A Warwick children’s author who is about to give up his job in British Athletics to start writing is ‘really excited’ to see his first book published.
Paul Aldridge, 47, was given the green light to write the official story for the mascots of the upcoming World Para-Athletics Championships and the World Athletics Championships, which take place in London from Friday July 14)to Sunday July 23, and from Saturday August 5 to Saturday August 13 respectively.
The book, entitled ‘Mascots! Go for Gold’, will be on sale as part of the championships’ merchandise.
The switch in careers for Paul, who lives with his wife Jo in Warwick, was jointly inspired by him wanting to go in a new direction, and seeing the birth of his son Aaron, now six.
Paul said: “I’ve been working for British Athletics for 17 years, and I’ve got to that age where I wanted a new career.
“A friend I know was a children’s book editor, and he told me ‘I think you could write.’”
Since then, Paul enrolled at the ‘Golden Egg Academy’, which helps aspiring children’s writers, and he credited them with helping his writing get a lot better.
He had been trying to get something published for six to seven months after he finished the course, but it was not until he suggested writing an official book about the mascots that he was given the go-ahead.
Paul added: “It’s very competitive, but I love coming up with new ideas and I’m super-confident to make a career for myself.
“I’ve got hundreds of ideas, and I’m working on three other books at the moment. I’m hoping the World Championships will be my last athletics job.”
The story focuses on the championships’ two mascots, Hero the Hedgehog and Whizzbee the Bee, and is illustrated by young Coventry artists Ben Barter. It will be on sale on-site during the events for £6.