An Exeter NHS nurse celebrates after landing a two-book publishing deal after a London publisher bought her first novel.
Triona Harris’ first novel, The Tomluc Tree, had been left untouched in a bedroom drawer for 5 years and was inspired by her battles juggling a busy work and family life, including caring for her twins who have additional needs.
The Tomluc tree is an imaginary tree whose name is the combination of Thomas and Lucas – the names of Triona’s two sons.
âI had fun with Sarah Miles, the very talented illustrator, trying to decide what it would look like,â Triona said.
The book is aimed at children from 0 to 6 years old and tells the story of a boy who wants to bring nature back to his surroundings. He therefore asks the help of those around him to make it a reality. Triona said it was all about positivity, patience, teamwork and never giving up on the environment.
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Triona, who works at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital in Exeter, said: âContinuing the story behind this book and the themes it raises has been a dream of mine.
âMy goal with the book is to draw attention to several things that are close to my heart, namely the importance of plants and nature, to work together and to ask for help.
âConnecting with nature is a great source of education, physical and mental fitness, as well as fun. Reaching out, asking for help, and working together in communities, groups or teams is important for all change and sustainability.
âTeaching our future generations the importance of coming together and protecting our environment has never been more important.
âI am a local mother of three primary school age children, two of whom have special needs – autism. I work as an NHS nurse and am married to a local GP, but I found this juggling more and more difficult to manage, so I grabbed a pen and paper – yes, I still use these traditional methods – and started writing from home, which makes me ‘made it possible to be available to children, especially during the most difficult times.
âRaising young children in Devon means that we have an ‘outdoor lifestyle’ and spend a lot of our time in forests, moorlands, the sea etc. and our children showed a lot of interest in nature and wildlife. twins especially find they are happiest when they run free in open spaces – don’t they? “
Triona started writing The Tomluc Tree when her twins were younger, but said over time she began to realize that she could devote time to her love of writing again.
She said: âI have always loved to write. As soon as I learned to read and write as a child, I handed over all my homework in rhyming couplets. Even my science homework! reports do not follow the same format! “
“Having autistic twins made me reassess where I was going with my nursing career, especially since their additional needs meant that my husband and I had to be more available at home,” he said. she declared.
âThinking beyond my role as a nurse, I realized that I could go back to my previous passion for writing and do it from home, thus being more present and flexible for family life.
“It took a huge leap of faith and persuasion to pull it out of the drawer, but I’m so glad I did.”
Olympia Publishers also purchased Triona’s second book.
Triona said, âMy second book, Painting Rainbows, is about a rainbow obsessed girl who wants to bring color into people’s lives. . “
Tomluc’s tree is available for purchase now from Waterstones and Olympia Publishing. Copies can also be purchased locally at the Squid and the Kid children’s shop at Topsham, Darts Farm, St Bridget Nurseries and Dartmoor Zoo.
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