Since the publication of my debut book, Poppy on Safari, I've been very lucky to have had the
support from the local bookshop, Wyre Forest Books.
I love bookshops - especially Wyre Forest Books, in fact, it's easily one of my favourite shops. You're guaranteed a warm welcome from owners, Nick and Calne. Their selection of books is amazing. I can quite happily stay in the shop for hours - there are that many great titles on the shelves. The children's section is lovely and with its illuminated miniature tree, it has a cosy and magical feel.
Back in the days before Covid, Poppy and I enjoyed an afternoon at Wyre Forest Books, with the children. It was a wonderful, informal afternoon, chatting about books, dogs and the safari park.
When my second book, Tammy and Willow, was released in November 2000, the plan was to hold the book launch at Wyre Forest Books, but unfortunately, Covid struck and - as you all know - everything was put on hold.
Now, I'm hoping to make up for what has been not only a huge disappointment but also a very worrying and trying time, by celebrating the launch of Poppy Loves Devon at Wyre Forest Books. 📖🎉
It's a celebration not only of all the hard work that went into writing, editing, publishing and now promoting the book but also to mark the beginning of the summer holiday - and what better way than a book that's set in sunny Devon?! 🌞⛱️
Sunday 17th July will not only be a celebration of Poppy Loves Devon but also a celebration of all things good and cherished in our lives - for me, that's family, my dogs, friends, good health, holidays, Wyre Forest Books and also other great indie bookstores such as :
Bookshops are the best - and why? Because there is so much talent collected under one roof. There are so many books out there and even more fascinating, engaging, educational, entertaining and thrilling releases yet to hit the bookshelves. There are amazing illustrations and beautiful book covers, all a masterpiece in their own right.
When I hold a book in my hands and imagine the time and hard work that went into producing it, I can't help but respect the author and illustrator and the team working with them. There is so much more to a book than a story. OK, so not all books are my cup of tea, but whether I enjoyed the story or not, I have huge respect for the author. Writing books is not easy and it's a career undertaken through sheer dedication and a love of the craft - not so much for money, not all authors make it to the J. K. Rowling league!
Speaking from a personal point of view, creating stories is a part of who I am. I can't stop writing. I love the escapism and the control of moving the story and characters to your beck and call. If I don't like the ending, then I'll change it. If a section seems a little slow, then I'll change the pace.
If I'm not writing and drawing then I don't know what my purpose is. I was put on this earth to write, so that's what I do. Period. 😁
It's been a wonderful journey, from walking through the forest during lockdown, watching Poppy tanking through the trees and bushes and getting those first seeds of inspiration, to tapping on the laptop, creating characters, and story arcs and piecing together the beginning, middle and end, to working with my editor, Antonia Prescott, my publisher, Matador books and with the lovely team at Litpr who work with me in spreading the word of Poppy's new release. Now, the book is out there and available for all who love dogs, fun and adventure.
For the book launch this Sunday, my friend is baking doggie-style cupcakes for everyone to enjoy - we just need to make sure Poppy doesn't scoff the lot!! I'm thinking, as the weather is so hot at the moment, maybe a good supply of doggie ice cream would go down well for Poppy too.
If you are free on Sunday 17th July and in the Worcestershire area, then do come along and say hello. It'll be lovely to see you for an informal afternoon chatting about my books, and dogs and I'll read a little from both Poppy on Safari and Poppy Loves Devon - feel free to grab a cupcake too 📖🐾