Paula’s princesses prove a novel idea
A LEIGHTON mum-of-two who recently fulfilled her dream of becoming a published children’s author has credited her recent success to the exacting standards imposed by her own daughters.
Former Cedars pupil Paula Harrison describes daughters – Megan, 8 and Abby, 9 – as her “harshest critics” and thinks their love of adventure helped shape the them of her children’s adventure series - The Rescue Princesses.
The Enid Blyton-inspired stories take the reader on a magical adventure with four princesses who meet at a royal get-together and team up to save injured animals.
Paula’s first book, The Secret Promise, was released this month in Waterstones and WHS Smiths nationwide, with early feedback suggesting she could be on to a winner.
And while she’s determined to keep her feet on the ground, the 38-year-old is confident her sales figures closer to home are sky high.
“I doubt there are many copies left in Leighton Buzzard,” laughed the author. “My mum’s been out buying them all!”
“I’m really happy with the way things are going so far and my publishers Nosy Crow tell me we could be nearing a reprint.
“I’ve absolutely no idea what that means but I’m assuming it’s a good sign.”
Paula combines writing with her job as a part time teacher and says she first began authoring in 2004 as a way to keep her mind active during maternity leave.
What then ensued was six years of hard slog and skill-honing before her big breakthrough came in the 2010 Waterstones Writers Competition, when an early treatment of The Rescue Princesses won Paula not only second place but the belief that her series could be a success.
The Secret Promise is the first of eight books due to be released in the next 18 months as part of the series and Paula believes the move away from the typical saccharine-sweet tone of children’s books will hold her in good stead.
She told the LBO: “I based a lot of the stories on the types of books my own daughters like and I think that kids want a little more excitement and adventure than they are sometimes given to read.
“All the feedback I’ve had so far has been extremely positive, but then I don’t suppose people would tell me if they hated it!”
The rave reviews were echoed by Paula’s publishers Nosy Crow, who claim to have shifted 10,000 copies of The Secret Promise in under a month.
And with an exclusive book promotion with WHSmith in the offing, things are looking rosy for the first time author.
“I think her distinctive style and great sense of wit give Paula the edge over other writers,” said Nosy Crow Managing Director Kate Wilson.
“The first book is selling strongly and we’ve got high hopes for the success of this magical series.”
The Secret Promise is available from all good book stores while the second Rescue Princesses novel, The Wishing Pearl, comes out on June 7.
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North