Helyn Latimer, a puppeteer and author from St Athan, took inspiration from the goats who went roaming around Llandudno during the first national lockdown for her new children’s book, “Bully Goat Griff”.
The book, released on March 1st, St David’s Day, is Helyn’s first effort as a children’s author, though she has plenty of experience in script writing, currently in her role running Puppet Theatre Wales and also in previous work in television and theatre.
Bully Goat Griff is a humorous and heart-warming tale of a Snowdonia mountain billy goat who goes too far to get what he wants and discovers, with help from friends who never give up on him, that he can turn his life around for the better and finally reach for his dreams.
Helyn spoke to Nathan on Bro Radio’s Vale Breakfast about her experiences over the past year with the pandemic and her transition into being a children’s author:
“This time last year was a big shock – as it was for thousands of other people – and I realised I could no longer take my puppets into schools, into theatres, you know, my actual work world shut down suddenly overnight.
“But, as a creative person, you can’t stop being creative – I was used to writing scripts and producing scripts for the puppetry performances and I needed to use that writing to continue being creative.
“I’d always wanted to write a book, it’s been something I’d wanted to do for a long time, to become a children’s author, so really, very positively, out of all this came the idea, this is the opportunity I’ve got now, this is the time I’ve got, and when those Llandudno goats popped up on the television, the idea for the characters – I had been going out with productions of the Billy Goats Gruff throughout that year and that was the show that ground to a halt last March, so then the idea of creating something for the older, Key Stage 2, 7-12-year-olds and put it into a book and then Bully Goat Griff emerged over the next few months.”
Helyn also told Nathan of the reaction to the book so far since its release:
“I’ve had such a wonderful, positive response. I’ve had lots of children who have contacted me to say that they thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. I’ve managed to get copies out – during lockdown obviously, it’s very difficult to get a book out and, of course, until the booksellers can open again, it will be difficult – so it’s been available on Amazon for a while now and it’s also available on my website, helynlatimerauthor.com.”
You can find out more about Helyn and her new children’s book on her website, here.