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Featured Author: Christopher Leone

Continuing the series featuring authors with projects in the current Inkshares contest, here’s another excellent entry. From Christopher Leone, proven screenwriter and all-around polite dude, Champions of the Third Planet. Follow Mr. Leone on Twitter: @ChristophrLeone

About the book:
Champions of the Third Planet is a middle-grade sci-fi adventure novel about a boy named Milo who find a mysterious black Orb in the woods behind his school. Soon Milo and four other kids — including his little sister and the kid that bullies him at school — all end up trapped inside this Orb, which kidnaps them to a planet on the other side of the galaxy. It turns out there are thousands of these Orbs throughout the galaxy that are collecting alien life forms and bringing them back to this planet, where our kids discover they MUST FIGHT ALIEN MONSTERS IN A GIANT ARENA. The kids are injected with a super syrum to make them stronger and faster. And even though the kids don’t necessarily all like each other, they have to figure out a way to work together to escape and make it back home before they find themselves eaten, or worse, in the arena.
What nobody expects is: the Earth kids start to win.

About Christopher Leone:
I’m a filmmaker with a background in visual effects based in Los Angeles. My previous project was a science fiction digital feature called PARALLELS that I wrote and directed for Fox Digital Studios that launched on Netflix and Amazon in 2015. PARALLELS follows a small band of travellers as they journey across parallel Earths through a mysterious gateway called The Building. I also co-created, co-wrote, and co-executive produced the SyFy mini-series THE LOST ROOM, starring Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies, Kevin Pollak, and Elle Fanning, and for that I was nominated for a Writers Guild Award. I’ve also written feature film scripts for Sony Pictures, Miramax, and Dimension, and wrote the comic book We Kill Monsters, published by Red 5 Comics.

Q: What inspired you to tell this story? 
A: The idea for Champions of the Third Planet came from a real fantasy I had as a kid about finding a spaceship near my house. I suddenly remembered the fantasy a few years ago and couldn’t shake it. I started to wonder it would really be like if I’d found an empty spaceship when I was 11, both the fantasy of going into outer space and the reality that would set in, the real fears and dangers that come with getting what you wished for. I wanted to write a story that starts off with real, grounded kids, who have parents and school and homework and chores, who end up on a mind-blowing journey that takes them to the other side of the galaxy. I set out to write Champions of the Third Planet as an epic adventure, fun and funny at times, but with life or death stakes and at least one giant heartbreak — it’s the book I wish someone had written for me when I was 10.

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