’s social care in Croydon, where he lives with his wife and two children; he also studies for an MA in Social Work at the University of Greenwich and does work in partnership with the charity OCD Action. He has been a sufferer of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) since he was a child and wishes to share his story with others so that some of the myths surrounding the condition may be debunked.
In April 2018, his debut novel, Breaking The Foals, was published through Unbound. He has had poetry and short stories – occasionally nominated for awards – appear in publications run by Dog Horn Publishing, Kingston University Press, Arachne Press and Rebel Poetry, among others. He holds an MA by Research in English Literature from Kingston University, where he also studied at undergraduate level, and has previously worked in editing and education. His love of reading and writing stems from excellent academic role models both from his school and university days, without whom he would not be the writer he is today.
Find him at the following:
It is a sharp November night when Rory Hobble spots something impossible in the night sky.
He drops his binoculars, glancing at the bedside digital clock, which projects an eerie, red 23:38. The only sound is the occasional yell of his mum from the other side of the bedroom, struggling through yet another bad dream. Shuffling over the bed, he leans his arms into the chill windowsill. Far, far below is what seems such a little world, barbed in shadow. Unfastening the latch, Rory pushes the window open, the bedroom warmth depressurised into the night and replaced with the wind’s bitter breath. Goosebumps assemble over his skin like inverted meteor craters. This always wakes him, when the cold snaps at his cheeks, clawing the sleep from sore eyes. But more than anything, he adores craning his neck towards the clouds, hungering for all the wonders that await beyond the sky.
Rory glances at his mum, whose face is twisted and sweaty. She doesn’t wake.
Then it comes…that voice, that doubt which sickens his mind:
Rooory, Rooory. Mum might get cold. Then she might get ill. Then she might–
No, Rory. Deep breath, he tells himself. The thought will go.
But an image flickers into his mind: his mum, pale and lifeless in an Arctic bedroom. He closes his eyes, shakes his head.
After several controlled breaths, the thought – the voice – fades into the background of his mind.
Nonetheless, he hops off his bed and steps over to his mum. But her chest still lifts and drops. She’s fine. He knew that, deep down. In sleep, she looks vulnerable – a far cry from the daytime carnivore he knows her to be.
He creeps back across the floor, careful not to stand on the creaky bits he’s memorised, and avoiding the wire of the tatty, oil-heated radiator.
From under his bed, he drags out the Thought Diary. It’s where he jots down all those peculiar thoughts that fill his head. All those thoughts that he gets and ‘normal’ people – or so he sees them – don’t. He was advised by his last head doctor to write out every fear and every doubt that fills his mind, assured that it would help him to see them for what they really are: farce. It’s a nice diary too, leather.
So, he opens the pages. Moonlight helps him guide a biro through the dark:
- 10th March 2020 Late Drama! And the End!
Friday 6th March
19:07*: Max scrolls over the Rory Hobble homepage...71% funded. It changed briefly earlier, but things are slow at the moment. Just days left and, for the first time, Max is not so sure Rory will make it.
*All times hereafter are guesses but are included for dramatic effect, so there.
20:08: Crystal Palace footballer Andros Townsend is on Twitter…4th March 2020 The Final Week...
THIS. IS. IT.
This time, next week, we will be counting down the hours to the closure of crowdfunding for Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen.
In the last three weeks, almost 100 fresh supporters have come on board and an additional £1,600.00 has made its way into the campaign. At present, we are 68% funded with £1,700.00 left to find.
I'd like to extend a big welcome and thank you…21st February 2020 Interview with an Author - Tom Ward
As something of an aside from my usual updates, I wanted to share with you all an interview I did with author Tom Ward, who is funding his own book, The Lion & The Unicorn, on Unbound - much as I am. Tom has written for publications that include Wired, GQ, Esquire, Men's Health and the Telegraph. He is the winner of the GQ Norman Mailer Award, the PPA New Consumer Magazine Journalist of the Year 2017…18th February 2020 Ohhh, We're Halfway There...
Since I was given the news of a deadline a week ago, Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen has gone from 42% to 52% funded with an additional 35 backers bringing in over £600.00 additional funding to the project. I cannot thank you all enough for your support and for your belief in what this book could do for children suffering with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
I did want to extend a…12th February 2020 The End... Please Read!
Wednesday 11th March is the deadline for Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen to reach 100% funding and I need another £3,000.
I was emailed this information by the publisher a few short hours after my last update to you all went live and it was completely unexpected. However, we are now coming up on a year since the project launched and I understand Unbound's reasoning.
This means that we…10th March 2019 Mercury
First of all, I'd like to offer a massive thank you to everyone who has pledged their support to Rory Hobble so far; it really does mean a great deal to me and without your commitment this book simply will not exist. For those of you unfamiliar with how these updates works, I, as the author, get to write them to you as and when I feel I have something to tell. Here's an idea of…
These people are helping to fund Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen.