"Tommy and the Order of Cosmic Champions" - Coming-of-Age, Low Fantasy

Anthony Grate

Living in the past on a daily basis.
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This is something that I and my colleague have been working on since the Fall of 2020, and it's finally scheduled for release this Fall through Greenleaf Book Group.

"Tommy and the Order of Cosmic Champions" was born out of an idea I had been toying around with for several years - loosely based on some of my own childhood experiences and sweetened with healthy doses of '80s nostalgia, fantasy and adventure.

Novel Cover Mockup - Greenleaf 4 Smaller.png


Synopsis:

Eleven-year-old Tommy Grant is trying to deal with some unfavorable circumstances that are intruding in his otherwise tranquil life in rural 1980s Ohio. He retreats into the thing he loves most... Order of Cosmic Champions. The long-running and highly successful animated program and line of toys provides Tommy with a much needed boost of joy, especially when he discovers that the manufacturer that produces OoCC is holding a nationwide "Create-A-Character" contest. The winning design will be made into an action figure that will be sold the world over, and its creator will become "President For A Day" at the headquarters of the company.

But when Tommy's character design loses out, he feels his world spinning out of control, and he can only think of one way to fix it... find the kid that submitted the winning design, and try to convince him to help make Tommy's dream come true.

When he runs away from home to travel hundreds of miles into the frightening unknowns of the world, he begins to have visions of some all too familiar characters. Soon the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred for Tommy, and his quest becomes much more than he anticipated.

Promo_SFFChronicles.png


While many would categorize the novel as "middle-grade fiction", it is not written specifically for that audience. It is actually written for those like me... Gen X adults with a deep appreciation for the pop culture, magic, and innocence of our youth. Sure, it can safely be read to children of about any age, and the protagonist is barely out of elementary school. But that is as far as this story goes to appeal to them.

I have struggled to find the perfect combination of TV shows, films and books to compare this story to. But I don't think it's too difficult to see this as a mix of "Masters of the Universe" and "The NeverEnding Story".

We worked extremely hard to pack this story with as much heart and nostalgia as the narrative would allow. If you are a GenXer, a parent or both, I feel certain this story will pull on some heartstrings.

Promotional Stuff:

In the time between submission and publication of this novel, I really wanted bring some of Tommy's world into ours, with the hope of giving the reader a chance to see, hear and touch Order of Cosmic Champions for themselves... just as Tommy would have.

To that end, I spent many hours and suffered plenty of headaches (and a deep emptiness in my wallet) and managed to produce the following in limited amounts (anywhere from 100 to 1,000 depending on the item):

1. Action Figures:

Tommy loves his Order of Cosmic Champions action figures. So having brand name quality figures manufactured was my first endeavor. I decided on having the novel's primary fictional hero and fictional villain created. I spent weeks trying to find the perfect combination of 3D sculptor and overseas manufacturer. And while there were several missteps along the way, I eventually saw this process all the way through to completion.

Mechani-Ghoul Production Sample.png
Fierce Phantos Production Figure.png

Mechani-Ghoul Production Sample Back.png
Fierce Phantos Production Figure Back.png


2. Soundtrack:

I wanted to piece together an officially licensed soundtrack to accompany the novel. Songs that fit certain elements of the story, but could still be enjoyed without ever knowing a single thing about it. Not only that, but I wanted a few original songs, particularly a "theme" song. So I hired none other than Emmy winner Stan Bush (known for his '80s soundtrack credits - Transformers: The Movie, Bloodsport, Kickboxer, etc.) to create an amazing theme full of that '80s motivational rock sound.


Once I had all 17 songs either created or licensed, I had promotional USB drives, disguised as audio cassettes, created to house the music.

Tape.png


3. Animated Intro:

Next, I really, REALLY wanted to have a fully animated intro for the "Order of Cosmic Champions" cartoon created. I wrote a script for it, then began the arduous task of finding an animation studio overseas to bring it to life. This way, readers could watch the intro to the cartoon as Tommy would have seen it.


4. Mini Comic and View-Master:

Additionally, I scripted a mini comic similar to those that accompanied "Masters of the Universe" figures in the '80s and had that created. I also had custom "View-Masters" made that came with a reel full of 3D "Order of Cosmic Champions" imagery.

minimal-magazine-mockup-featuring-a-customizable-backdrop-1107-el.png
ViewMaster with Reel.png



5. Store Shelf/Standee:

The most recent thing I had created was a cardboard shelf/standee combo that local shops/stores could use to display the novel and any promo merch.

2.jpg


So, as you can see, I am ALL IN on this book. It is something extremely close to my heart, and I couldn't have made it happen without my colleague and friend Anthony J. Rapino. I owe him a great deal.

I managed to get some of my favorite '80s child stars to do early video reviews of the story, with more on the way...


You can all access a four chapter preview of the novel (this is a .pdf copy of the manuscript and does not represent the final formatted novel), the full soundtrack and the mini comic online. Visit the links to each and use the password "Tommy" to enter each.

Thanks for checking this out!
 
That's an astonishing amount of promo work - best of luck with everything. :)

EDIT: Btw, where can the book be found? You did remember to include a book in your book promotion didn't you? ;)
 
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That's an astonishing amount of promo work - best of luck with everything. :)

EDIT: Btw, where can the book be found? You did remember to include a book in your book promotion didn't you? ;)

I suppose there should be a book in there somewhere. LOL.

It’ll be available online and in stores in mid-October. I’ll know more about which stores are carrying it closer to the release date, but online it will of course be available on Amazon.
 
disguised as audio cassettes
Some of us still use tapes;)
Best of luck -serious work, taking things to a whole other level.
FWIW, I found the preview hard to view, the text sees to be in an image format and wouldn't zoom in -I've almost certainly missed something but just so ya know. (y)
 
Kind of Gobsmacked! In a good way.
There are some great 80s vibes in the music!
 
Some of us still use tapes;)
Best of luck -serious work, taking things to a whole other level.
FWIW, I found the preview hard to view, the text sees to be in an image format and wouldn't zoom in -I've almost certainly missed something but just so ya know. (y)

Thank you!

So for the text, on desktop/laptop there is a full screen option that is much easier. I think you get that by clicking in the book area.

On mobile, there is a downloadable .pdf option, which is easier to use.

Kind of Gobsmacked! In a good way.
There are some great 80s vibes in the music!

Thanks Joe. Yeah, I was definitely going for the retrowave sound along with classic pop and rock sounds.
 

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