A SKIPTON author is living proof of the old adage of believing in something and not giving up,

This was true of Guy Turner who was knocked back several times after submitting books to many publishers.

Here he documents the highs and lows of his journey.

He said: “Being a comparatively new writer, trying to get himself known and at the same time improving his skills and producing better writing and more entertaining stories, I thought my story may be of interest.

“It’s maybe a message too, that by giving up on something you have a passion for, is not really an option.”

A little over four years ago, Guy, a retired furniture agent from Back ‘O The Beck, in Skipton, wrote his very first story which was quickly turned into a book: ‘Tummyfull Strikes Back’. It sold several hundred copies which he regarded as not bad for a first attempt.

“The second offering was: ‘I used to be a leaf, then I woke up’ which again did well locally,” he added.

Guy was advised to send his books to some of the major publishers in London, because of their contacts with the main retailers. Whilst this advice was good, each of these receive over 500 submissions a week from new unknown writers, making the chance of your writing being made into a book, small.

The first book was sent off .

“ I was confident that my first book would be a huge success and be wanted by many publishers. Over the coming weeks, the replies came rolling in: “Nice book, Mr Turner, but not for us at the moment.”

“What a lovely book Mr Turner, but we’re not taking on any new writers at the moment.”

“Keep sending us your work, Mr Turner, and who knows where this might lead.”

“Of the 12 publishers I contacted, six replied: “No thanks” The others did not acknowledge my writing.

“Disappointed, but not deterred, my second book was sent off to the same twelve publishers, some of which represented Harry Potter, The Gruffalo and books by David Walliams.

The weeks again rolled by and the same publishers sent letters to me, basically telling me:“No thanks!”

The third book, I’m afraid suffered a similar fate, by which time my confidence rating as a writer, was pretty low.

“Dare I send one more book? By this stage I had other ideas about subject matter and whilst at my son’s house on a lovely sunny day, I noticed some activity coming from underneath a trampoline.

“A hedgehog appeared, a quick look to the left, then to the right and then he turned round and went back underneath. “A story built up in my mind and a few days later a story had been written.

“Should I send yet another book off to the publishing fraternity? The title of this book was ‘ From Trampoline to Vegetable Patch’

“The first two replies were negative, but then, sitting in a cafe In London, I received an email from one of the biggest names in publishing, offering me a book deal.

“After months of correspondence, the book was ready to go.

“January 2020 saw the launch in the U.K and is now available to order from recognised retailers like Waterstones, W H Smiths, Foyles and Amazon.

“The publishers foreword on this book, is as follows: ‘Ted is reaching retirement and as he looks out onto his garden, he makes an important decision, “ The trampoline has had it’s day! It has to go and I’ve got the perfect replacement, a Vegetable Patch! I’ll grow sprouts, onions, carrots, potatoes and lots, lots more.

‘But little does Ted know, just how many lives this will affect. But whose lives are we talking about and should Ted have known better? This is a story of heartache, resolve, optimism and kindness, just a few of life’s lessons’.

Guy added: “My fifth book: ‘A Small Plumpish Lady meets a Fly ‘ is now on it’s way to the publishers for their thoughts. I wonder what reaction it will have. This writing lark is not for the faint hearted unless you are a celebrity, in which case the publishers will fight for their stories.”

Guy said his book was to be featured in the London Book Fair, but this has just been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The 44-page book has been published by Austin Macauley Publishers, and is priced at £8.99.

Illustrations are by Guy’s friend, Maurice Grunbleweed, of the former The Grumbleweeds music and comedy band.