Magical memories, the natural world and Halloween fun: The latest books by authors from Leamington, Kenilworth and Warwick
Here is a round-up of the great new books by our talented local writers
King of the Woods
By Richard Butterworth
A local author whose book tells of a magical friendship set in the suburbs of Solihull and the country lanes of Warwickshire says that Kenilworth Books is a rare treasure.
“My friend died unexpectedly in his forties, and I decided to write a book about our 30-year friendship,” says Richard Butterworth, who grew up in Solihull, later living in Leamington and working in Kenilworth.
“It initially started off as a present for my friend’s mum, who had outlived him, but as I wrote I realised that our friendship had existed in some strange fantasy lands, and it finished up as more of a collection of fairy stories than a biography.”
Once Richard had finished writing he was surprised to find that there were no literary agents based in the Midlands.
“They’re mostly based in London and maybe stories set in suburban Solihull wouldn’t have meant much to them, so I decided to self publish.
"Then I found there were barely any independent bookshops left in the Midlands either, Kenilworth Books being a glorious exception. It’s sad because maybe there are a lot of local voices like mine struggling to get heard through a London-centric publishing filter. Kenilworth is so lucky to have Kenilworth Books.
"One of the themes of King of the Woods is the magic of proper bookshops, so I’m really happy that it’s for sale in Kenilworth Books; it’s a proper, old fashioned bookshop and should be cherished.”
King of the Woods is available at on Amazon, but Richard said he firmly advises against buying it there.
“Buy it from Kenilworth Books, because it comes with 75 per cent extra bookshop magic for free,” he said.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves and Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas
By Julia Rawlinson
Julia Rawlinson from Kenilworth has just published her latest books from the Fletcher’s Four Seasons picture book series.
The new books are Fletcher and the Falling Leaves and Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas, published by Graffeg.
Fletcher and the Springtime Blossom and Fletcher and the Summer Show were published in May.
The books were featured recently as part of one of Kenilworth Books' window displays to celebrate the launch of all four books. There are also four more Fletcher books on the way – details of all the books are on Graffeg’s website: https://www.graffeg.com/graffeg-to-republish-popular-fletcher-the-fox-picture-book-series/Julia said: ‘The character of Fletcher is very dear to my heart – he owes a lot to my childhood self, with a sprinkling of my own children.
"He’s wonderful to write for, big-hearted but easily confused, bubbling with curiosity and empathy as he explores the natural world through the seasons."
Keep Out, Be Good and Don't Come Near!
By Stuart Hennelly
Local artist Stuart Hennell from Warwick has recently self-published his first children's book called 'Keep Out, Be Good and Don't Come Near!', written and illustrated by himself. It is a haunted house themed picture book featuring ghosts, ghoulies and gargoyles and other creepy antics that is great for a Halloween read!
Stuart said: "I have always loved to draw and have always loved illustrated picture books since I was a boy. Working in a primary school, I have seen so many different illustrated books that have inspired me to write and illustrate my own book which was fun and I thoroughly enjoyed designing.
"The book follows two boys that discover a creepy old house and all the creepy goings on that they find lurking behind the door! It is a full colour picture book that is available on Amazon and also signed copies are available on special request on my Facebook page."