Mr Charlie Chumpkins

This was the first book I ever wrote. I had the idea when I was a teacher of nine to ten year olds. I imagined what it must be like to be a minuscule person in a giant world. I think I had asked the children at school to write poetry from the point of view of an ant. A puddle would be like an enormous lake, for eample, a needle like a sword and a garden like a huge wilderness. We thought of all sorts of everyday objects and began to imagine how they would appear to us if we were tiny.

The idea churned about in my head for a while. I had always written stories and poems, but an actual book? That was a lot of words. I didn’t know if I could do it, but I decided to try. It was a relatively easy book to write as my first one as each chapter was basically a story. The idea of the book was that a little boy, Sam, is off school sick. Typical of lots of boys, the space under his bed is a filthy mass of junk. Having called for his mum to bring him a hot drink, Sam realises that she can’t hear him. He will have to bang on his bedroom floor instead. Somewhere under his bed is his cricket bat – perfect for whacking.

Well, of course, that’s not the only thing to be found. There is, much to his surprise and disbelief, a little man under there too. His name is Charlie Chumpkins. The book is a catalogue of his adventures. I deliberately ended it on a cliffhanger as I knew I would return to Charlie Chumpkins at some time. Indeed, last year I wrote the sequel, ‘The Further Mishaps of Charlie Chumpkins’.

I may well go back to this character in the future and write a third book about him. These are the only books of mine where I have written a sequel. Every other book is a stand alone book.

The original cover painted by my daughter

Here’s my little man…

Author: helenlaycock

The tiniest detail can spark off an idea. I collect them, like butterflies. They can be strange or beautiful...and, as they flutter around, I pluck them out and use them to write. Sometimes they turn into poetry, sometimes into stories, but a lot of them have grown into something much bigger - books. I have not yet decided whether I am a children's or adults' author as I write for both. So, I'll just call myself a writer.

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