Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
12:17 PM 3rd January 2017

Becoming An Author

Hannah with her first book
Hannah with her first book
Following my last post with Little Alf on 'The first few months together' I thought I would write about how I got into books and writing and how Little Alf inspired me to write a series of books about him. It's a common question we get asked quite a lot on social media and sometimes it's nice to remind myself about how it all began!

I love reading and always have done from an early age. I also love writing. At six years old I had already written my first book about my adventures with Badger who is my first pony, although I never thought about being an author. I think when I was younger I never knew you could actually be an author as a job. I'm not very good at English and was never a strong speller so I soon steered away from the idea of becoming a writer one day...

I decided at 16 I wanted to work with horses and potentially be a sports instructor. I began my A levels; unfortunately after starting my A levels I discovered I had a fractured vertebrae in my back and 2 worn discs, meaning I had to have time off from sport. It soon became obvious that I couldn't carry on with the course, much to my disappointment.

I left college and started a home study course on horse instincts and behaviour which I really enjoyed. It wasn't long before Little Alf came along and gave me a new focus. I started to take lots of pictures of Alfie and post them online. I have always loved photography and have a modern camera so the quality of photos are always really nice.

Once I began posting photos and blog posts about Little Alf online his following soon began to grow. It went from hundreds to thousands in the first few months and we received regular messages about when the next photo would be online! I never knew my little bundle of fun could create such a stir online...

I had been writing my blog for around 6 months and watching it grow every day, when I thought about writing a book. Initially the books were just meant to be for myself, but after I finished it and blogged about it online, Alfie's growing fans wanted to read too, so I thought why not give it a go! At just 17 years old I knew nothing about publishing. Luckily I had lots of great advice from old teachers, other authors and family. I decided to go down the self-publishing route initially due to us already having a nice platform. It took a few months to get the book right and proof read several times, but in October 2014 the first book was published - 'The Magical Adventure of Little Alf - The discovery of the wild pony'. It was a very proud moment.

Now just 2 years later I've just finished the first draft to the 6th Little Alf book which will be released later this year...