A GREAT Sankey author whose first novel has just been published said he wants to encourage Warrington pupils to try creative writing.

Simon Adepetun, 45, has been writing since he was a schoolboy and his first book has just been released by London publishers, Austin Macauley.

The Bee Hive is a children’s story about two boys who discover a mysterious map when they are making a den in a beehive and the book is illustrated by Simon’s 12-year-old daughter, Toni.

Simon wrote the 179 page novel in just three months after deciding to enter a writing competition and even though he did not win, the judges said they were impressed by his work.

Simon said: “My sister and my wife, Abisola, told me I should send it to some publishers. All four publishers I sent the manuscript to wanted to publish it.

“It has always been a dream for me but actually I’m really chuffed because it’s not just my name on the cover but my daughter’s name too and I’m so pleased she could be involved.”

Simon, who studied English at University in Nigeria and also has a postgraduate degree in Theatre Studies from the University of Manchester, said he was inspired by his favourite writers, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright and Ben Okri.

He has visited primary schools across the town to teach creative writing to pupils and said: “I recognise that as a writer you have to give something back and I want to give something back to kids in Warrington.”

The two main characters in the novel are named after Simon’s sons, nine-year-old Benjamin and five-year-old Daniel, who have also recorded some music for the book, which can be heard on Simon’s website.

Simon works full time as a Sales Manager at Serco in Manchester, but said: “I do most of my writing on my day off and I write after the kids have gone to school or before I go to work. 

“I also write in the evenings from 11pm until about 1.30am.

“The advice I would give to other people is never give up. Some people get discouraged and think they’re not good enough but the key is to believe in yourself and what you have written.

“We all know the story of J K Rowling, who was rejected by publishers before Harry Potter was a hit. It’s those people who persevere who find out that it was actually possible to do it.”

Simon has already written 10,000 words of his next book, which is the first novel in a seven-book series for children.

To buy The Bee Hive and for more information about creative writing, visit simonadepetun.co.uk.