I’m 35 and live in Ashton under Lyne with my 8-year-old daughter, Erin and my partner Steve. I also have three stepchildren. Family life is so important to me and we are a remarkably close family. I love to read, colour, swim and spend quality time with my family.
I am a teacher. I started my career in teaching secondary school English at a school in Rochdale but moved to special educational needs teaching in 2016. I am currently on a career break. During the lockdown, I have taken some time to write. I have always wanted to write; write anything if it made a difference in some way. Whether that was to make someone smile or make someone think. Strangely most of my ideas come to me when I am going to sleep, so I often write them down in my phone or in a notebook so I can expand them in the morning.
I had always love to read books to my daughter and it was always something she really enjoyed, and still does. When she was younger, we would read together each night, often children’s picture books, and it was just such a special thing that we did each evening. We still love to read together, but these days, we share the reading. Sometimes we even rap the books; It’s just a pleasure for us. The books I would read to her would often make me think, I’d love to write a book. So, one day, during lockdown, I just thought why not. I just wanted to write something down. It was my work in special educational needs and my own personal experience that made me want to write about mental health.
As an avid reader, I felt there was a slight lack in children’s books that focused on the range of mental health illnesses that are on the rise in children. I really wanted something that I could develop as a story but could also stand alone as its own book. I wanted each book to focus on a different mental health illness, but with the continuation of characters. So, I wrote ‘Daniel’s Dream’. When Daniel goes to sleep at night, he goes on different adventures. It is in his dreams that he comes across a monster village. He meets Dex, one of the monsters, and realises that all is not as it seems. It is left to Daniel to help the monsters. It is a beautiful story about friendship, acceptance, and kindness. The first book is an introduction to the characters and sees Daniel helping one of the monsters. The future books in the series, will still see Daniel as the main character, but each book will deal with a different mental health illness. Daniel’s Dream is the first book I have written, and I am busy writing the other books in the series.