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Tape recorder discovery inspires groundsman to write first book

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: October 20, 2012

CHILDREN’S TALE: Author Wayne Teall with typist Lara Parfitt, left, and illustrator Mica Iles

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The chance discovery of a tape recorder in a pile of rubbish helped a former council workman fulfil his lifelong dream of writing a children's book.

Wayne Teall, who spent 27 years working as a groundsman for Norton Radstock District Council before being made redundant after the council spilt into three, is now enjoying a very different occupation.

The grandfather from Radstock, who is well known to many families across the area having taught karate to young people for more than 40 years, has had his first book published.

Bong the Bouncing Elephant and his Fantastic Friends tells the tale of the unusual elephant and his equally unique friends.

Mr Teall said he wanted to create a book about the importance of friendship for primary school age children after seeing what interested youngsters at his weekly martial arts classes.

He said: "I have always wanted to write a book ever since I can remember but I never thought I would ever be able to manage it. But one day I was listening to a programme on Radio 5 with Sir Terry Pratchett who was on their saying how everyone has something in them but if they can't write or type it they should try to get it down somehow.

"A couple of days after listening to the programme I was asked to go and clear something up at work and funnily enough there were two dictaphones. I thought this was a bit spooky so I decided to use one of the dictaphones to start my book.

"It was difficult at first to talk into a tape but once I got going I realised there was quite a bit in there."

After spending years recording ideas then sifting through them to pick out his favourites Mr Teall was encouraged to finally try getting his ideas published. He called in help from typist Lara Parfitt and illustrator Mica Iles, 21.

The Radstock artist spent time with Mr Teall creating caricatures of the weird and wonderful beasts that feature in his tale.

Miss Iles said: "It was an honour to be asked to illustrate the book. For as long as I can remember I have loved every kind of art and I am always drawing and sketching but this was the first time I have ever created illustrations for children to enjoy in a book."

This week copies of the printed version arrived and Mr Teall was finally able to see the stories from the tape recorder brought to life. He is now working on more books for children which he hopes will be published soon.

People can find out more about the book with links to buy it through Amazon or digitally through ebooks on Mr Teall's karate club website, www.ubsknortonradstockkarate .co.uk.

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