The book is aimed at the 5-12 age range, many of whom would feel at home in a world of tumbles into muddy puddles, ghostly fears and April Fools Day practical jokes. The Amazing Adventures of the Silly Six tells the story of Angus McMonty, a snake who is really a softie, Felicity, the dog, Suzi, the cat, Percy, the parrot, Nasher, the hamster, and Mole. The gang get into all sorts of scrapes and naughtiness. Their adventures range from meeting up with an escaped kangaroo from the local zoo to travelling to Inverness in search of the Loch Ness monster.
I wrote it in the typewriter era and, despite being turned down by publishers at the time – it was and still is very difficult to break in as a first time author – I have always believed in it. Children seem to like it. Last summer I dusted it down, put the 40,000 words onto computer, revamped small sections and got it prepared for another push. Kids at St. Bernard’s Catholic Primary School in Birmingham and Alford Primary School in Aberdeenshire have kindly illustrated it – my immense appreciation to them – and then it was all systems go. I decided on a completely different route by self-publishing it and linking up with Birmingham-based charity Cure Leukaemia. Essentially the aim is to get it out there for children to enjoy and raise several thousand pounds for a wonderful organisation working with cancer sufferers.”
James McLaughlin, chief executive at Cure Leukaemia, said:
This is a wonderful gesture by John and our thanks go to him for making this contribution. This is our 10th anniversary year and we have been looking to increasingly emphasise our work with children via Cure Leukaemia for Kids. So it is an ideal partnership. They are lovely tales so please get buying.”
Originally from the Wirral, Cheshire, John was educated at Uppingham School in Rutland and Dundee University. An award winning journalist, he spent 16 years on the news side of The Press and Journal in Aberdeen, a major regional daily across the north of Scotland, and then 18 years as business editor of The Birmingham Post. He now freelances in PR and the media, as well as being an Associate Fellow of WMG at the University of Warwick. He is married with two grown-up children and lives in Moseley, Birmingham.
The Amazing Adventures of the Silly Six can be brought direct from Cure Leukaemia (info at cureleukaemia dot co dot uk) for £9.99, of which £3.99 goes direct to Cure Leukaemia.