John Duckers - a former business editor Birmingham Post and Mail - wrote his children's book in 1983
A former journalist has published his debut children’s book – 30 years after he penned it.
The Amazing Adventures of the Silly Six tells the story of Angus McMonty, a snake who is really a softie, Felicity, the dog, Suzi, the cat, Percy, the parrot, Nasher, the hamster, and Mole.
Mr Duckers, who now freelances in PR and the media, said: “I wrote it in the typewriter era and, despite being turned down by publishers at the time – it was and still is very difficult to break in as a first time author – I have always believed in it.
“Children seem to like it.
“So last summer I dusted it down, put the 40,000 words onto computer, revamped small sections and got it prepared for another push.
“Kids at St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School, in Birmingham, and Alford Primary School, in Aberdeenshire, have kindly illustrated it – my immense appreciation to them – and then it was all systems go.”
The book is aimed at a wide audience of youngsters, primarily in the 5-12 age range, many of whom would feel at home in a world of tumbles into muddy puddles, ghostly fears and April Fool’s Day practical jokes.
It follows the story of the six-strong gang, who get into all sorts of scrapes.
Their adventures range from meeting up with an escaped kangaroo from the local zoo to travelling to Inverness in search of the Loch Ness monster.
Mr Duckers, from Moseley, has spent all his career in the media, but this is his first book.
An award-winning journalist, he spent 16 years on the news side of The Press and Journal in Aberdeen, a major regional daily across the north of Scotland, and then 18 years as business editor of the Post.
After initially being turned down by publishers when he first penned the book, he is now self-publishing with a view to helping Birmingham-based charity Cure Leukaemia.
He added: “Publishing has undergone a revolution in recent years so driving the whole thing myself was not a problem.”
James McLaughlin, chief executive at Cure Leukaemia, said: “This is a wonderful gesture by John and our thanks go to him for making this contribution.”