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The local grandad turned children’s author

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Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Thursday, 30th January 2020, 09:00

John with Grandad from the books and ten of his grandchildren. 

Right to left, Back row - Sophie, Ella and Katie Smart. Middle row – James Carter and Lucy Smart. Front row – Charlotte, Sienna, Lewis and Max Carter. Henry Carter is in the wheelbarrow (18 month old Amelia Carter wouldn’t stand still) John with Grandad from the books and ten of his grandchildren. Right to left, Back row - Sophie, Ella and Katie Smart. Middle row – James Carter and Lucy Smart. Front row – Charlotte, Sienna, Lewis and Max Carter. Henry Carter is in the wheelbarrow (18 month old Amelia Carter wouldn’t stand still)

Mickleton resident John Carter is a busy man.

Not only does he work in landscape design and construction, he is also a property renovator, B&B owner, and is now a children’s author.

Add that to the fact he is grandfather to eleven grandchildren, and it’s a wonder he has any time to sit down and write.

John has self-published three children’s books, as part of ‘The Grandad Stories’.

“Like many children’s books,” he explained, “The Grandad Stories came about not as part of any grand publishing plan, but completely by accident!

“My father died in 2011 and when my son Mark and I were clearing the yard behind his house, we found an old wheelbarrow body which had been rusting away for many years and was full of holes.

“A little later, we discovered an old barrow wheel with a flat tyre. I hooked them together and asked Mark to take a photo.”

John sent the photo to one of his friends, with the caption, ‘John had a spring in his step today, because only he knew... one more payment and the barrow was his!’

In 2014 John wrote a short story about the photo, which he called Grandad’s Wheelbarrow.

John continued: “I posted it on Facebook, and although the story wasn’t particularly aimed at children, my youngest son Adam, a father of two, read it and said, ‘this would make a great children’s story, Dad’.

“So with a bit of a re-write it became one, followed by nine more, all featuring things which are part of my life.”

So far, John has published three of his books – ‘Grandad’s Wheelbarrow’, ‘Grandad’s Fish-Pond’ and ‘Grandad’s Red Van’.

The illustrations in the books were done by his neighbour Keith Phelpstead, a retired commercial artist – “Keith was prepared to give it a go and when he presented me with his painting of Grandad’s Wheelbarrow I was blown away,” added John.

With seven more books in the pipeline, John is hoping to continue what has been a positive start to his writing career.

He has also set up a charity giving online shop, where the books are discounted with fifty pence from the sale of each book being donated to chosen charities including Children With Cancer UK and the RNLI.

For more on the charity site, visit www.thegrandadstories.co.uk/index.php/giving

And for more information on The Grandad Stories visit www.thegrandadstories.co.uk

Other Images

Grandad's Wheelbarrow
John with the real wheelbarrow that provided the inspiration

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