Former Newlands School teacher publishes first children’s novel

Wendy Jarvis, who goes by the pen name Teagan Ridgeway, wrote William Westerleigh and the Secret Time Tunnel.

Wendy Jarvis, who goes by the pen name Teagan Ridgeway, wrote William Westerleigh and the Secret Time Tunnel.

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A TEACHER-turned-author who worked at Newlands in Seaford has released her first children’s novel.

Wendy Jarvis, who goes by the pen name Teagan Ridgeway, wrote a dynamic tale using time travel to explore the importance of confronting fears.

The cover and inside illustrations to William Westerleigh and the Secret Time Tunnel are by Giles Greenfield, illustrator of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, who has said the book is “refreshingly simple, warm-hearted and optimistic”.

Wendy took inspiration from her experience as a pupil at Westerleigh School, St Leonards-on-Sea, and from 12 years working in schools.

The story deals with human themes such as greed, love and friendship, good versus evil, loss and reunion and the importance of confronting one’s fears, all within the context of a fast-paced, action-packed story.

Wendy said: “Children can lack the self-belief that is so crucial to their happiness.

“Time travel is an idea I have always loved and it works as a hook to involve children in a story that aims to help them build their confidence and believe in themselves more.”

The plot deals with William’s attachment to his late grandfather as he searches for him through time and Wendy says writing the story helped her work through her own grief for her father.

She said: “The idea for this book came from my own experiences at school and because my father died when I was very young.

“Writing the book was a bit of a healing process for me. It is like my work has been my own form of time travel.

“The idea of transcending time and space to face your fears and to search for someone you love is something that appeals to me.”

The writer drew on her love of science fiction and fantasy novels to create William Westerleigh and the Secret Time Tunnel, the first book in a trilogy, available from Gardners Books and Amazon. This is the first book in a trilogy.

Schools can contact Wendy for library copies or talks and book signings via Claire Allen on 01323 411044.