Do you like stories that sweep you along with the plot, breathlessly wondering how things will turn out? Then you will love The Ickles!
This collection of 20 quirky stories will delight readers whose appetite includes action, drama, sci-fi themes, comedy, fantasy and pure imagination.
The stories also promote positive values of encouragement, hope and empowerment.
The Ickles are members of a far-flung family of rugged individuals, all with their own incredible stories to tell. They live in a parallel universe with nice straight edges. Their world is pretty much like our own. Messed up, but much more magical and exciting. They experience some extraordinary adventures, get themselves into all sorts of trouble, but always come out OK.
Imagine if your name tells us everything about you. That’s how we recognize The Ickles in their own Ickle world.
You’ll meet Heroickle, who is a whiz at computer games; Physickle, who sets out to walk around the world; Tentickle, an octopus who captures a band of smugglers; Spherickle, who outruns an avalanche; Zoologickle and her wonderful world of animals; Aquanautickle, and her encounter with a shark. And many, many more incredible characters and stories, with each Ickle living up to their name.
Targeted Age Group:: 9 – 12 years
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The primary creative influence in my life has always been my own imagination, which is always galloping off in many strange directions. It is vital to maintain a sense of wonder, especially when writing for children. I am also fascinated by words and their meaning. These storylines arise from the names of each individual Ickle. Their adventures are fanciful tales about ordinary people who do extraordinary things. They live in the real world, but their journeys often take them to far-off places, or fantasy lands where they live out their dreams.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The names of the characters suggest the stories to me. Astronautickle has to be an Astronaut; Zoologickle a zoo keeper; Mathematickle delves into the fantasy world of numbers and logic; Heroickle is an example of an unlikely hero rising to the occasion, using everyday objects to defeat a menacing alien enemy, etc. There is no shortage of ideas, not with the long list of characters available. My first book is a collection of twenty separate stories, all developed from the names that suggest the plot.
…and the Alien Invasion
It is rare (even in the movies) for the survival of planet Earth to depend on the actions of a single individual. Particularly one as young and nerdy as our unlikely hero, Heroickle.
Apart from his name there is nothing obviously heroic about him.
Heroickle is the normal height and weight for his age but is not especially strong or athletic. He didn’t make the football team and wasn’t picked for basketball either.
His grades are barely adequate, and despite his best efforts he has never been recognized in his yearbooks as the student most likely to succeed.
The only thing Heroickle excels at is computer games. He is at the top of the leaderboards in any game you can name.
Whether he is playing on a console or PC, Heroickle is The Master of the controller, keyboard and mouse.
In his short gaming career, he has slain hordes of ugly fire-breathing dragons, menacing robots, rampaging space aliens, hideously deadly flying monsters of every description, and too many grotesque fantasy creatures to mention. Sometimes requiring the aid of industrial-grade weaponry.
None of Heroickle’s friends come close to his skills in racking up completed missions, unlocked achievements and kill-death ratios.
At school, he is picked on and bullied for his nerdy looks and inability to fight back. But on a virtual battlefield Heroickle is undefeated! He is fast on the trigger and faster still in developing winning strategies.
He can speed run through a game, unlocking hidden areas and gaining the most fearsome weapons and power-ups quicker than any of his opponents.
And without fail, he always gets the award for MVP in any team-based competitive multi-player mode.
So, on that fateful day when space aliens invaded Earth (for real), Heroickle was one of the most qualified people on the planet to fight them. Even if he was not yet aware of it. The alien invaders arrived on a Tuesday, just before the lunch bell. They surrounded his school with a force-field, trapping everyone inside the building.
Students dove under their desks while their terrified teachers barricaded themselves in the staff room.
A sign on the door read “STAFF ONLY!” which the teachers hoped would deter any aliens from opening it.
The aliens were big, green and slimy, with multiple wavy eyestalks on top of their heads. They had rows and rows of razor-sharp pointy teeth, which looked like they had never met a toothbrush, let alone a dentist.
They moved through the school with great efficiency immobilizing everyone with an ugly-looking spray gun. It spat out a glowing green goo that covered their victims from head to toe. It glued them to the spot and set as hard as concrete in seconds.
Their mission was clear—collect as many young and healthy specimens of humanity as possible.
The aliens chose this school because it was swarming with hundreds of suitable subjects. They intended to carry them back to their alien planet, Pthffft! (which you pronounce by blowing a raspberry).
There they planned to examine them forensically.
The aliens set to work in pairs.
As one sprayed the students with the quick-setting green goo, another moved in to pick them up and bundle them into a net, which was filling fast.
None of the students in the classrooms could escape or hide. Not even in the spaciousness of the gym, where Heroickle and his classmates were taking an exam that day. The aliens vaporized the desks, exposing the students underneath them. The kids were powerless, having no weapons to fight back.
As the aliens moved closer and closer to the spot where Heroickle was hiding, he realized that he had to do something. It was now or never!
But just as he was preparing to spring into action, he had a strong feeling of déjà vu. He peered out for a moment and focused his attention on the invaders again.
“I recognize these aliens,” Heroickle whispered to the four others huddled under the desk. “They are just like the green monsters in my favorite game, Gears of Destruction!”
One student shook his head in disbelief. “How can you think about video games at a time like this? We’re about to be abducted by aliens!”
“You don’t understand,” Heroickle was quick to explain. “If they are the same aliens, then I know how to beat them.”
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy The Ickles: 20 Short Stories including Heroickle and the Alien Invasion Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
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