Komixx has secured worldwide rights to Wattpad “sensation” Ali Novak’s My Life with the Walter Boys.
Novak is described as one of online platform Wattpad’s most successful authors and boasts more than 66 million reads worldwide, according to Komixx. The optioning agreement with Komixx was brokered by Alexander Slater of Trident Media Group.
The news follows a number of Wattpad titles optioned by the independent production company, based in the UK, Los Angeles and Australia, including YA thriller Captured by Kelly Anne Blount, revealed last month, and Beth Reekles’ The Kissing Booth, both commissioned by Netflix. Fellow Wattpad hit Taran Matharu signed a six-figure deal for four books with Hodder in 2016 after initially launching his novel on Wattpad.
Originally posted on social publishing platform Wattpad when Novak was 15, the novel was published in print by Sourcebooks in 2014. The blurb describes “prim, proper and always perfect” Jackie Howard as having her world "turned upside down" by a freak accident, after which she starts a new life on a ranch in Colorado with a family of 11 “handsome boys”. My Life with the Walter Boys is billed as a true coming-of-age story about family, loss, acceptance and young love.
A Komixx spokesperson said the optioning “cements [its] reputation as a leading producer of exciting YA TV and film adaptations…as the company adds to its growing portfolio of content optioned from Wattpad”.
Andrew Cole-Bulgin, group chief creative officer and head of film and TV at Komix, told The Bookseller that sourcing titles from Wattpad is a "very attractive element" for the company. He said: “Digital platforms like Wattpad provide a wealth of fantastic content from young upcoming authors who are setting trends with their writing – and crucially, they also bring with them their large and highly engaged fan base. This is a very attractive element for us as it allows us the ability to develop additional revenue streams from the level one content.”
He added: “As a YA producer, it’s crucial to consider that Generation Z is an audience made up of digital natives, so the best content comes from within their digital roots.”
Novak said: “Komixx’s vision and pitch for My Life With The Walter Boys was exactly what I had envisioned: a family drama series that promised a slice of small town USA. I knew instinctively that they were the right partners for me and I’m thrilled to be offering my fans an adaptation they’ll love.”
Other YA productions in development with Komixx include The Winter Horses (Walker Books) by Phillip Kerr, YA thriller series Itch by writer and broadcaster Simon Mayo and the Monster Republic trilogy from Ben Horton (both Corgi Children's Books).
Writer and producer Jeff Norton told The Bookseller in July that Netflix is filling the gap in the market for YA adaptations left by outlets such as BBC3 moving to go online-only last year as the industry celebrates a "golden age" for children's TV.