A SOUTH Tyneside author has written his own success story – after being inspired to open a new chapter in life by his grandchildren.
Kenneth Newbrook dreamed up a host of creative yarns to entertain his family of little literature lovers, and they proved such a hit that he was persuaded to put them into print.
The former Merchant Navy man and marine supervisor has already had four children’s books published – with another two being released next month.
The 71-year-old, of Northfield Gardens, South Shields, only carved out his new career 10 years ago when an old computer being discarded by the office where he worked caught his eye.
He brought it home and after slowly learning how to use it, typed out his tales for his grandchildren.
Mr Newbrook, who has two sons, seven grandchildren and four great- grandchildren with another on the way, said: “I used to always tell stories to my grandchildren.
“I started writing the stories and would give them one to read, and they would ask for more to give to their friends.
“They are children’s books that tell stories from the history of South Shields.
“Roman Smugglers is all about Arbeia Roman Fort, and smugglers who are trying to steal Roman treasure.”
After winning such positive feedback from his grandchildren and their pals, he took his ideas to publishers and soon saw his words shared with a wider audience.
Mr Newbrook has also found a unique link that makes the whole community feel included.
Not only does he take the lead role in the series, along with his late Border collie Spot, he also finds space for his friends.
He added: “I put many people I know, especially from the Cleadon Club, in the books as characters.
“I am always getting people asking if they can be in the next book.”
His fusion of fact and fiction also takes centre stage in Amy’s Birthday Doll, written about his own granddaughter.
The book takes Ken and Spot on a trip back in time to 1867 to deliver a lost doll to a little girl.
Ken soon realises he is in the same year and town where his great-grandfather was married, and plays a part in the wedding.
Mr Newbrook used real names from his great-grandfather’s wedding day to add a touch of reality to the unfolding drama.
The Magic Medallion is due to be released in early January, by Trafford Publishing, with The Green Bottle following later in the month.
The paperbacks are available by logging onto internet site Amazon and searching for Kenneth James Newbrook.