At the age of 64, Audrey Fortescue had the inspiration for her first book, which goes to show it is never too late to start something new. She now has three lovely grandchildren who feature in her first three books in the Opin’s Magic Boxes series - Opin's Blue Box, Flikity's Red Box, and Rowa's Yellow Box.
Audrey lives in South Wales but was born into a small farming community in Northern Ireland. She always loved being with children and, as a little girl, her mum could always find her in the home of a neighbour with a new baby.
Audrey trained as an occupational therapist in Edinburgh and specialised in paediatrics working in the Children’s hospital there. Audrey has also worked as a Primary School Teaching Assistant in South Wales where she has been living for since 1993. In the same period she was a Beaver Scout leader and was instrumental in starting one of the most successful Scout Groups in Wales.
As well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, she has also lived the Midlands, Lancashire and the Netherlands. Her passion for travelling to new and unusual places such as South Africa, China and Costa Rica as well as all over Europe provides lots of inspiration. Six Nations Rugby matches are interesting because her three sons have settled in, and become natives and supporters of England, Scotland and Wales.
In 2014 Audrey bought her husband a sailing experience in Hamble near Southampton with “Blue Box Sailing”. While he was at sea, she walked along the river, stopping for some tea and cake in the “Blue Star Café”; Blue Box Sailing and Blue Star Café gave her the idea for her first book, Opin’s Blue Box. This was followed by Flikity’s Red Box and Rowa’s Yellow Box. These are beautifully illustrated by a South Wales artist and are aimed at children aged 3 to 6 years.
The stories in the Opin’s Magic Boxes series are about the three grandchildren and their families, with an emphasis on sharing and having fun and adventures together. In the books the children have magic boxes, sometimes one has something inside that takes them on an adventure…