An author reflects on her childhood dream becoming a reality as she looks forward to the upcoming launch of her debut children's book.

30-year-old Charlotte Manning of Corbridge has always wanted to be an author and is looking back at how she has achieved her childhood dream.

"I always wanted to be an author and illustrator and used to make little books about things I saw and experienced," Charlotte said.

"My dad, Mick Manning, is an Author/Illustrator and spending time in his studio drawing got me interested in storytelling and illustration."

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At university, Charlotte could look at the writing side of the goal, which led to her making a breakthrough of who her audience would be.

She said: "I studied journalism at Nottingham Trent and worked as a content writer, then decided writing for children was what I wanted to do, so I decided to go for it.

"I went to Cambridge School of Art and did a master's in Children's Book Illustration from which I graduated in January 2020, just before the pandemic."

Using her time during Covid, Charlotte decided it would be the perfect time to start her first book 'The Lost Horse' which is now ready to be launched to the public on August 11.

Charlotte adds: "The Lost Horse is about two wild horses who are sisters; they live wild and free on the prairie until a greedy human has another plan for their land. They are chased into the desert and separated from each other.

"The story follows the brave young foal trying to find her sister and the issues she comes into along the way.

"It is designed as a call to understand the plight of so many refugees and displaced people who have been forced to flee their homes and split from family along the way.

"Although it is a non-fiction book, the idea is to encourage empathy and discussion about real-life situations while also telling the story of a beautiful wild mustang.

"It's suitable for readers aged five and older and available on all sites, including Amazon."