Hollywood film for Whitby author's book

FORMER Whitby curate and best-selling author Graham Taylor has revealed filming is to begin in January to transform his first of seven books in the Mariah Mundi series into a box office smash.

In an exclusive interview with the Whitby Gazette, Mr Taylor said the high budget Hollywood movie – Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box – is set for general release in October 2011.

And he confirmed it stars A-list celebrities who are due to take the lead roles in the adaption of the fantasy/horror book published by Faber and Faber, with some of the scenes being shot in Whitby.

The story centres on 15-year-old Mariah Mundi, who leaves the Chiswick Colonial School in London to being a new life at the mysterious Prince Regent – the majestic hotel sits on the edge of the cliff in a northern seaside town at the end of the railway line.

He said: "I cannot tell you who will play the lead characters in the film which is being made by Entertainment Motion Pictures, but according to my wife they are two very good looking men."

Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box will be directed by Simon West whose films include blockbusters Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie, Face Off featuring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta and Con Air.

Mr Taylor (52), who set his first book in Whitby, told the Whitby Gazette of the inspiration the town has given him and the influence it had in his stories.

"Whitby is such a special place to me, it has a wonderful atmosphere and there are so many fantastic people I even based a few of my characters around people I know in Whitby, although they are obviously heavily disguised," he said.

Mr Taylor has continued his vow to hang up his pen for the foreseeable future last October after his daughter, Lydia became seriously ill with Crohn's disease – an inflammatory disease of the intestines.

He said: "She is getting a lot better, but she is still very poorly."

Filming is to begin on the first book Mr Taylor penned, New York Times best-selling Shadowmancer, following the release of Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box.

And he has also also been approached about filming for his new book Vampyre Labyrinth: Red Eye which is due to hit the shelves next month, which he also hopes will be a bestseller.

Vampyre Labyrinth is set entirely in Whitby and if the film goes in to production, will be filmed in the town too.

He added: "My book is about vampires, but it isn't at all influenced by the Twilight films, although I am hoping it will be just as successful.

"The influence the goths in Whitby had on me was incredible. I didn't like them to start out with but I did once I got to know them.

"They were my inspiration for the Vampyre books."

Mr Taylor lives in Scarborough but is currently looking for a place in Whitby and said: "I will be happy with a nice little house and a fishing boat.

"I am now completely changing tack and writing film scripts in my spare time, I am giving up writing after I have finished my commitments, I am finishing off the last of my Vampyre books which is out next year, then I am finished writing for good."

The author said there has been high demand for his latest book, which is set in the 1930's and is about a young boy who gets evacuated to a children's home – in real life it is the well-known Whitby building Streonshalh at the top of Khyber Pass overlooking the harbour and Whitby Abbey – and is based on the typical myths of Whitby.

Mr Taylor said: "If Shadowmancer and Vampyre Labyrinth are as successful as I think they will be they will put Whitby on the map, it will encourage tourism to the town, it should bring a lot of money to Whitby, and you never know we might even be able to afford a new bridge."

Whitby Bookshop will be selling first editions of Vampyre Labyrinth: Red Eye, which are available to order.

The author will only be exclusively signing copies of the book in Whitby.