Author Paula defies cancer and releases second in children's trilogy
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Paula Fowler lives in East Boldon with husband Jeff Fowler. They have a daughter Beth, 21 and son Sam, 18.
Paula, 54, is a former bank worker who was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in October 2017 and given no more than six months to live. Six years later she is a fully fledged writer.
Book One, Wizard Beano and Pals, was released in March. Book Two, Wizard Beano and Pals Help to Save the Planet, is out in October. The trilogy is completed when the third book comes out next summer.
Wizard Beano is a magical character who lives in the cherry tree in a Hastings Hill back garden. The character was invented 60 years ago by Paula’s father-in-law Joe Fowler, now 87.
When the family had a first great grandchild, Paula asked former shipyard worker Joe if she could write more stories, linking the ones he invented for his children and grandchildren.
The books come with an activities sheet, with a pound donated to Cancer Research for each sheet sold. The sheets aim get youngsters to see various places around the North East including Penshaw Monument, Roker Pier and Tufa at Sunderland’s marina.
The books are aimed at children of all ages and illustrated by Seaham artist Kylie Dixon.
Paula has given numerous talks in schools and other venues. Cancer is not grinding her down. She is also involved with a prom dress fair, also for Cancer Research.
She said: “I’ve stayed alive for six years now, whereas they gave me three to six months at the beginning.
“I’ve redirected my career, using my skills to keep myself busy. You don’t have to be defined by your illness. It’s nice to say to people when they ask what I do that I’m an author, instead of saying I’m dying of cancer.
“I’m managing to live in harmony with it. I’m not cured, but I don’t look unwell. It’s classed as terminal, but you think positively and give it your all. I’ve got a good support network and good friends and family.”
The books are £8.99 and available at local stockists, Amazon and at www.wizardbeano.com.