Retired city doctor turns to writing children’s fiction

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A retired Sheffield GP has written his first children’s book.

Dr Alan Byron was inspired to write his book, a tale about an extraordinary farmer, entitled ‘Tales of Willow Tree Farm,’ as he felt the market needed a traditional book that called on the charm and innocence of a bygone era of storytelling.

“I was inspired by classic children’s writers like Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl,” said Dr Byron, who self-published through Pyjama Press.

“Today’s young readership needs more innocence and fearless adventure in their stories, about things that happen in the real world. That was my mandate throughout.

“While reading among children has seen a recent resurgence in popularity, many parents are becoming disenchanted with authors’ tendencies to only write about toilet humour, epic battles of good and evil, or vampires. ‘Tales of Willow Tree Farm’ reads as if it was written half a century ago, yet it’s strategically crafted to appeal to the diverse tastes of modern young readers.”

The story follows Farmer Ted and his sheepdog Rounder, and their adventures created by the mystery and theft of a mystical jewel. The jewel is acquired by Ted during his travels in the mountains of Sylvania where he solves the puzzle of an ancient hermit who has been waiting for him for a thousand years.

Alan added: “Initial reader feedback has been extremely positive. It appears people are really picking up on this classic tone in the book, and it’s been very popular among their children and grandchildren. There are many more ideas up my sleeve – so expect another book soon!”

The book is Dr Byron’s third, having already written a handbook and a semi-autobiographical novel. ‘Tales of Willow Tree Farm’ is available on Amazon.