Updated: Jul 3
What inspired you to start writing?
I have been singing, writing poems and playing music since I was a child. The inspiration for this book was a combination of the enjoyment I had performing my previous children's book/song to children in HMV and Waterstones last Christmas, the story for that "The Cold North Wind" was a bit dark however, but smaller children would dance to the music, and it was a really nice thing to see. As such I was inspired to write something much lighter and happier for children to dance to as well as read. I also found myself in a bit of a sad place last December and so I think I wrote "The Sleepy Bear of Leafy Wood" as part of a self-healing process to cheer up the child within myself.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I listen to lots of music from classical to folk, from Motown to progressive rock.
What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
I suppose the key message looking back on it, is that life is a song, and that when you have friends around you who join in with you singing that song it's a nice place to be.
Did you enjoy adapting your story into song?
For me as a songwriter, the story became poetical lyrics for the song and entwined together with the music - the book is a beautiful, interactive representation of the poetry and song, with Illustrations!
What was your favourite story as a child?
Adventures With Rosalind by Charlotte Austen.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
I Love Music
Describe your writing space...
I am really lucky to have grown up by the sea in Weymouth Dorset. And although picturesque along the old Georgian seafront, the Weymouth I love is the Chesil Beach, The Fleet, Sandsfoot and the Nothe, which is where the real beauty of Weymouth is. From my little house I can see across Portland harbour to the cliffs at Lulworth. So, my workspace is the whole costal area near my house.
Do you listen to audiobooks?
If so, are there any you would recommend? I suppose my favourites would be Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry, and Master and Commander, read by Robert Hardy.
If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be and what would you cook?
It would be Richard Attenborough, and I would give him a bag of dry roasted peanuts and a bottle of Speckled Hen.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
I would like the reader to take away the feeling of happiness that bear finds when summer returns once again,
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
I have a website for more of my work at www.thesleepybearofleafywood.com
Watch and listen to the Song & Book Teaser here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq3o1LMjJGo
The book is beautifully illustrated by Noah Warnes, with animated video by Gary Jenson.
Where can readers get in touch with any questions they may have about your book?