A BRADFORD teacher who left her job to pursue a life long dream of becoming a writer has published two children's books.

Jenny Collins, who graduated from Nottingham University with a degree in English and worked as a primary school deputy headteacher for over 15 years, wanted to realise her ambition after lockdown put life on hold.

Published under the pseudonym 'Jenny York', the Greengates resident is the writer behind the Sugar and Blaze Adventure series with each of the illustrations made by her creative husband Luke.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, Jenny said: "It comes from just a love of reading. Reading, writing, for me it's about imagining things and creating things and I always as a kid loved reading. I felt it was a way to get out of yourself and just escape for a little while. I was really passionate as a teacher about teaching reading and writing as a way to dream really.

"I loved Matilda. I loved it because it reminded me of myself. It's what made me want to be a teacher. I wanted to change children's lives. I worked in the inner city for so long because I really wanted to help children that have extremely hard lives. That book made me want to be a teacher.

"More and more I started thinking, I want to be creating these stories and not just reading other people's. I used to write stories as a kid and being a teacher it's very busy.

"I've got two children and they were at home all day everyday, lot of energy, so we'd start going for a walk through the woods each morning just to brighten up and get fresh air. As we were walking through the woods I was making up stories about the woods.

"I had quit my job to try and do this writing. I felt like there was something to write. With my children at home and friends with younger children saying they were finding the lockdown hard I felt inspired to write something that would cheer children up. I just felt like this was a good opportunity to just spread some joy and really get children giggling.

"It's incredible to hold in your hand, two finished books. To hold them in your hand and see them, just the most amazing feeling. It's so exciting.

"One of my daughters has started saying, 'I think I'll be an author'. It's nice to have sent that message to my kids and my friends' kids that they can achieve these things too.

"It's wonderful to hold in your hand a thing you have made. It's very inspiring once you've done one you think, I can actually do this."

The books have received five star reviews with some writing that it gave them "lots of laughs" - exactly what Jenny wanted to create for children and parents who have spent many months at home.

"Children work so hard at school," Jenny said.

"They miss that time with their friends. Children have a lot to cope with. Most children, to be honest, they have a lot to deal with which is why I think it's important learning to read. It has been a hard year for them and a hard year for parents and a hard year for teachers.

"Everybody's had a really tough year. It's been nice to feel like I was doing something to put a bit of joy back into the world."