It’s worth mentioning how I first met Stewart. Back in 2002, I started a brief contract at an advertising agency in Leicestershire for two weeks, which actually turned into two years, but that’s another story.
Anyway, guess who had an office next to mine? Yes, Stewart did! We used to talk about PR projects, share ideas, but most importantly, crack daily jokes! It was a great time and good to work with someone with so much media background.
Roll on 17 years and I was scrolling through my Twitter feed one day, only to see a name blasting from the past – Stewart. So, we’ve been in contact again ever since – which leads to this guest post and my journey in writing.
I grew up in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, and have been in marketing since I was 16, starting at a PR company. Since then, I’ve enjoyed marketing management roles that have seen me climb tower cranes to get the best PR story (wasn’t scared, honest), train with the UK’s top Yo-Yo champions (you should see my ‘walk the dog’ trick), and even launched an achingly beautiful hotel with a member of the British Royal Family.
And in all that time, my writing skills have been stretched, honed, developed, and honed even more to help my clients. But it wasn’t until 2009 that I thought about writing fiction – and it was for my children.
In that year, I moved with my family to Co. Waterford in Ireland for lifestyle reasons. And one day a light bulb went off in my head – I thought about writing unique, personal bedtime stories for my children.
Reading a story before going to sleep was always a special time - it makes them happy, and a perfect end to a day.
So I wrote two, short adventure series. For my daughter, Hurrahtum Adventures! It features Lucy, a girl living by the sea, who has amazing adventures when she says a magic word – “Hurrahtum!”
The word magically makes a cove and boat appear, which she has many exciting adventures with. They range from helping a surfer in trouble, creating a birthday present for a friend, and returning a lost seal to its family.
My son’s series is Will’s Wild Adventures - based on a boy who lives in an amazing wilderness – surrounded by a crystal clear flowing river, tall forest, and snow-capped mountains. And when he’s on an adventure, he can get help from a special shed, with every tool you can think of.
So far, Will has helped a beaver family in trouble after a storm. He also discovers a dinosaur after an earthquake, and his latest book sees Will solve a spooky mystery at a mine, and gets an unexpected surprise.
Once I’d developed the series, I set about writing the books on computer. I printed out the pages, hand drew illustrations to bring the books to life, and then created a cover and bound them. My children now have three books in each series, carefully tucked away in their bedside cabinets.
They loved them and I also received other positive reviews. So I decided to publish as eBooks, to be available online through e-readers.
Inspiration for both series comes from as passion for being outside. Whether it’s walking on the beach, rock-pooling, wildlife, woodland walks, survival techniques, or a great love I have - surfing.
Aimed at 3 – 7 year olds, the books are ideal for those who love a heart-warming, adventurous bedtime story. Because they are a series, young children embrace the characters, and quickly relish how Lucy or Will tackles their next adventure.
Hurrahtum Adventures! The Tangled Tuna:
By now, you’ll know I love being outside, particularly at the beach and enjoying the sea.
And for years, I’ve always tried to make a difference when it came to reusing things, recycling materials or repairing broken items. And a visit to the beach was no different when looking after our environment. Seeing rubbish and plastic shouldn’t be happening in the 21st century, so I’d try to fill my car boot with as much as I could.
And through reading articles, I discovered another ocean plastic polluter, but one that was unknown to most – ghost gear. This is lost and abandoned fishing gear that remains in the ocean, continuing to catch fish and other animals, known as ghost fishing.
Ghost gear can remain in the oceans for up to 600 years, before breaking down into microplastics. Approximately 640,000 tonnes enter the world’s oceans every year, making up at least 10 per cent of all marine pollution.
With all this knowledge, I thought it would be not only a great adventure, but also an inspirational one for Lucy’s next book.
And so in November 2020 I launched the fourth title in the Hurrahtum Adventures! series – The Tangled Tuna, where Lucy rescues tuna caught in a discarded fishing net.
I’m delighted to say too that I’m proudly supporting Plastic Oceans UK with the book - a non-profit organisation that has a mission to stop plastic reaching the oceans within a generation.
For every The Tangled Tuna sold, I’ll donate 50 per cent profits to the charity.
Hopefully with this book, it will highlight what’s happening in our world’s oceans, and inspire people to do what they can.
The eBook is vibrantly illustrated and is available to purchase worldwide, priced at £4.99 (or country equivalent), via this link: The Tangled Tuna.
For further information on Plastic Oceans UK: https://plasticoceans.uk/
For further information on all Richard Shore’s books: https://richardshorebooks.wixsite.com/website