At First Names Group we pride ourselves on our multi-talented people and love to hear about their ventures and achievements outside of the office. We were therefore delighted when our very own Scott Wilson revealed that he is now a published children’s author!
Scott is based in the Isle of Man and has been with FNTC, our leisure services business, for just over 10 years. As senior operations manager, he is responsible for the management of all operational activities within FNTC Ops, ensuring the function supports the needs of the business and its clients.
Here we quiz Scott on his new book, his writing inspiration, future plans and more.
Tell us what your story, Ethan’s Secret, is all about.
It is about a little boy who lives with his parents in a fictional zoo. His father is the head zookeeper and, during school holidays, Ethan helps his father around the zoo. Ethan’s secret is that he can talk to the animals and they can talk to him – but only if he keeps his skill a secret. This book will be the first in a series of stories where he and the animals embark upon adventures together.
What inspired you to write the book?
My little boy, Ethan! When he was little, I used to tell him bedtime stories and he always asked to tell him one “from my head” so I would make one up. The next night when he would ask me to tell the story again, I would invariably forget the ending, so I took to writing them down.
My book(s) are aimed at giving my readers, i.e. children, enjoyable stories that weave in fun facts and information about animals; zoo animals in particular. Children have a natural urge to stroke animals, feed them and of course talk to them – hence Ethan’s Secret.
Have you always enjoyed writing or has this been a more recent venture?
I never had aspirations of being an author; my stories were just intended for my little boy! But I was encouraged by a friend to send my Ethan’s Secret manuscript to a publisher, and the process of getting it published has given me a real buzz – especially when I held the final book. I now have a real motivation to keep writing.
Do you have any plans to publish more stories in future? Will we hear more of Ethan’s adventures?
Yes, my second Ethan story is already complete with a further two nearing completion. I also have other children’s story ideas that I am mapping out at present.
What would you say to anyone else thinking of penning a story for children?
First of all, don’t put obstacles in your own way. I didn’t submit anything earlier because I believed no one would want to read my stories, even though no one actually told me they wouldn’t. Secondly, write about something you enjoyed as a child; it makes it so much easier. Finally, try to take on a child’s mindset as you write, as your reader will have one!
Where can we get our hands on a copy of Ethan’s Secret?
The book was released on 31 August and can be bought directly from the publisher’s website, Waterstones (in store and online), Amazon and The Book Depository among other places. I’m also currently waiting to hear back from Chester Zoo in the UK, which is among the top 10 zoos in the world according to the 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. Fingers crossed!