With the aim to teach young children about the world of fishing and get more people out on the banks, Hannah Macintosh presents her wonderful new children's book 'Grandad and Billy Go Fishing,' illustrated by the incredible Happydesigner!
Hannah is a Property Valuer, wife, mother to her daughter Sofia and Author of 'Grandad & Billy Go Fishing.'
She was born in Ely in 1987 and grew up in Cambridge with her parents and younger brother. From an early age she had a real passion for music, played several instruments and sang in a local choir. She loves being outdoors and travelling, especially in Europe.
Her and her husband, Matt, married in 2018 and now have a little daughter, Sofia. They recently set up a company “Bank Life Fishing” the aim of which is to help and encourage more people and families to get out on the bank having fun, making memories and enjoying all the nature has to offer. They have a fishing clothing range for all the family and sponsor two young anglers. They also run special days taking disadvantaged kids and PTSD suffers out fishing for the day getting them away from all the day to day stresses and struggles that they are going through.
Ever since Hannah was a toddler, she loved books. She has very fond memories of listening to her parents read to her. Her Mum had a real talent for making stories come to life and her Dad would often make up his own stories, which was always fun and exciting. These early memories have made her realize how important stories are for children. She hopes to be able to help young children have similar memories by enjoying stories with those close to them. This motivated her to write the children’s story 'Grandad & Billy Go Fishing.'
You can connect with Hannah here!
What inspired you to start writing?
A casual conversation whilst visiting my parents one day planted the seed in my head and the idea grew from there.
How long have you been writing?
This is the first story I have written so I am very new to the writing scene but as soon as I had finished writing the first book I was already starting to think about a second.
What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?
What surprised me the most was how natural it felt. I had never thought of myself writing a book but the day I sat down to write “Grandad and Billy Go Fishing” I was in my element. The words just flowed and before I knew it the story was born.
"Can you share a snippet that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?
Billy was so excited. He felt like he could burst! He just wanted to run around, jump, and shout at the top of his voice ‘I’m going fishing!’"
Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
The main character Billy holds a special place in my heart because he represents so many young children today.
What was the inspiration for the story?
Seeing more children and families getting out on the bank, making memories and experiencing the joys and mental health benefits that fishing brings. My husband and I run free regular fishing events, which are open to anyone (children and adults). Whether you are going through a tough time, suffering from mental health or just want to try fishing for the first time, we provide all the equipment and one to one tuition. We have seen first hand how these days have benefited those who have taken part so I hoped this story would help to give some more families the courage to get their children out on the bank and off the Xbox!
What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
Fishing benefits people in so many different ways. It provides relaxation, head space, focus, joy and excitement. Just being outside in nature is so beneficial for your mental health and is now being recognised and prescribed by health professionals.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
I hope the story inspires and encourages both adults and children to try new things and to get outside and spend more time as a family.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Where to start! For me life is about making the most of every day, seizing opportunities and making memories so I am always looking for life’s next adventure. The things I love to do most are travelling, fishing (lakes, rivers and seas) and spending time with my amazing friends and family especially my beautiful little girl Sofia.
Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.
In 2019 my husband and I did a tour of 10 countries over 3 weeks on our motorbike.
Favourite book when you were a kid?
My parents encouraged my brother and I to read a lot when we were children and I am very grateful they did. For me, like many other children, the Harry Potter series made a big impact growing up and I still love them to this day. Each character and element of the story has so much thought and depth behind it.
Favourite book/story you have read as an adult?
My favourite book that I have read as an adult is: Lone Rider. A true story about the first British woman to ride her motorbike around the world back in 1982 at just 23 years old. It is an inspirational story.
Favourite artist and favourite song?
My favourite artist is Paolo Nutini and favourite song is Better Man (which was also our 1st dance at our wedding). Having been lucky enough to have a drink with him I can also vouch that he is one of the nicest and most down-to-earth people you will ever meet.
What’s your favourite food?
My favourite food is Spaghetti Frutti di Mare (seafood spaghetti), especially if you have caught the fish fresh yourself that day. As a general rule, I could eat pasta all day long and it is a bit of a running joke with our friends and family. I have actually had a 3 course pasta meal at a restaurant in Lake Como in Italy. The ravioli starter I had was just so good that when the waiter came round to ask if we would like dessert I asked if I could have the starter again instead! He was understandably quite confused by this but did oblige.
What is the best part of your day?
Definitely, the best part of my day is coming home to my husband and daughter Sofia.