East Dean’s Francis Emery offers a whimsical, humorous look at country life with his new book, Down on Red Bucket Farm.
He has teamed up with Emsworth artist Tracy Sullivan who has provided illustrations.
“She is a superb water colourist and is responsible for the beautiful artwork,” says Francis who describes himself as absolutely over the moon with the finished product.
Self-published by Tricorn Books of Portsmouth, the volume is available from Francis by email on firstname.lastname@example.org and also from Boxgrove stores and Bookends of Emsworth.
“The book is humorous,” Francis says. “It’s predominantly verses, but I like to call them rhyming stories.
“We live on the outskirts of East Dean and we are totally, but totally surrounded by fields and wildlife and country folk. The whole book is about country ways, animals, creatures and people.
“But it is not all verses. In between each verse are comments hopefully with humour. But what is very special are the fantastic pictures by Tracy.
“I have messed around with poetry all my life, and I normally write something to mark a special event or if a friend has gone and done something stupid!
“But how this started was about 18 months ago, I went to my vegetable patch and took the plastic lid off my compost bin, and sat there was a mouse.
“As I walked away, in my head I had the first line of a poem. I ran it by other people and I started writing others.
“How some of these things come into my head, I just don’t know!
“The theme of the book is through this character called Albert. He is not my alter ego but he is just something to bounce the humour off. Albert is just a country bumpkin really!
“I was born and bred in Portchester but up the on the hill slopes, but I do think of myself as being very much a country person. We are certainly very rustic around here!
“I am so pleased with the book. I am looking at a pallet of them now in my hallway. Tracy rushed over to see them and then spent the whole evening waxing lyrical. I didn’t want to go down the route of a paperback and black and white. I have done a hardback with full colour.
“I would tell Tracy what I had written and what I wanted her to illustrate, and being an artist, she would illustrate what she wanted! But I am so pleased with what she has done.
“I think it might take me a while to get over this one, but I have already got some material for another.
“It might go off at a slightly-different tangent… once I have got my energy back! But it will still be on a country theme.”
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