One of the central themes of ‘The Pretender’ is that Sophia is born into a life of poverty while Princess Isabella is born a Princess. When I came to write this story, I was aware that many children in this country and abroad live in poverty and also experience abuse. This was a fictional story in my book but unfortunately for many it's a reality.
When Christmas came, I took a stall at a local Christmas market and for the first time I saw the reaction of my readers to the book. Children and adults alike, men and women would light up when they saw the book. People I didn’t even know had all heard about the “Princess” book and it created a real buzz. However, in the midst of all that excitement I felt a pang of upset when I realised that while my book cost only £7.99 there were so many out there who would never be able to afford to buy it because of the poverty they live in.
With this in mind, I decided I wanted to donate my books to a charity that would help children in poverty. I thought back to an article I had read where in America second-hand or unwanted books were donated to schools in Africa. While they would be so grateful for anything they received I felt sad that they wouldn’t get to experience having a new book meant just for them. This led me to discovering Books 2 Africa, a UK based charity that like the one in the article sends second hand or unwanted books and re-conditioned IT equipment to schools across Africa.
So I contacted Books 2 Africa to explain that I wanted to donate my books to their charity for children in Africa; not because they were unwanted, but because I wanted the children out there to experience the same as the children at my Christmas market. I wanted them to know how it felt to hold a new book in their hands and one that was meant just for them.
Unknown to me, Books 2 Africa conduct author interviews for their B2A On Air channel and invited me to take part in an interview with them. After we had completed the interview, I signed all the books I had sent to be donated to schools in Africa.
Books 2 Africa is such an amazing charity which came to being when Precious and Tonson visited a school in Nigeria to find the children sitting on the floor with only a blackboard and not a single book to work from. Inspired to change that, they set up Books 2 Africa together with Tonson's two brother's and the charity has now sent over 1 million books to school libraries across Africa. They aim to be able to send 1 million books per year to schools in Africa.