Local residents Niamh Ella Cox (age 12) and her dad James, started writing books together four years ago and have created and self-published three books set in Farland Valley, a secret world full of amazing creatures and interesting adventures for children to discover.
Farland Valley was dreamt up by Niamh and James on their way to the shops, as they walked through the pathways of Knaphill.
Niamh loves to draw and her dad makes video games and likes to write, so in their spare time they enjoy using their imagination to create new adventures in Farland Valley.
The books feature young heroes Emma and James. It is a source of slight embarrassment to Niamh’s dad that one of the main characters has the same name as him. Originally they picked George as a name for the curious boy main character, but realised that might conflict with George the curious monkey, so changed it to James as the closest name in “feeling”. Emma and James use their imagination to find a hidden path into Farland Valley. As they journey through this new land, they discover many wondrous creatures, people and places.
Niamh and James create the ideas together, with Niamh drawing most of the pictures and James writing, but they also help each other out. ‘We started when Niamh was eight’, said James. ‘Niamh’s mum Rosemarie does the proof reading and gives feedback, so this is a real family initiative.’
The Farland Valley Adventures reading series is aimed at children from six to eight years old and can also be fun to read to younger children. There is also a colouring book series that are fun for children from four to eight years old and maybe even the occasional young-at-heart adult.
James told The Knaphillian, ‘We really enjoyed making these books as a family hobby and hope to entertain both children and adults. As well as the joy of reading, Farland Valley encourages creativity for all ages.’
The books are available on Amazon and the family have a website www.farlandvalley.com
James says they have also created a mobile game called Farland Valley Desert based in Farland Valley and released it last year for free on the Apple App Store. It can be downloaded for free here https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/farland-valley-desert/id1408019844?mt=8