Margate author to release children’s picture book charting adventure of Komodo dragon

Paul Deslandes with his new children's book

Margate author and police officer Paul Deslandes is set to release his second children’s picture book.

The dad-of-two, who released his first book The Garden Monster in 2022, has now created Kodi and the Mystery of Komodo Island after being  commissioned by New Frontier Publishing.

Paul took a year’s break from writing following the publication of The Garden Monster after his dad Ronald – best known as Des – was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Sadly Des passed away in December 2022. With Kodi and the Mystery of Komodo Island being the last book Paul read to his dad, it has been dedicated to his memory.

Paul with boys Jude and Theo

Paul said: “I did not feel like writing for a while and put it on the backburner. But when I was contacted by New Frontier Publishing and asked to write a story about a Komodo dragon, I thought I needed to get back into writing and it got me back into the swing of things.

“Having been an owner of a bearded dragon before, I knew a bit about lizards, but the Komodo dragon is, perhaps, the most impressive of them all. This gigantic lizard -the world’s biggest lizard – is certainly one that you wouldn’t want to cross.

“This idea for the plot came from an article that I read about a Dutch Lieutenant who led an expedition to Komodo island in the early 1910s in search of a mysterious creature, believed to be a real life, fire breathing dragon.

“New Frontier Publishing gave me three months to write it but I actually did it in three evenings. As soon as they gave me the brief and said to make it fun and quirky I just had ideas flowing into my head. I sent it back to them and they loved it.”

Paul says he always wanted to write and has a passion for poetry, as well as making up bedtime stories for his boys, but his busy life with wife  Claire – a primary school teacher – had previously meant finding the time was difficult.

Claire, Paul and boys

The covid pandemic had given Paul the time to concentrate on finishing The Garden Monster and in 2023 he decided to dedicate the whole year to writing once more,

During that time Paul has produced 15 drafts of children’s picture books and a couple of middle grade books. He is now working with an agent on some of those books and hopes to secure a publisher for them.

Kodi and the Mystery of Komodo Island is  illustrated by Rose Gerrard and aimed at children aged three to seven.

It is due to be released on April 11 and Paul will be taking the book into schools after the Easter break. He will share the tale with youngsters at schools including Garlinge Primary, Birchington, Hampton in Herne Bay and Parkside in Canterbury.

It is available now to pre-order at: https://www.newfrontierpublishing.co.uk/books/kodi-and-the-mystery-of-komodo-island

Margate dad inspired by sons to create debut children’s book The Garden Monster

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