It all started in the car driving home from Nanna’s house after an early celebration of Gemma and Joel’s birthdays, both due later that month.
It was 2013, my first year as the girlfriend of their dad, Tony, and I was still a bit of a novice at the whole pseudo parent thing.
“What would you like for your birthday, Joel?” I asked innocently.
“1,051 more birthdays in a row,” he replied. At nearly six, 1,051 was his favourite number.
Although I couldn’t give him the requested number of sequential birthdays, I could write him a story about it. He was quite a fearful lad with a passion for custard creams, and so I weaved a fairy tale in which Prince Joel is visited by his Fairy Godmother who grants his wish for 1,051 birthdays. And so was born the first Beespoke Book PRINCE JOEL’S BIRTHDAY WISHES.
Joel loved his story and next time he was hesitating at the top of a zip wire. We reminded him about Prince Joel. His expression changed, as if something inside had clicked into place and he launched himself down the short drop.
I have been writing since I was five and bashed away on our ancient typewriter creating stories which all began, in the best tradition of Enid Blyton, “It was the first day of the hols…” At this tender age I decided that, as I had Juvenile Chronic Arthritis, I would become an author (or arthur as I wrote in a my homework aged 11) rather than a detective as I probably wouldn’t be very good at running after baddies.
A few decades of life getting in the way and maybe it was time to get back on track. After all, if his story had helped Joel face his fears perhaps I could do the same for other children. The seed of Beespoke Books had been planted.
I am very lucky to have secured the skills of the very talented artist Martin Tidy, who I have known since before he studied Children’s Illustration at uni, when we both belonged to the same amateur dramatics company. He is now settled in New Zealand with his wife Carys and son Bastian, with Tiny Tidy Two due in the autumn.
It has taken a while to get up Beespoke Books up and running and there is still a lot to add to the site before it fully represents my vision. I hope you Like we have for you so far.