A TROON children's author is set to get his new kids series of books launched.

Martin Stewart, based in Troon, has been a professional writer for nearly ten years and published children's and Young Adult books globally, as well as in translation, all with mega-publisher Penguin Random House.

His new book, the first of four to follow main character Bridget Baxter, will be launched on June 8 with Zephyr books. 

The series follows Bridget on her adventures and the stories are well suited for children and young adults.

Martin told the Advertiser: "Having previously written books for older children and teenagers, writing Bridget Vanderpuff presented a completely different creative challenge – and was tremendous fun.

"The idea came from the birth of my first child, six years ago – after which my wife and I spent the night feeds binging the entire Great British Bake Off.

"This really connected the dots of family, love, and baking and – although I didn’t think of myself as much of a baker – I made banana bread with my wee girl, we baked her birthday cakes; when her brother arrived, he joined in.

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"It struck me that some of my own early memories were of standing on a dining chair, licking clean a sticky spoon – and how universal an experience that was.

"There’s a recipe for Mr Vanderpuff’s Choco Chipoconuts at the back of the book, which is by Masterchef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean.

"I’ve tried it with the kids, and they’re delicious.

"Bridget was inspired by my children’s fearlessness, curiosity and sense of adventure. She can do anything: solve crimes, leap from rooftops, escape the Orphanage dungeon!

"What she needs is love – and she finds it.

"Mr Vanderpuff’s Bake Shop becomes her home because baking with our children – creating together, getting excited together, eating together – is such a powerful expression of love.

"I’m really proud of this book, which is dedicated to my daughter, Tessie – and of the sequel, which is dedicated to my son, Milo and released in August. The illustrations – by David Habben, who’s based in Utah – really capture the feel of the books and I’m so thrilled to have had Bridget brought to life by him.

"There are a further two books planned for next year (Bridget Vanderpuff and the Great Airship Robbery, and Bridget Vanderpuff and the Mountain Monster Mystery), and it’s so exciting to think that the series will be published as far afield as America and Korea.

"I’ve also got a crime novel for adults out in Spring ’24, so after a quiet spell through covid it’s lovely to have so much happening, and to see my work out in the world again."

Martin Stewart made his first book using Post-It notes aged eight. His work has been shortlisted for major awards and translated into multiple languages.

For more information on the new series visit www.bridgetvanderpuff.com

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