Cornwall holiday inspired South Norwood mum’s first novel

GENE BRODIE, our education and libraries correspondent, reports on how a South Norwood mum-of-two has turned an idea from a holiday walk into her first published book

Emma Hope-Fitch’s first book has just been published

A Croydon mum, Emma Hope-Fitch, is celebrating becoming a published author for the first time, as her illustrated children’s book, Jenny D Bloom – The Tin Whistle, is hot off the presses.

The book is the result of a year’s effort, helped by illustrator Richy Lamy who provided the artwork for the adventure story set in Cornwall which the author calls “a ripping yarn”.

Mother-of-two Hope-Fitch told Inside Croydon, “I’ve been a South Norwood resident for 20 years and as much as I love this town, my second favourite place to be is Polperro in Cornwall.

“I had the idea for the story after a long coastal walk with Chris and my boys. We sat in the Blue Peter Inn looking out at the view – it is just such a magical place to be. I wrote it with my boys in mind.

“I thought it would be quite cool for them to read a story with places they recognised in it. I showed it to some friends, who have been wonderfully supportive, crossing Ts and dotting Is for me.

Artist Richy Lamy provided the illustrations for the ‘ripping yarn’ set in Cornwall

“Richy Lamy, who is an amazing artist with the ability to include humour in his work, agreed to illustrate the the text for me. I think that must have been quite tough, as I handed him a copy full of scribbles and sticky labels.

“Ultimately we have put together a novella about, I’m hoping, a rather genderless child, dealing with loss, absentee parents, exciting yet somewhat unreliable friends and learning to find their own strength.

“That sounds rather heavy, but it really is just a ripping yarn that I think younger readers – and a few older ones, too – will enjoy.”

The book, which is self-published (“It never occurred to me to approach a publisher when you can do it yourself,” Hope-Fitch said), is available to buy from Amazon here.

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