Congratulations to author Dee H. Dodgson, on the release of One by One, the third novel in her Sherford’s Lost Valley series. Here she describes the inspiration behind the stories, the history of the characters and a bit about what each book in the series is about. Enjoy!
My stories are about tiny, wild bears called Dinkers, who live secretly in a wood nearby. Their history goes back many, many years to an old wise man living alone in the mountains. He used to rescue and look after injured and odd creatures he'd come across whilst out walking. One day he came across a very small, brown bear cub that had been left to die by the mother because she was so small, but he nurtured her and, although she remained very small, she flourished and was very healthy.
When a small, male, black bear cub came to live with him, the two bears played together and eventually had cubs of their own. These cubs were even smaller and had remarkable abilities as they would imitate the way he talked and made him laugh; he called them his little dinky treasures. Sadly he died leaving a great number of unusual creatures to fend for themselves. They spread across the mountains but the bears became too numerous for the mountains alone, so spread out into the world calling themselves 'Dinkers'. They now live in most countries and my stories follow the adventures of the 'Sherford Valley Bears', living in a valley in the south of England. Their world is turned upside down by the development of a human town right across their valley and they must move on.
In book one, 'Sherford's Lost Valley-Bertrum's Story', they are forced to leave their valley but can't find anywhere else to go. Bertrum, a young cub, comes up with an idea that isn't liked by them all, but finding a human child to help appears to be their only hope. So, leaving the safety of their wood, Bertrum throws himself into a world he doesn't know. When he returns with a plan, not everything goes the way they expect!
Book two, 'Sherford's Lost Valley-The Archie Adventure', follows the demise of one Dinker called Archie who'd refused to leave the woods when the others had. Calling them all 'stupid pugwallers', he'd watched them all leave, but only days later his world is tipped upside down when construction begins. He's faced with danger at every turn in his desperate attempt to reach the others before it's too late.
Book three, 'Sherford's Lost Valley-One by One', was launched on September 10th. Here the Dinkers are reunited and set out to find a forest, which they've been told about, but the journey is full of dangers. They meet bullying boys, scary dogs, dangerous traffic and conflicts between themselves, making it appear impossible to ever reach a safe, new home. Will they succeed?
The books are for an age range of 7-10. The idea for the stories came to me after we were told a new town was going to be built across the valley, including our land. Although the start of construction has had a few hitches and delays, it's still going to happen, we just don't know when. So, like the bears, we too will have to search for a new home!
Books have always been important to me and I love them. I love where they can take you and the hidden secrets waiting to be discovered behind their covers. I believe children have the right to be introduced to books at an early age, and given the chance to develop their imagination in all the wondrous adventures they'll find in a book.
The books are available on Amazon in both Paperback and Kindle format.