Benevolent Barford benefactor bestows gift of publication on Banbury author

A first time author has seen her children's book published just in time for Christmas, thanks to investment from a Barford business man.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 12:42 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd December 2019, 4:01 pm

Artist Emily Gale needed to raise £2,500 to publish her illustrated children’s book, Mighty Maurice.

The book tackles the issue of bullying as the eponymous protagonist, Maurice, is kicked out of his herd and forced to find others who’ll accept him.

Emily said: “It gently encourages parents and children to feel compassion and empathy, and especially with children, the hope is that they’ll remember the message this book gives when life gets hard for them or others.”

The book is aimed at children aged nine and younger and features a colouring in section.

In order to raise the money to publish Emily set up a GoFundMe page but had limited success before having a brainwave.

She said: "The investment came about because after realising that the fundraiser wasn’t really working, I had to come at it from another angle.

"I figured that when charities are trying to raise funds, they usually hold a big event and invite as many wealthy people as possible. Obviously I am not a charity, but the same idea works."

The idea did work as Barford St Michael businessman,Patrick Bradshaw, who found success within the telecommunications sector, invested in Emily and by association Maurice.

Emily said: "I thought I’d send him an email asking if investing would be something that would interest him. The worst thing he could say was no, so I had nothing to lose.

"Luckily, Patrick was extremely enthusiastic about the idea and we met a couple of days later to discuss it, and well, here we are now. I can say hands down that he is one of the nicest and open minded people I have ever met."

Most authors writing process involves months of writing, rewriting and rewriting some more before anything resembling a finished product is created. Emily’s process, however, was somewhat different.

“In all honesty, it took only three hours for me to write having dreamt about it the night before. However, it took a year or so to edit it to its final copy.”

Emily has donated copies of the book to Bloxham Primary School, who have invited the author to talk with the pupils, and intends to donate to more Banbury primary schools.

"To see my book in print is quite unreal. Having written the story in 2016 and slowly developing it, to all of a sudden things falling into place and having it printed is something that I will have to wrap my head around, but I feel so proud that it’s been produced.

"So thrilled that children will be able to enjoy them. I just have to sell them now!," she said.

The book can be bought online here.