West Norfolk author’s space story for children launched in Downham Market
A woman from a village outside of Lynn has released her first book for children containing letters from an alien to his “earthling” pen pal.
Pen Avey has written and illustrated Dear Earthling: Cosmic Correspondent which was launched at West Norfolk Deaf Association’s No 8 The Old Bookshop in Downham on Saturday.
The humorous book is aimed at children aged eight to 12 – middle grade age range – and follows the character of Dethbert Jones from the planet of Crank in a galaxy nine million light years away from Earth.
Pen said: “I love writing comedy, that’s my passion. I wanted to write a funny book for kids.”
She said she wanted to write something in a “similar vein” to Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, in terms of its short chapters, its regular but not “heavy” illustrations and its humorous content.
Dethbert is a member of the Space Cadets – the intergalactic version of Scouts – and to earn his ‘Cosmic Correspondent’ badge, he has to find a pen pal from another planet.
The book details Dethbert’s letters to his Earthling friend, as they discover the contrasts between their lives on different planets.
Pen said: “As a child I loved writing and receiving letters so I wanted to do something with letters.
“And I love space and anything to do with it – robots and AI (artificial intelligence), so it all came together with the characters.”
The book launch in Downham at the weekend was “fantastic”, she added.
Pen said there was a good turnout and there were a few themed activities, including a ‘Dear Earthling’ prop, robot masks, space rockets, a cake and ‘Nebula’ cocktails.
The book, published by Common Deer Press in Canada, will be available to purchase in paperback online through retailer Amazon soon.
For more information, or for any readers who would like to ask Dear Earthling character Dethbert a question, visit dear-earthling.com.