Judging a book by it’s cover

Hurrah! Tomorrow is the day that my book will be available to pre-order!

‘Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech and their Troublesome Transformation’ is the title of my children’s story. Written in simple rhyme and illustrated throughout it is a tale of four anguished mini beasts. Deeply troubled by their appearance Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech wish for a miracle to transform them to beauty. They are befriended by Miss Stick (mystic, geddit?!) Insect who offers her assistance through the incredible powers of her mind and positive thought. She helps the creatures achieve what they think will be a marvellous make over. But Miss Stick Insect also has a valuable lesson for the creatures. As they begin to realise their new found beauty has come with some catastrophic consequences, Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech are forced to see that being beautiful has not made their lives complete and they are faced with a difficult choice…

In the early stages of putting my tale together I reluctantly abandoned any urges to focus on fuzzy, buzzy bumble bees or other cute critters in favour of my little invertebrates. I veered toward creatures usually excluded from children’s stories to prompt thought and discussion in my audience: WHY are we so dismissive of them? WHY do they make us squirm and grimace? WHY are we so repulsed by these petite wrigglers? WHY would they not want to be themselves?

On the cusp of my pre-order campaign and with these questions in my own mind I felt it necessary to get to know my bloodsucking burrowing buddies a little better and to face my own preconceptions head on. Here is what I discovered:

Shockingly, a person can be referred to as a ‘worm’ if they are weak or despicable despite the fact that our little wormy friend is actually 1000 times stronger than a person. And I’m sure you know that if you accidentally chop one in half whilst digging your garden – one half will live on regardless!

A person can be referred to as a ‘leech’ if they extort profit from others, but incredibly the leech is actually quite giving – both anticoagulant and anaesthetic produced by the leech is used in medicine for the production of drugs. And that is not all! The leech has 32 brains , and because of the similarities between their nervous system and ours, they are often used in investigative work into human brain disorders. Wow!

A person may be maggotreferred to as a ‘maggot’ if they reject societal norms and have tendencies
toward deviant behaviours – but in fact the maggot actually greatly reduces the bacterial levels around them – the maggot is always what eliminates most of a decaying animal carcass on land. On top of that, like their dear friend the slug, the maggot has also done it’s bit for medicine. Maggot infested wounds
heal faster – fact! Go maggot!

Last of all, a person may be called a ‘slug’ if they are slow or lazy….. but the slug is clearly not THAT lazy: they have been present in the British Isles since the end of the last ice age, an individual slug has the potential to produce about 90,000 grandchildren AND the slug’s slime allows it to glide without difficulty over broken glass or even a razor blade. Quite remarkable really!

So if you’re puzzled as to why I would want to write a story about these slimy, creeping, limbless beasts think again. Our dear friends Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech may also have the ability to capture the interest of some of our younger generation in order to explore and embrace diversity, to challenge preconceptions and to celebrate talent – wherever it may be found!

‘Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech and their Troublesome Transformation’ is available to pre-order from Friday 28th March at http://www.britainsnextbestseller.co.uk

Thank you for reading! x





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