By Richard Shore | A Children’s Book Author
Richard Shore, a father of two children, was born and raised by the sea in Sussex, UK, and moved to Ireland in 2009. Having a passion for reading bedtime stories to his children, he combined his own love for the sea, outdoors and writing, and decided to create short, imaginative adventure stories for his two children. He now publishes two book series – Hurrahtum Adventures! and Will’s Wild Adventures – to make a bedtime story special.
How Bedtime Stories Began:
My other hat when not writing bedtime stories is marketing.
I started in the industry when I was 16 and haven’t left since, apart from travelling and working in Greece (one of the most amazing experiences of my life).
And because my client work involved copywriting, both writing it myself and reviewing it from copywriters, it felt a natural step to write children’s books.
This moment came in 2009 when I moved with my family to Co. Waterford, Ireland for lifestyle reasons. At the time my daughter was four years old, and son two. Inspired by my travels and the new adventure to Ireland, I thought it would be a great idea to write unique, personal bedtime stories for my children.
At this point they were not published. They were printed copies, with hand-drawn illustrations, and pages bound neatly with covers. They now have them safely tucked into their bedside cabinets.
The Writing Journey:
But why did I do this?
One thing I realised having children is that they grow up quickly, and really quickly. The baby phase passes in a flash, as does the learning to walk stage, and so on.
As a dad, I didn’t want this childhood time to go quickly without marking it somehow. Don’t get me wrong, days out and holidays are what memories are made of, but I also wanted something they can keep and have for the future.
So choosing to write bedtime stories was the perfect idea. They get to enjoy them growing up, and also have something for the future, perhaps for their children.
And at this point in their childhood, reading a story at bedtime, in fact, at any time of day, was really important.
As a busy parent, it can be difficult to find that quality time with a child. There is always something to do, something to organise – life just gets in the way.
So making a bedtime story a habit, part of your daily routine – means that you don’t miss out on that special time. And that’s apart from the benefits of reading to your child.
It wasn’t just the evenings that were exclusive to reading.
I also read to them in the mornings at the weekend. Poppy would go and grab a book of her choice, and Will would do the same. They would then climb into my bed, and the reading would begin – only after I’d finished my cup of tea though!
And if there was plenty of time – they could choose two books each – happy days!
Hurrahtum Adventures! is the series for my daughter Poppy. It features 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. Current books include:
The Tangled Tuna is my latest book in the series and also features an important message – highlighting ocean plastic pollution and ghost fishing.
I discovered that ghost gear – lost and abandoned fishing gear from the commercial fishing industry, is a major ocean polluter.
Ghost gear can remain in the oceans for hundreds years, continuing to catch fish and other animals, before breaking down into microplastics. Approximately 640,000 tonnes enter the world’s oceans every year, making up at least 10 percent of all marine pollution.
So in November 2020 I launched The Tangled Tuna, where Lucy rescues tuna caught in a discarded fishing net.
I’m delighted to say too, that I’m proudly supporting Ocean Generation with the book – a non-profit organization 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.
Will’s Wild Adventures:
My son’s series is Will’s Wild Adventures – based on a boy who lives in an amazing wilderness. He lives in a log cabin 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.
Books in the series include:
What’s Next for Richard Shore?
I’m keen to develop more stories that involve the outdoors, and also use the stories to highlight topical issues.
It’s really rewarding writing stories and using them to educate children, like with The Tangled Tuna. Being a dad, you always want to do the best for your children. Writing stories is another way to help shape your children for the better.
Maybe as a dad creating books isn’t for you. But there are so many other things you can do to help with their childhood. Maybe it’s cooking, swimming, making things or gardening – whatever you feel is important will go a long way.
All books are available to download via Amazon, to read on any device through the Kindle App.
Keep up with Richard by Following Him on Twitter @Richardshorebks
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