By Lesley Cordell
Hi Fraser and all Feed My Reads readers
My name is Lesley Cordell. I’m sixty-two years old. Married with two grown up daughters by marriage and five grandchildren with another one on the way – all things being well!
I joined the Metropolitan Police in December 1977 one of the first intake of women officers to do the same job for equal pay. I retired after 30 years to look after my father who had Parkinson’s. Returning to Hertfordshire I re-connected with old childhood friends which was lovely, including my now husband Raymond who was my childhood sweetheart!
I have always loved reading. My childhood wasn’t the happiest and escaping into books was definitely my safe & happy place. My favourite book was Black Beauty and anything else to do with animals. As soon as I got my pocket money, I would catch the bus into town to buy a book. I can still recall the pleasure and excitement of going into a book shop. The local library was one of my favourite haunts too.
As a police officer you write a lot of stories. Everything you do is recorded in a notebook for posterity. As you can imagine over 30 years, I had written a lot. Maybe that is why I joined a writing group for something to do after Dad had died.
I never ever wished to become an author. But one week the lesson was on anthropomorphism. Some of you might recall a TV programme called Animal Magic hosted by Johnny Morris. Johnny would do voice overs for all the animals in a zoo. Well, that’s anthropomorphism. For homework I wrote a story about a little cloud who fell in love with the Sun.
The class loved the story. Several of them who were retired teachers pointed out what a great teaching tool it would make. Honestly, I had no desire to be an author, so I did nothing about it whatsoever. However, one person, Paul, would not let the matter drop. First of all, he asked a friend who did computer pictures in her spare time to do some illustrations. Eileen set about the task with great enthusiasm. The pictures were brilliant. I allowed her to put a book together and send it out to publishers. To my relief….. nothing was heard! My friend Paul was not so easily defeated. By this time, he had become a published author himself. He contacted a publisher about mine and Eileen’s book and Angus The Little White Fluffy Cloud Who Fell in Love With The Sun was published!
Once you become a published author the hard work begins. Feeling forever indebted to Paul, Eileen and Len my publisher, there was nothing to be done but throw myself into social media and try to sell Angus. In February I didn’t even have a Facebook account. Now I work all day at social media. It is a full-time job!
If you want to become an author. I would say go for it! Join a writing group or form one. It’s a great means of support. Just write your story and if you can’t get the attention of a traditional publisher then self-publish. It is no longer considered second rate. There are a lot of very good self-published authors. But also… after you have published and friends and family have bought their copies, be prepared never to sell another book unless you make publicising your book your job. On the upside there are wonderful moments when you read a review of your book. Angus has had amazing reviews from parents and
educators. They are what keep me going!
Angus The Little White Fluffy Cloud Who Fell in Love With The Sun is a cute and clever story that explains the earths water cycle and how clouds and rainbows are formed. It also crosses the curriculum to cover mindfulness, personal, social and health education.
However, first and foremost Angus is a love story. Two beings that are unsuitable partners fall in love. Good advice from friends is ignored. There is deceit, peril and tragedy. There is a lesson to be learned, “Sometimes getting what you want is not good for you!” A happy ending: it is after all a book for 3 to 5 year old’s! Although children as old as seven have been reported to love Angus!
My second book has now been published. Again, with gorgeous illustrations by Eileen D’Gama. Gordon The Little Ghost Who is Very Bored is getting great reviews and I’m
hoping that he will be the bed-time story for a lot of children this Halloween. I had a lot of fun writing the action scenes when Gordon has to defeat some scary monsters.
Gordon is a little ghost who lives all alone in a big empty house and is very bored. His friend Oli the owl has a bright idea, but it involves a long journey and outwitting the mighty guardians of a secret wishing well.
A delightful and humorous story about two friends who go on an journey to solve a problem. When they are faced with overpowering odds, they have to use their imagination and wits to survive and complete their quest.
My third book is currently being illustrated. Travis The Little Tractor Who Couldn’t Stop Laughing. Fresh from the showroom a nervous Travis finds all the animal antics on the farm very funny. And you know what happens sometimes when you laugh…….. well there’s a lot of that on the farm. But because of Travis’s happy approach to life. ‘Dreary Day Farm’ is renamed ‘Happy Day Farm’.
I’m now working on a series of books about a Granny with a Magic Coat. Three have been written and I suspect that there will be a lot more. She really is a great character, and her child ‘sidekick’ may have to grow up to be a wizard!
Eileen and I would like to thank all of our readers for their support. Firstly, for buying our books and secondly for all the lovely reviews that you have taken the time to write and post. They mean the world to us both.
You can find me on FB Twitter Linked In Instagram and Tik Tok. I will be delighted to hear from you and answer your questions.
My favourite thing to do …… go to a beach with Hubby and the dogs Tiny Tiff and Buster,
our elderly rescue staffies.