Teignmouth ex-policeman stepdad pens his first children's storybook
A FORMER police officer and diver from Teignmouth has turned his hand to writing his first children's book.
Ian Thomas, 58, decided to write after missing out on his stepdaughter's first day at school as he was away working.
The book, Emily and her Pharaoh — The Dress, is illustrated by Michael Avery and features the time-travelling adventures of a beauty contestant befriended by a giant whale.
Ian said: "It all started when I took on a parental role with my stepdaughter Emily when she was eight. I used to tell her bedtime stories and just make them up as I went along.
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"I was abroad working when she started her first day at senior school. As I had written the odd diving article, I promised I would write her a book to make up for missing her big day."
'The idea was to have it bound as a present for Christmas.
"It was my wife, Lu, who suggested sending it to a publisher for a critical look and I thought 'why not?'"
Emily is proud of his efforts. She said: "I'm really happy to see what other people think. I hope it sells."
Ian has already written two sequels.
After taking early retirement from the police force, he began diving full time.
He travels around the globe, primarily as a safety diver for presenters such as the BBC's Kate Humble and many of the world's top cameramen.
Ian has spent a considerable time behind the lens himself, shooting footage on such prestigious series as Abyss Live, Planet Earth and Life.
He recently completed a four-year stint travelling around the world on a major Canal+/Disney underwater documentary film Oceans.
He will be signing copies of his book in Waterstones, Newton Abbot, on October 27 from 11am to 3pm.