Melissa Wareham Talks To Bookbag About How She Became An Accidental Author
I love dogs; in fact, that’s probably an understatement. It’s a bit like saying the Cookie Monster loves cookies.
After spending a fortune on my education, my parents were horrified when I announced my career plans. University wasn’t for me; instead I went to the dogs - Battersea Dogs Home to be exact, to look after London’s waifs and strays. I loved it so much I stayed for 15 years!
When I left Battersea I moved to Sydney Australia where I put pen to paper, jotting down some favourite memories of my time at Britain’s best-loved dogs' home. Those memories became Rescue Me – My Life With the Battersea Dogs (Ebury Press), which reached number 4 in the Sunday Times bestseller list. Rescue Me was serialised in the Mail on Sunday and made into an audio book, read by me (with a cold and a bunged up nose!).
After the success of Rescue Me, Random House Children’s Books asked me to write a kid’s version, and Take Me Home – Tales of Battersea Dogs was born. It featured in the Tesco’s Book Club.
Winston Windsor and the Diamond Jubilee is my first foray into fiction. It’s a rip-roaring kid’s adventure story featuring Winston Windsor, the Queen’s favourite Corgi. Winston’s privileged life is turned on its head when he finds himself on the other side of the Palace gates. He may only have little legs but Winston has a big heart and with some help from a rag-tag bunch of street dogs he meets along the way, Winston becomes an unlikely hero.
He’s a little bit pampered and a little bit pompous but I love this character and can see him getting into all sorts of unique situations.
My next book is Rescuing Gus, a heart-warming and humorous account of life with Gus, an elderly mongrel with a wonky heart, whom I rescued from Battersea Dogs Home. Published by Random House Children’s Books, Rescuing Gus is out in January 2013.
I’m back living in my native London and with the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, I couldn’t think of a better place to be!
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