A County Clare farmer is enjoying a new found career as a children’s author after an injury to his arm led him to take up a new hobby in creative writing.
Ogonnelloe based author Tim McGrath, whose book ‘The Wicky Wook Wooks,’ is inspired by stories he used to tell his children growing up decided to pursue writing as a “form of therapy” after a serious break to his arm left him unable to farm or drive for several months.
“I couldn't do any work on the farm with the cast or drive anywhere so I had to find something to help pass the time. When the children were younger I would make up stories for them and often times it would have been easier to just read a book because it could be two hours later and I'd still be going,” explains the dad of two.
While Tim had previously dabbled in sports reporting for his local GAA club he says he had never thought about pursuing a career in writing. However unbeknownst to him a friend who had seen his writing sent a draft of the book to a publishing house in Belfast who immediately contacted Tim with feedback, including a positive review from a former editor of Seamus Heaney's.
Further contact with other publishing houses followed with Tim eventually landing a three book deal following the characters of Wiggles and his many friends as they organise the annual belly-bouncing competition.
“When my children were in school they'd repeat my stories to their friends so I’d a lot of parents come up to me once the book was published and say ‘oh so that’s what the kids were on about.’ All of a sudden these children were going home talking about these characters and the parents didn’t know what they were talking about.”
“The books had a bit of a following before I’d ever even written them I suppose,” he says laughing.