"Like Blyton, my characters represent positive role models and promote in children the values of honesty, kindness, hard work and courage"
A serving police officer with a passion for the work of a famous children’s author has used her creative detective skills to help her fulfil a lifetime’s ambition to write a mystery book in the style of her childhood fictional heroes.
Zoe Billings (41) from Poppleton near York in North Yorkshire is the author of “The Mystery of Tully Hall” which is based on her love of Enid Blyton’s children’s adventure stories including the Secret Seven and the Famous Five.
Brought up on the adventures of the Famous Five (Julian, Dick, Anne and George and their dog Timothy,) Zoe has amassed a huge collection of Blyton books, memorabilia and videos as well as the original “Look In” artwork for the iconic 1978 TV series.
“Blyton’s books and the Famous Five TV series were full of positive role models for me and taught me personal values such as respect, integrity, caring, and truth telling. When you add plain and simple fun, with good old-fashioned adventure, you have the perfect children’s book,” said Zoe.
“With “The Mystery of Tully Hall,” I’ve added my own slant and life experiences and brought the style of storytelling up to date by giving the characters James, Barrie, Jenny and Liz mobile phones and tablets. However, they soon learn that these are less useful than brain power and teamwork.
“Like Blyton, my characters represent positive role models and promote in children the values of honesty, kindness, hard work and courage. “
Unlike Blyton however, Zoe has added even more realism to the book by examining some of the insecurities that today’s children may experience such as lacking confidence, worrying about saying the wrong things or feeling inadequate compared to their peers.
“I felt that it was important to add some of these traits so that the children can relate to the characters and learn from their experiences too,” added Zoe.
The book is set in the fictional Tully Hall in North Wales and revolves around the renovation of the Hall and the mystery surrounding the theft of priceless antique silver objects. Due to the popularity of initial sales, Zoe is currently writing and researching the second book in the series which will be set in rural Northumberland.
“The reviews so far have been very positive, and a lot of parents are telling me that their children are enjoying the suspense and adventure in the story as well as the modern feel which makes it easier for today’s generation to relate to.
“I really feel that all of the childhood hours I spent reading Enid Blyton and watching the TV series has led to something fresh and worthwhile for young people of all ages to enjoy and simply escape for a few hours into a world where good always prevails.”
The Mystery of Tully Hall by Zoe Billings and illustrated by Sarah King is available from Amazon.co.uk.
Photo: Zoe Billings with the book (Zoe Billings Credit) PR and Media interviews firstname.lastname@example.org 07814 397951