Bud­ding au­thor Dar­ron cooks up a novel chil­dren’s tale

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - By GEMMA DAVID­SON

A FA­THER-of-two from Barkham has pub­lished his sec­ond chil­dren’s book in as many years.

Dar­ron Love, 46, took up writ­ing as a hobby when he be­came a stayat-home dad in 2011.

Once his chil­dren both started school, Dar­ron de­cided to ful­fil his life-long am­bi­tion of be­com­ing a writer, and be­gan work­ing on a se­ries of books called An­nie’s Gran­nies.

He said: “It’s a mod­ern take on a chil­dren’s story, a lot of chil­dren th­ese days spend a lot of time with their grand­par­ents so I de­cided to write a book about An­nie and her two gran­nies.

“The gran­nies are ut­terly use­less, in the first book (An­nie’s Gran­nies in Dec­o­rat­ing Dis­as­ter) they try to re­dec­o­rate the house, but it all goes hor­ri­bly wrong, and in the sec­ond book (Cook­ing Calamity) they try to bake cakes for a lo­cal fair, but again, it goes dis­as­trously wrong.

“It is al­most in the style of Rik May­all and Adrian Ed­mond­son in that it is very slap­stick, but the sto­ries are very much for chil­dren!

“I like to think the books are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent as well, be­cause at the end of ev­ery story, An­nie writes a di­ary en­try ex­plain­ing what hap­pened, what she learned and a few health and safety tips.”

Hav­ing teamed up with il­lus­tra­tor Sarah-Leigh Wills, Dar­ron, who is orig­i­nally from Ip­swich, has self­pub­lished both books, and is hope­ful for a third in the se­ries.

He said: “Sarah-Leigh is great, I came across her work on the in­ter­net, and her illustrations were ex­actly what I’d en­vi­sioned for the books. I give her a brief of what is go­ing on in the story, and she comes back with some won­der­ful de­signs, I’ve been very lucky.”

Although keen to get a pub­lisher on-board to make the rest of his books a re­al­ity, Dar­ron is pleased with the re­cep­tion his books have re­ceived so far.

He said: “I visit schools in the lo­cal area to give talks and to read my books to the chil­dren, and they re­ally love the sto­ries.

“A real wow mo­ment for me was when I was in­vited to talk at my old pri­mary school back in Ip­swich, it was a sur­real ex­pe­ri­ence but re­ally lovely that they asked me to come back to read.

“An­nie has a dog called Vin­cent, who is ac­tu­ally based on our fam­ily dog, so he gets a lot of ‘awws’ when I give my talks.

“I don’t charge the schools for my vis­its, I know a lot of au­thors do but I just love spend­ing time with the chil­dren and see­ing them lis­ten­ing to my sto­ries is won­der­ful.”

An­nie’s Gran­nies: Cook­ing Calamity and Dec­o­rat­ing Dis­as­ter are avail­able now from Ama­zon. For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.dar­ronjonlove.com.

WIN! Signed copies of An­nie's Gran­nies books

TO WIN a signed copy of BOTH An­nie’s Gran­nies books, sim­ply email your full name, ad­dress and con­tact num­ber to con­tests@ wok­ing­ham­pa­per.co.uk. Usual terms and con­di­tions and con­di­tions ap­ply. Clos­ing date Fri­day, Novem­ber 17.

The win­ner will be no­ti­fied by email on Mon­day, Novem­ber 20.

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