A Highworth man has just published a book he wrote 30 years ago after finding the manuscript in his attic.
Chris Birdsall discovered the forgotten draft for The Zandies, an illustrated children’s book, which he wrote when he was a young journalist in Lancashire .
And now he has fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition to be an author by publishing the book which features fantastic creatures from another planet.
Chris, 52, of St Michael’s Avenue said, “I was in my early twenties when I wrote the book. It was a flight of fancy brought about by a new settee we bought which I thought looked like a hippopotamus. I then began thinking what if animals could be used as furniture and household appliances? So I created a world where people were so lazy the animals had to do everything for them and creatures like The Sofapotomus, the Griller and the Showertoise were born.
“I got my friend Steve Butterfield who was the cartoonist for the newspaper I was working on at the time to do the pictures and he did an amazing job in bringing these animals to life.
“I found us a publisher but they sadly went bust before they could publish the book. I then moved south and the book was forgotten about until I found it tucked away in a file, in a box whilst I was rummaging around in the loft .
“Originally it was called “The Furnimals” but since I wrote the book, Ricky Gervaise brought out The Flannimals and I thought it sounded too similar so I changed the name to The Zandies (as in “that’s handy” which sounds like “that zandy”).
“As a communications specialist I was lucky to have good contacts in the design and print world and I worked closely with old colleagues from Romec in Swindon who were very patient and made sure the book looked exactly as I wanted.
“It is a fantastic experience taking a book from a simple idea to having a copy of it in your hand.
“The hardest part was tracking Steve down after all these years but luckily I found him. He was very surprised to find he had a book out but is very pleased with the results!”
The book features a number of creatures who act as everything from vacuum cleaners and showers to wardrobes and doorbells for the Slobblings, the laziest beings in the universe.
Chris said he also hopes to sell the books to schools and has produced a special work sheet which has a quiz, comprehension exercises, discussion topics, and art, drama and music exercises for children.
“I have had some really positive feedback so far from both individuals and schools and if it all goes well, I have already discussed a sequel with Steve.” said Chris
The Zandies is available from CBC Publishing, 10 St Michael’s Ave, Highworth SN6 7JZ price £4.99 + £1 P&P. It is also available online through Amazon, Waterstones and WH Smith.
For further information contact: Chris Birdsall 01793 766822 or 07912 496019 or at email@example.com