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Magical tale to feed the imagination

PUBLISHED: 19:12 09 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010

PIXIES, dwarves, fairies and tales of magic and mystery from the pen of a novice author will have readers spinning back in time.

Suffolk born and bred Steven Barrell has brought the county's folklore to life in his first ever book, which is intended to feed the imagination of youngsters.

PIXIES, dwarves, fairies and tales of magic and mystery from the pen of a novice author will have readers spinning back in time.

Suffolk born and bred Steven Barrell has brought the county's folklore to life in his first ever book, which is intended to feed the imagination of youngsters.

The book titled, 'Whoosh…!! A Tale for the Winter Solstice, has proved to be popular with more than 300 books being sold already.

Set in 1901 in a fictional town called Towebury Wick two young children have a magical tale to share with those who are prepared to believe, let their imagination fly.

Although the town is supposed to be made up, Mr Barrell said it has some striking similarities to real places in the area.

He said: "People keep trying to guess which place it is supposed to be."

Mr Barrell, who comes from Martlesham, said the book is intended to be read to children rather than them reading it themselves.

He said: "I just wanted to do something a bit different and could see space for it when I read children's stories."

Included in the book is the chance for the children to e-mail some of the characters with addresses such as mistletoe-faeries@solsticetales.co.uk.

Working as an analyst for Willis insurance brokers in Ipswich, this is the first book that the 41-year-old has managed to write – but it has been on his mind for a long time and has been dreaming up the characters for a while.

He published the book himself and Ipswich artist Hilli Thompson did the illustrations for him.

It has to be said that the pictures are far from traditional and some critics have found them a cause for concern as there is no definite outline and look slightly smudgy.

But Mr Barrell feels they add to the whole point that the book is there to feed the imagination and children can see what they want within the pictures.

Now he has managed to put pen to paper for the first time he is planning on writing more – after all there is still the summer solstice to consider – and he hopes he may one day have a bash at writing for adults.

Copies if the book cost £5.95 and are available from Extravert, PO Box 59, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4, 5BJ.

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