It had always been my dream to write a book. Finally years later I achieved my dream. I focus on using my spare time to create stories that involve magic and adventure. A little creature that more and more people are falling in love with is raising awareness for wildlife and encouraging reading.
The books that I have written and self illustrated are being loved by children as well as adults in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and an English teaching school in Kuwait. I try to raise as much awareness as I can about our wildlife. At the moment hedgehogs are on the decline quite badly so I am trying to let people know about that as much as possible and how they can protect them in their gardens. Later on this year my fiancée will be helping me build our very own hedgehog house ready for next winter when the hogs hibernate again. All it takes to try to protect these animals is just a small gap in the fences of gardens so they can wander freely searching for food.
From the sales of my books I donate all profits that I make to wildlife charities. I have so far this year helped a hedgehog rescue by donating two copies of my books for the owners to auction. She raised just over £200 which enabled her to purchase a hedgehog X ray machine and important medication. A couple of months ago I handed over a cheque for £211 to Nuneaton and Warwickshire wildlife sanctuary. That money was raised by working hard doing a raffle and tombola that I did involving my characters, which with gift aid will boost that amount up even more and provided enough food to feed the sanctuary animals for two weeks. Once all my books have been sold I will be donating all the profits to the same sanctuary but along the way I hope to help others as well. I am waiting for a response on volunteering a once every couple of weeks at a bat rescue. I am hoping that one day in the future we might be able to have our own sanctuary as I would love to be able to help animals even more.
It is incredible how many people out there already help animals. Doing all my research has led me to discover there are so many animals out there in need of help. That is quite sad really but it is also nice and encouraging to know there are so many animal lovers out there as well, dedicating their lives for our wildlife.
The characters from my books are touching the hearts of so many people. On my Facebook page I post interesting and unusual animal facts and I wish people a Happy birthday. I try to do that every day to brighten peoples day up. My books are about a lovable new kind of creature called a Bush-hog who often gets mistaken for a hedgehog even though he looks nothing like one! He is smaller, has shiny metal spikes and unlike hedgehogs likes to sleep at night! With his friend Fluffy the cat he embarks on many adventures learning about new animals in a fun and exciting way. With added humour my books make my hobby extra special as I love to do all the research involving the animals and trying to think of funny jokes to include.
I have created magnets, bookmarks and activity sheets which I give away to make people smile and I have even done comic strips and an animation on You tube featuring my characters. I am always looking for new and exciting ideas to make people smile and I never thought that my passion for writing and drawing would get so big! I have been on BBC radio, had appearances at schools and done so many events at libraries and even a restaurant! I have done two events at Bromley house library,Nottingham in July, I am booked in for The tropical butterfly park in Sheffield in August, Wacky Warehouse, Bermuda park, Nuneaton in September and Escape children’s play center, Giltbrook, Nottingham. I have even been invited to go to Spain to write a story about a resort involving the staff and the mascot that they have for the children who visit the hotel. I have had celebrities give me words of support and even Hannah Spearit from S club 7 and Primeval requested a copy of my book!
Writing my books has made me so happy and I am already thinking of the next one! The little Bush-hog can get up to anything so there are plenty of adventures waiting to be discovered.
I hope that I can continue to make people smile, encourage reading and help animals as well I am always being told how proud people feel of me but I could not have done it without the support from my family and friends.I love doing what I do and love living my dreams. It is the best hobby that I could ever have wished for