Ferocious Dennis Book Launch & Storytelling
Herne Hill's Newest Hairy Monster
by Gareth Hutchins
A few years ago I had an idea for a children’s book and decided to scribble it down on to a piece of paper. I’ve always had a fairly vivid imagination, but this story was actually based on my childhood memories back in deepest darkest Wales, and my belief back then that there were monsters living in my bedroom. I had a routine that I had to adhere to that involved an almighty run up and then a flying leap in to my bed at night. Obviously, to avoid giving the monster who lived under my bed the opportunity to grab me by the ankles and gobble me up. Thankfully the monster never did manage to catch me (he was a little slow on his feet).
So with these memories still burning in the recesses of my mind I concocted a tale named Ferocious Dennis. It’s a rhyming tale about an unlikely friendship between a small boy and a sock-eating monster who lives under his bed. My idea was not only to entertain, but to teach children that there’s no need to be afraid of the unknown. It also has an anti-bullying message so the hope was to have a positive impact on those either being bullied, or those doing the bullying themselves.
But anyway, the story sat on a dusty piece of paper in a bottom draw of my Herne Hill flat for a number of years, and then one day, after a particularly tiring day at work and yet another train delay, I decided to chase my dreams and so dusted off the story determined to do something with it. I soon discovered however, that getting the story published was a challenging task. Undeterred and inspired by an audio clip of Arnold Schwarzenneger (believe it or not) where he said that you wouldn’t get anywhere if you didn’t believe in yourself and break a few rules, I decided to do this thing myself. So I set up a publishing label (Ferocious Publishing), sorted out an illustrator and dived straight in to the lions den.
Well now it’s D-Day. Ferocious Dennis has been unleashed upon the world and I’m officially a published author (woo hoo!). Having lived in Herne Hill for more than seven years and fallen in love with it’s rugged charms and friendly community, I’m thrilled that I can be doing something in my home town (is it a town?) to help launch the book. So at The Herne Hill Market on November 8th you’ll find myself, the illustrator, the narrator of the audiobook, and a large green monster named Dennis roaming free. We’ll be doing at least two book readings (one at 11am and another at 2pm), there’ll be a colouring in competition for children 10 yrs and younger and there’ll of course be the opportunity for people to purchase their very own copy of Ferocious Dennis. Please come along, say “Hi”, listen to Ferocious Dennis being read and join me at the start of this adventure.
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