The Wokingham Paper

Budding Barkham author Darron cooks up a novel children’s tale

Barkham author Darron Love with his dog, Vincent
Barkham author Darron Love with his dog, Vincent

A FATHER-of-two from Barkham has published his second children’s book in as many years.

Darron Love, 46, took up writing as a hobby when he became a stay-at-home dad in 2011.

Once his children both started school, Darron decided to fulfil his life-long ambition of becoming a writer, and began working on a series of books called Annie’s Grannies.

He said: “It’s a modern take on a children’s story, a lot of children these days spend a lot of time with their grandparents so I decided to write a book about Annie and her two grannies.

“The grannies are utterly useless, in the first book (Annie’s Grannies in Decorating Disaster) they try to redecorate the house, but it all goes horribly wrong, and in the second book (Cooking Calamity) they try to bake cakes for a local fair, but again, it goes disastrously wrong.

“It is almost in the style of Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson in that it is very slapstick, but the stories are very much for children!

“I like to think the books are a little different as well, because at the end of every story, Annie writes a diary entry explaining what happened, what she learned and a few health and safety tips.”

Having teamed up with illustrator Sarah-Leigh Wills, Darron, who is originally from Ipswich, has self-published both books, and is hopeful for a third in the series.

He said: “Sarah-Leigh is great, I came across her work on the internet, and her illustrations were exactly what I’d envisioned for the books. I give her a brief of what is going on in the story, and she comes back with some wonderful designs, I’ve been very lucky.”

Although keen to get a publisher on-board to make the rest of his books a reality, Darron is pleased with the reception his books have received so far.

He said: “I visit schools in the local area to give talks and to read my books to the children, and they really love the stories.

“A real wow moment for me was when I was invited to talk at my old primary school back in Ipswich, it was a surreal experience but really lovely that they asked me to come back to read.

“Annie has a dog called Vincent, who is actually based on our family dog, so he gets a lot of ‘awws’ when I give my talks.

“I don’t charge the schools for my visits, I know a lot of authors do but I just love spending time with the children and seeing them listening to my stories is wonderful.”

Annie’s Grannies: Cooking Calamity and Decorating Disaster are available now from Amazon. For more information visit www.darronjonlove.com.

WIN! Signed copies of Annie’s Grannies books
TO WIN a signed copy of BOTH Annie’s Grannies books, simply email your full name, address and contact number to contests@wokinghampaper.co.uk. Usual terms and conditions and conditions apply. Closing date Friday, November 17.
The winner will be notified by email on Monday, November 20.

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