Illustrations by Luisa Gioffre-Suzuki
In The Beginning
I remember reading a number of poems at school that I thought were really cool. I loved the way you could express yourself and work around what you wanted to say to explain your scene or story. Playing with rhyming words and sentences has always been fun and something that has always inspired me.
One day I just sat down and said to myself "I wonder what I can come up with". I had just driven to work in the early hours to open the health club where I was working at the time. The journey had been 45 minutes and I could see the sun rise as I drove and it played around with the shadows. That was my first inspiration.
What Inspires Me
I get inspired by thinking that I am going to make a difference to someone. That they may read my stories and become inspired to be better than they were before. Therefore my stories all try to have a strong message in them. If I have a way of saying something meaningful, I try to put this across in my stories to help readers see that they can relate to the characters and draw inspiration and strength from the book for themselves.
The Story of My Hero
I was inspired by the late great Bruce Lee - I loved his search for perfection, his focus and drive to become the best he could be. I have drawn on his inspiration over the years to achieve a number of personal goals - from setting up and running a business everyone told me would fail - only to see it win Business Award after Business Award. I have used it to help me see hard times as the challenges we need to help us ultimately succeed.
In My Hero, I want others to be able to look at a number of important characters that they too can draw on for inspiration for their lives. The characters are all within our communities and play important roles in helping children become inspired to be their best.
I have just finished writing a new book called 'If You Don't Go, You'll Never Know - A Taekwondo Journey" It focuses on a boy who is looking at starting Taekwondo but he is scared to have a go. The story looks at children in first time activities and how they feel about participating. It draws on the concept that they need to just give it a go or they will never know. Everyone feels the same when they start so they need to build up their courage to achieve what they want.