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Why Dinkers? What was the inspiration?

The Sherford Valley is a beautiful lush, green area within the South Hams. Home to wildlife, a few private homes and farming. A peaceful place of happily grazing cows & sheep, with pockets of woodland, joined together by a network of tiny lanes and hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the towns & cities... until now!

Some years ago, the government earmarked this beautiful valley, as a prime location for a new town and bought out all the farms. On the day the developers came to us and told us what was going to happen, we were devastated. 

Once they had left, I stood looking out of the window, down to a small wood at the bottom of our garden, deep in thought. I wanted to do something that would be a reminder of this valley forever, to live on once it was covered with shops, schools & houses.

Suddenly an image of tiny, wild bears living in the wood at the bottom of the garden leapt into my mind; what would happen to them? Where would they go?  And the adventure began.

Although I'd made up many stories for children in the past, I'd never written a book! But that didn't worry me at first, as the story would primarily be in booklet form, and something for each local person to keep as a memento. However, as I wrote, the story unfolded into something much larger and I soon realised that one little booklet was not going to be big enough! Not only that, they began to become real, with a history and a language of their own. A whole, undiscovered world was opening up.

The characters developed & grew, and as they did, I decided to try and make them; Bertrum was my first. A funny little bear made from some old brown fur, who sat on my computer watching me write. Then I began to make more until most of the characters within the books, became real... and people wanted to buy them! The Dinker Bears were getting a name for themselves, appearing in newspapers & talked about on the radio. More characters appeared that were not in the books, but none-the-less, became part of the Dinker heritage; the new Dinkers, and the books, started selling all over the world.

Things went even further than I ever imagined, when a production company thought they'd make a great animated, children's TV series. Work got underway to present them to broadcasters, in their own show, around the world, but after some interest was shown, it all went quiet!!

Traumatic events happened in our own personal life, that took me away from the Dinkers for a while, but nothing stays static for long, and these feisty little bears are not done with yet, oh no. They're still around & I see their faces on Twitter and Facebook all the time, from America to Australia; Bertrum & Potter Winkles are still here with me too, creating havoc and a constant reminder that they are destined for greater things. 

The town here in Sherford, now has residents, the 1st school has been opened and stage two is well underway; the noise all around us is horrible, BUT... the Dinkers are safe, and their future is looking rather exciting!


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