Injury proves inspirational for budding Feniton author

PUBLISHED: 11:30 27 March 2015 | UPDATED: 08:50 30 March 2015

Feniton resident, Paul Gillard, with his new book he's launching. Ref mhh 1293-12-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Feniton resident, Paul Gillard, with his new book he's launching. Ref mhh 1293-12-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

Paul Gillard penned his first book, Amy the Ambulance and Friends, in 2013.

A Feniton father-of-two is celebrating the launch of his children’s books - inspired by an accident which has put him out of work since 2011.

Paul Gillard, 44, of Acland Park, suffered a severe back injury four years ago, and had to undergo major back surgery in 2012 as a result.

But his road to recovery was cut short after he stepped off a curb without his walking stick, further damaging his existing spinal damage.

This meant Paul had to go under the knife again in 2013, scuppering his anticipated return to work as a lorry driver.

No longer behind the wheel, he turned to writing - penning his first book, Amy the Ambulance and Friends, in 2013.

“At the time, it [writing] was a way to keep me active after the surgery,” Paul said. “When I wrote the book, I had just broken up with my ex-wife and had undergone major back surgery.

“There was a lot going on, so writing was a way for me to escape the reality.”

Self-published, Paul said he is delighted after several major stores snapped up his books. These include WHSmith, Waterstones and Amazon to name a few.

But despite his initial success, Paul, who has lived in Feniton for eight years, admitted he is nervous about how the public will take to his stories.

“You look at me and you don’t think ‘there’s your stereotypical author,’” he added. “I’m a 3rd dan black belt in Ninjutsu, I have tattoos - but I have always done stuff for children. I teach martial arts, I have done presentations for Feniton Primary School pupils, and have taught them PE as well.”

The first order of Paul’s book will be with him soon - but only 60 are available.

For more information, and to order, email paulgillard70@gmail.com

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