Shrewton author Steph Johnson has received Royal approval for her first book after receiving a letter from HRH Camilla Queen Consort. Steve the Stick is Steph’s first self-published children’s book. The character is based on her son’s pet stick insect, Steve, who like his namesake in the book also escaped from his tank.
“As a mother of two young children I spent a lot of time walking and bobbling my youngest Lily to sleep and I would frequently walk past Harry’s pet stick insect ‘Steve’ in his tank and think, what adventures have you been getting up to Steve?”
The real Steve eventually turned up one morning on top of the toy kitchen.
The story is written in rhyme and is illustrated by Sarah Hobbs, who lives in Frome.
“This book has been such a learning curve and I am so proud for achieving this while raising our family
and being able to share this achievement (and of course the story) with my children Harry and Lily.”
Steph says the feedback and reception to Steve The Stick has been wonderful, including from HRH Camilla Queen Consort.
“I couldn’t quite believe it when I saw a picture of our Queen Consort wearing a stick insect brooch, which I discovered was gifted to her by her father before she joined the Royal family,” said Steph.
“I sent her a copy of Steve The Stick, saying that I couldn’t help but feel that Steve was on another adventure when I saw him with a beautiful silver sheen sitting so gracefully on her shoulder. I added that I hoped the book would be enjoyed by herself and other members of the family.
“To my utter surprise I received a letter emblazoned with the Buckingham Palace stamp. Enclosed was a wonderful note thanking me for the copy of Steve and that she was very much looking forward to reading it with her grandchildren.
“How could you not be utterly delighted with such a special letter landing on the door mat.”
Steph has been invited to local schools and playgroups to read her book. “I truly can’t explain that feeling of reading my story to the children and seeing their engagement as they live the adventure of Steve and then question their own pets/toys antics.”
Steve The Stick is available online at Waterstones. If anybody would like signed copies (perhaps as a Christmas present gift), Steph can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can also be found on Instagram as stephjohnsonstories.
Fans of Steve the Stick will be delighted to hear that Steph’s next book, ‘Nicholas Ridiculous’, features the true adventures of the family’s home-hatched duck.