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Help Helen realise her literary dream

Author Helen Ashton with dog Wurgo and Mark Nelson-who illustrated her book.

Author Helen Ashton with dog Wurgo and Mark Nelson-who illustrated her book.

A Fylde author penning her first collection of books is calling on a kind-hearted Gazette reader to help realise the ambition of a lifetime.

Helen Ashton, of Upper Westby Street, Lytham, has written a series of short stories based on the adventures of George the Unhappy Spider, an arachnid with a poorly leg.

But for her goal to be achieved she needs the backing of a publisher, which is so far proving difficult.

The 50-year-old, who is married to former England and Fylde rugby coach Brian Ashton said: “I’ve penned seven out of 10 books in the collection so far, but for it to become a reality and for the books to be published, I need the backing of an agent and national publisher.

“It used to be the case that you would pitch a story to a book company and they would back you, but in recent years it has become much, much harder. It is just so expensive and difficult to get off the ground.

“I’ve managed to produce around 50 basic copies of my first story about George, but the hope is someone reading this can help out.”

Joining Helen in her bid for literary recognition is Fylde Rugby Club head coach Mark Nelson.

A talented artist, he has provided a series of illustrations for the first George the Unhappy Spider book and recently held an art exhibition at the rugby club where 16 of his paintings were sold.

He said: “Essentially I split the time between rugby coaching and painting.

“Helen asked if I would get involved and I was only too happy to help out. The books are extremely well written and will be well received by children, parents and schools alike. Helen has a real flair for it.”

Helen added: “I had produced the words for the first book four or five years ago, then when we moved to Lytham three years ago I first got to know Mark and that he was an artist.

“When I spoke to him about the books he produced some designs – it was if he had read my mind.

“He’s given me around 15 drawings to use already.”

The books are aimed at children aged between six and eight, but can be read by those up to the age of 11.

Helen, a former marketing officer at Swindon Town Football Club and Bath Rugby Club, said producing a collection of books had always been a huge ambition.

She added: “I turned 50 this year and it made me realise there were so many things I wanted to do, with this being top of list.

“I realise it is very difficult, but I hope someone reading this can give me some help or guidance on how to realise my dream. Many people have read the books and said how good they are.”

If you can help Helen, contact 07734 731499.

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