Bernie Goldie

PhD student lands amazing book deal

A story about a witch clan living on the South Coast has landed a PhD student in Creative Arts offers from a major publisher on a three-book deal.

“I am amazed and excited that this could happen to a first-time novelist,” said Van Badham who is in the last two months before her Creative Writing thesis is submitted.

Her thesis is on “Propaganda Models, the Working Class and Disney's The Lion King”. Van’s PhD project was an epic three-hour play about the Baader-Meinhof gang.

Van is already an established playwright and writer for radio but last year her agent encouraged her to develop a story idea about a witch clan living on the South Coast into novel form.

An unfinished manuscript of 55,000 words was sent out to publishers and within a week she had received offers on a three-book deal.

Pan MacMillan beat out offers from two other international publishers to acquire the rights to what is currently being called The Burnt Snow Trilogy.

The manuscript is already drawing attention from film and TV developers for potential future adaptations. The story is a romantic, paranormal saga about a girl from a sleepy seaside town that becomes a battleground in an ancient battle between witch-clans and witch-hunters.

Van recently left for Europe as her new play commission, The Life and Death of D-Star K, goes up at the Stadttheater in Bern, Switzerland, for its premiere season.

At the end of June, she goes to Germany where her short film Octopus has made the official selection of the Munich Film Festival. Then she will spend all of August in Scotland with the world premiere of her musical Snatch Paradise at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Van returns to Wollongong in October to begin the editorial process for the first of the Burnt Snow Trilogy, with its intended release date of April 2010.