Thursday, April 24, 2014
An avid traveller is hoping for publishing success after entering a national competition with her series of children’s books based on her backpacking adventures.
Over 14 months Sarah Bates visited 14 countries and she now hopes to inspire the next generation of explorers through her illustrated picture books, that follow-four legged friend Roddy the Magic Cat around the world.
Sarah, who was born in Great Yarmouth and grew up in Hemsby, dreamt up the idea for her series of books while backpacking around the globe with her boyfriend, and started to pen the first of Roddy’s adventures while on a cramped 12-hour bus ride through Laos in south east Asia.
After returning to the UK in January 2011 she began work on a manuscript for her debut book, The Amazing Adventures of Roddy the Magic Cat, which has now secured her a place as a contender in Britain’s Next Bestseller - the winners of which will scoop a publishing deal.
Sarah, 40, is keen to see her work in print and hopes to inspire youngsters through Roddy’s tales.
“What I’m trying to do is plant that seed of adventure in the hearts of children, so when they’re older they might remember something they have read in one of these books to motivate them to travel, because it’s such a wonderful experience,” she added.
During her trip Sarah, a former Flegg High School pupil, travelled through Asia, China, Indonesia, New Zealand, north America and India and met tribes and holy men along the way, something she was keen to do to soak up the country’s culture.
She said: “It was amazing, we got involved with so many things. In Vietnam we went to see the Hmong tribe, in Malaysia we met Tibetan monks and in Bali we stayed with one of the most revered monks.”
After returning to Worcestershire, where she now lives, she left her career in marketing and is now a full time yoga teacher while concentrating on her writing, as she has at least another six books planned in the Roddy series.
All of them are based on her real-life travel experiences with illustrations taken from some of the 15,000 photos she took while backpacking.
In the first book Roddy travels to Nepal to realise a lifelong dream to see Mount Everest. Along the way he is accompanied by Hobo the dog, who guides and teaches him about life in the mountains.
And the four-legged title character is also based on real life.
“Roddy is one of my own cats,” Sarah said. “I refer to him as the magic cat as he would disappear and suddenly re-appear at my seat.”
She is now hoping her furry friend’s adventures can scoop a winning place in the Bestseller competition, run by Live It Publishing.
The winners are decided by the number of pre-ordered copies their title gains. A minimum of 250 orders will win her a publishing contract but she is hoping to land 5,000 to scoop the bestseller title, and has already hit 10pc of her target since launching her competition campaign last week.
To support her, and for more information about how to pre-order a copy, visit www.britainsnextbestseller.co.uk and search for Sarah Bates.