South Shields grandad-turned-author due to perform first public readings of work at borough library

A South Shields grandad-turned-author is set to perform the first local readings of his story-telling work, after the publication of the first in a series of children’s books.

The former shipyard and NHS worker from South Shields has during the coronavirus pandemic turned his hand to creative writing, having penned a number of children’s stories in which his three-year-old grandson, Daniel, and several borough landmarks feature prominently.

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His first book, ‘Strange Trips and Weird Adventures’, was published on Wednesday, June 30, and is currently available to order. The next title in the series, ‘Blenkinsop Blabbermouth and the Ghost of Broderick McCaffery’, is expected to be released early next year.

Three-year-old Daniel James Walker Martin with his grandad's book, the 'Strange Trips and Weird Adventures' children's story.

Now, with the help of The Word cultural centre in South Shields, Mr Pattison is due to perform two readings of his first book at the Cleadon Park Library on Prince Edward Road.

Community leaders have spoken of their delight that the South Shields author will be carrying out the first official readings of his work in the borough.

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“We are very much looking forward to welcoming John to Cleadon Park Library to talk to local school children about his book,” said Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure.

“Readings like these give our youngsters a wonderful opportunity to come face to face with an author and are a great way of engaging them in stories and sharing in a love of libraries and reading from a young age.

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John Walker Pattison, author of 'Strange Trips and Weird Adventures', with three-year-old grandson, Daniel James Walker Martin.

“I’m sure the children will be very excited to enjoy a special visit to the library to hear from John, to learn more about what inspired him to write his first book and about his journey to becoming a published author.”

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Mr Pattison told The Gazette that he is looking forward to engaging his ‘target audience’ and to helping instil a sense of the joys of reading among children in the area.

"Yes, really looking forward to giving my first author talks since the publication of my first children’s book, Strange Trips and Weird Adventures, at Cleadon Park Library next week,” he said.

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"I think it’s a real honour for an author to present to children, who, essentially, who have become my target audience, especially ages 9 to 12 years of age.

An excerpt of the 'Strange Trips and Weird Adventures' story - by South Shields man, John Walker Pattison.
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"I haven’t decided how I will approach things as yet, but, I suspect I will talk about my recent retirement and how I came to be an author, of course, the best job of all is being a Grandpa.

“So far, the feedback has been beyond my wildest dreams in respect to this first book, and I am now very excited about the publication of the second, ‘Blenkinsop Blabbermouth and the Ghost of Broderick McCaffery’, which is set in the cliffs of Marsden.

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"From an author’s perspective, the greatest prize, of course, is bringing pleasure through the written word.”

Admission to the readings is free. The events are both due to take place at the Cleadon Park Library on Monday, October 4.

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South Shields grandad publishes first in a series of children's stories featurin...

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