A TEACHER in a Royal Wootton Bassett school followed her dream of becoming an author after being inspired during lockdown.

Sarah Louise has taught at Noremarsh Junior School for seven years and thought about the colourful characters which would populate her story for primary school children.

The pandemic prompted her to put pen to paper and write about a little girl called Emily and an imaginative escape in Meet the Grubblers.

She said: “I’ve written short stories for years. I started writing this book ages ago and then over lockdown I really just went for it and adapted it a little bit to incorporate the lockdown.

"Basically, it’s about a little girl called Emily at the start of lockdown and it is the imaginary world that she goes into to help her manage.

"But it isn’t really an imaginary story because the lockdown really happened to her didn’t it?

“This book travels back to the Victorian times and the Grubblers are these funny little men and women who ended up losing the rights to their woodland home years ago and now want it back.

"Emily, is on a different quest but fate pushes them together and, although they have different aims, the Grubblers try to use the girl to get to their end."

Sarah asked teaching assistant Amy Ashworth to come up with creative illustrations for the first in what will be a trilogy of tales.

Amy, who has a background in art, graphics and fine art from university added: “I’ve never done anything like this before and it was the biggest challenge I’ve ever done, because to read a book and to then do drawings of what you think the author wants them to look like was quite a big pressure.

“The first Grubbler I drew was similar to my husband, and the final one’s like my dad. So, I got there in the end of how he needed to look. Sarah would come back and say he needs to be a bit chubbier and grubbier and or his nose needs to be a bit more squashed like a troll.

“Doing the book with Sarah just felt like a bit of teamwork, there wasn’t a lot of pressure, we just did it together and it felt really right, I would love to do more."

Each book will have a different setting, with the second book focusing on deforestation and the third going to Ancient Rome.

Sarah added: "The second book is where they go into the rainforest trying to persuade people not to ruin the world. They’re quite educational topics.

“I’m busily writing the next one. It will feature the same characters but will be a longer book featuring more of Amy’s wonderful illustrations throughout.”