Holden Sheppard: Stan develop Invisible Boys TV show filmed in Geraldton, The Brink wins Indie Book Award

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Holden Sheppard’s books are being made into a TV series and winning awards.
Camera IconHolden Sheppard’s books are being made into a TV series and winning awards. Credit: Supplied/TheWest

A Geraldton-born author is on his way to becoming one of Australia’s leading authors, with his novel being developed into a TV series and another winning a category in the national Indie Book Awards.

Holden Sheppard is making movements in the creative realm after his debut novel Invisible Boys was scooped up by Screenwest and Stan to become a TV series, his second book was released and he started work on his third.

Invisible Boys
Camera IconInvisible Boys is being made into a TV series. Credit: Supplied/RegionalHUB

Sheppard said Invisible Boys was currently in active development with Stan as a 10-episode series and would be filmed in Geraldton.

“I had every hope Invisible Boys would make it, but for most writers your main goal is to get your book published and that can take 20 to 30 years of your life,” he said.

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“To have it in film is really exciting.”

Sheppard was one of two WA Authors who dominated the Indie Book Awards. His second novel The Brink, which was released in August 2022, was named the 2023 Best Young Adult Book of the Year.

Calling it “sandgroper supremacy”, Sheppard said he was stoked to be on the list with established WA author Craig Silvey, who won the 2023 Book of the Year and Children’s Book of the Year for his novel Runt.

“Craig obviously is one of the biggest names in WA; to be on the same list as him feels very cool and very special. He’s always been very supportive of me and given me advice,” Sheppard said.

The Indie Book Awards are voted on by book sellers nationally and Sheppard said the award was a huge achievement.

“It’s voted on by indie book sellers who are hand-selling books to customers — they know what people are into and what they’re reading. I was absolutely stoked to have The Brink win an award,” he said.

The Brink
Camera IconThe Brink Credit: Supplied/RegionalHUB

Judges commended Sheppard’s handling of multiple point of views, the pace and character development in The Brink and said it offered an immediate hook.

They also recommended The Brink as a Year 12 text due to the relevant subject, credible resolutions and the realness of drama, characters and conflicts.

Sheppard went on tour around Australia in the second half of 2022 for The Brink and while he’s keeping busy with the adaptation of Invisible Boys, he’s also writing his first adult fiction novel.

“I’m writing my third book at the moment; it’s due to my publisher later this year. It’s an adult fiction about an alcoholic gym junkie with anger issues facing up to his past,” he said.

“I hope readers like it. I’m diving into my first draft with about 7000 words so far.

“I grew up in Spalding and it didn’t look like that would be a great place to start a career as a published author, but I encourage regional authors to chase their dreams because it might pay off.”

Follow Sheppard’s Facebook for updates.

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