"My son, Adam and his partner Karen had a beautiful baby girl yesterday noon who they have called Olivia Paige Forde. I am pleased to report that both mother and child are well. Because they knew the sex of the baby that Karen was carrying, and had decided upon a name to call their daughter when she was born, I had two months' advanced notice in which to prepare a special present to mark her birth and which Olivia Paige Forde will be able to fondly remember, along with her old Granddad Forde she once had at the start of her life. I decided to write a new book that would be published on the date of her birth. One of the major characters in the book is an 'Olivia Paige Forde' and another two characters are her parents, 'Adam and Karen'. This crossover book is suitable for children aged 9 years and upwards, young persons and adult readers aged 90 years. It is called, 'The Lost Kingdom'.
There is a poignancy in the writing of 'The Lost Kingdom' that my granddaughter, Olivia Paige, may never know. The book tells the story of a medieval King and Queen whose prime characteristics are greed and power. The King and Queen have one son and their only aim in life is to ensure that when the Prince is crowned the next King, he is the wisest, wealthiest, and most powerful monarch the world has ever known. The cruel parents of the Prince work tirelessly towards this single objective, depriving their son of his childhood in the process by never allowing him an ordinary existence. He never sees his parents, they never once tell or show their son that they love him; he is reared without ever knowing that other children exist, and he is never allowed to read children's stories or is told one at bedtime. When circumstances conspire to kill both King and Queen within a short space of each other, and the Prince inherits his huge legacy they have spent their lives working for, he doesn’t want it! What he still needs and wants is the childhood his selfish parents deprived him of.
There is a poignancy in this story that can only be truly understood by the author and any access father who either receives ‘no access’ or ‘restricted access’ to his child/children after a separation or divorce. During the break up of my first marriage, my wife prevented me seeing my two children and denied me all contact with them for almost two years; despite court orders to the contrary. When access contact reoccurred between me and my sons, two years after parental separation, the four hours weekly awarded by the court was strictly adhered to for the next ten years, and I was never allowed extra access by the children's mother, even at annual holidays, festive periods or birthdays. I was being denied being a significant part of their childhood years, as were they with myself.
It was during the period of the children’s mother denying and restricting my access to our sons that I became a children’s author, wrote numerous books, raised over £200,000 profits from my book sales to Yorkshire schools, all for Charitable causes (mostly Children’s charities), and started visiting Yorkshire schools daily to have famous people read my books to assemblies of children (Over 86O national and international stars, along with famous people from stage, screen and film read to 2000 school assemblies between 1989 and 2002). My work was praised by two presidents, three princesses, three prime ministers and the Head of Ofsted for British Schools, Ministers of the Crown, plus numerous others.
During this period, the late Princess Diana asked that she be sent two of my books to read to Princes William and Harry when they were aged 9 years and 7-years-old respectively. I sent copies of my most popular children's books, 'Douglas the Dragon' and 'Sleezy the Fox' to the late Princess which she used to read her two sons at their bedtime. These stories were first told to my children James and Adam before my separation from their mother and before they became books for publication. It is pleasing to know that the next King of England and his younger brother were read two of my children's books at bedtime by their mother, the late Princess Diana. It is even more gratifying to know that these stories were told to my son's James and Adam at their bedtime by myself before my separation from their mother and before they were first published. Indeed, from the sixty-eight books I have now had published since 1989, and the "£200,000 I have been able to give to charitable causes from the total profits of their sales, almost £100,000 came from the sale of approximate 50,000 sold copies of 'Sleezy the Fox' and 50,000 sold copies of 'Douglas the Dragon' to Yorkshire Schools between 1990 and 2002. My books were never on sale to the public in this period and could only be purchased by schools at 2,000 special reading assemblies.
I have often been asked by numerous people and media and press, why and how I became an author. It is only retrospectively that I came to understand the true reason. During my years of curtailed and restricted access to my first two children by their mother, I missed out on so much of their precious childhood that I muscled in on the childhood of almost half a million other children through the two thousand storytelling assemblies I held in Yorkshire schools. That was the reason I read and wrote children's books with strong moral aspects to their themes. That is why I wasn't content unless I could read the books to other children and see their little faces as they listened on in breathless anticipation. I was in effect, substituting my absence of contact in my own children's lives with my contact in the lives of thousands of other children. I had in effect, become the 'Pied Piper' of children's stories that would lead the child listeners/readers along whichever moral path I chose for them to follow, by reading stories with themes that dealt with issues that all children would feel difficult to healthily cope with if ever experienced by them: themes like bereavement, separation, loss, bullying, homelessness, anger, etc.etc.
I hope that one day in her future, when Olivia Paige Forde becomes a mother to her own children that she carries out my only expectations of her: to never allow her own child/children to grow one day older without telling them that they are much loved by their parents, and that never a bedtime occurs without mum or dad telling/reading them a bedtime story, and finally; allowing them to remain an innocent child for as long as is healthy and not usher them into adult ways before their childhood years have been happily spent.
It was essentially this personal experience that I drew upon when writing this book. ‘The Lost Kingdom’ is merely a substitute term for ‘The Lost Childhood’; which is the greatest tragedy to come out of any parental separation and divorce!
Anyone wishing to purchase a copy of this book can obtain one in e-book format from www.smashwords.com or in hardback from www.amazon.co.uk or www.lulu.com, with all profits going to charitable causes in perpetuity.
William Forde : March 2nd, 2018.