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Last Updated: Monday, 15 March, 2004, 07:43 GMT
Debut novel lands $1m Disney deal
Clive Woodall
Clive Woodall has cut his hours at Sainsbury's to write a sequel
A supermarket manager's debut novel has been bought by Disney for $1m.

Clive Woodall, 47, of Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, wrote One For Sorrow, Two for Joy 11 years ago as a bedtime story for his sons.

It is a tale set in Birddom where a robin is given the huge task of saving the world from evil magpies.

Mr Woodhall, who works at Sainsbury's in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, said: "The past few months have been a dream come true for me."

He has been passionate about writing all his life but never expected to see his work in print, let alone as a Disney film.

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy has a timeless beauty and a haunting morality
Film-maker Franc Roddam
Disney's advance payment for the film rights has allowed Mr Woodall to cut his hours at Sainsbury's to devote two days a week to writing the follow up, Seven for a Secret.

He writes in his dining room, looking out onto his garden which contains about 20 bird feeders.

"It is a wonderful moment to have the book on the shelves," the author said.

"It is something like nine years trying to get it done, so it is a very important moment and support has been wonderful."

Film-maker Franc Roddam clinched the Disney deal for Mr Woodall.

'Household name'

Mr Roddam, who directed the cult classic Quadrophenia and produced Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Masterchef and The Canterbury Tales, said he was captured by the beauty of the writing.

"One for Sorrow, Two for Joy has a timeless beauty and a haunting morality which transcends age and society and which grips you from the opening pages.

"I'm thrilled to be behind this project. To secure a film deal with Disney before the book was even published is, to my knowledge, unheard of.

"It's only a matter of time before Clive Woodall becomes a household name."


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