Covid-19 isolation gave a Newbury mother and daughter the chance to finish their children's book - now available in Waterstone's and on Amazon
A mother and daughter from Newbury are celebrating completing a children’s book – while isolating with Covid.
Sally Seager and her daughter Lowri had been discussing the creation of their story for a while, but when they were forced into isolation together in March 2020, as the Covid pandemic began to take hold, they used the time to finally put pen to paper.
The story is an endearing tale about Raffles, an adventurous springer spaniel – based on the family’s pet – who discovers a long forgotten magical secret in grandpa’s old antique shop.
Miss Seager is an musculoskeletal physiotherapist who now works in Dubai, but last year her move abroad was put on hold and she was redeployed into the intensive care unit at Reading’s Royal Berkshire Hospital as the country went into lockdown.
Mrs Seager is a children’s nurse, who now works as the senior practice nurse at Falkland Surgery – where the patients have been eagerly following the progress of Raffles' story.
“I was really fortunate I could be here and help here,” Miss Seager said about the past year. “It was really hard but I felt in a really privileged position.
“And the book wouldn’t have been where it is if we hadn’t been in lockdown together.
“We have both always liked the idea of writing a children’s book and in 2019 we wrote down a few ideas and were brainstorming.
“Raffles is eight now and he’s so friendly and full of life and to be able to bring his character into a book is amazing.”
Mrs Seager added: “We wanted it to be a broad range of books where we could go in any direction, to any country.
“We are both grinning from ear to ear [about the book]. It went to press yesterday and we can already see it available to buy on Waterstone’s and Amazon, so that’s great.”
Mrs Seager said that they hope parents and grandparents will enjoy reading it to their children.
She added: “We are halfway through the second book and hope to bring out his second adventure next year. This time we are going to Egypt and grandpa is going too.
“There is a bit of education in there too; it takes people away from themselves. Children need to have that imagination.”
They were able to celebrate the book’s launch at a special party at The Woodpecker pub, in Wash Water recently.
They were joined at the party by Layla Cope, a Newbury-based mural artist who illustrated the book, and Jane Read, the editor and proofreader who ensured it became “a polished book”.
The first chapter book, Raffles Discovers the Magic, which is aimed at children aged six to 10, will be published on November 18 and is currently available to pre-order.