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West Kirby based Richie Dean, who can usually found looking after guests in his role of restaurant manager at the Chester Grosvenor’s iconic La Brasserie restaurant, said the lockdown meant he got to spend more time with his boys and spent many hours making up stories on the spot for them, especially at bedtime.
‘I usually work in the evenings and often miss out on bedtime, so I was determined to use my furlough period to spend as much time with the boys as possible. They kept on asking for more stories about ‘Mark The Shark’, an imaginary character I came up with one night and it just stuck. It got to a point where they were asking for ‘Mark The Shark’ every bedtime, so I started making some notes of the stories.’
Richie’s two young sons, Mason 9 and Roman 2 couldn’t get enough of the tales but it was only when a close friend of the family Tom Clothier, told him about a new scheme to encourage budding children’s authors, that his dream to launch ‘Mark The Shark, really started to take shape.
“My friend Tom runs an online Toy Store on Amazon called TX Toys. When he told me about the scheme I thought I might as well give it a try. So I finally put pen to paper properly, found an amazing illustrator, submitted it to Amazon and two months later my book went on sale.”
So what’s the story all about? As the title suggests ‘Mark The Shark’ and how he forges a very special friendship with a small plant he buys from a local shop. Over the coming days and months their friendship develops and the pair help each other to grow in ways they never imagined.
With over five hundred sales in his first week and two more books in the pipeline does Richie think he will move to publishing full time? “No I don’t think so. I absolutely love my job at the Grosvenor and can’t wait to be welcoming guests back again. I’ve really enjoyed writing the books but more than anything, I love seeing my older boy Mason read the story to his little brother and I’m really proud to have created this lovely keepsake for my boys.”
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