Timothy Bristow might be better known in Launceston as the former vice-captain of Launceston Football Club, but a move to Western Australia has brought a new title – that of author.
His two children’s books Billy the Brilliant and I’m the Best! are designed to help even the most disinterested reader enjoy a story, using the ‘OpenDyslexic’ font to make the stories of Billy the Brilliant accessible to all.
Bristow’s books, illustrated by Natalie Martin and published by JustZeusBooks, have a particular focus on values of resilience and persistence, with strong family themes as well.
Bristow is returning to Launceston on Friday to donate copies of his books to St Giles – a reflection of the overall ethos accompanying his books.
In the first book, Billy faces and overcomes challenges as his golden dream of becoming a world-class magician take a tumble – but with the help of his mother and pet rabbit, he picks himself up and carries on.
As a classroom teacher himself, Bristow said writing for children gave him opportunity to celebrate the quirks, courage and wild ideas of the children he works with every day through positive role models.
“In my teaching profession it’s just really nice if you can inspire people and you don’t have to be that famous person on the TV on the cinema screen, you can just be that everyday hero for people,” he said.
“I really get a lot out of that.”
Bristow said he and Martin were enjoying telling the adventures of Billy and his family, making the most of their own experiences to encourage children to pursue their dreams and not be afraid of challenges.
“Billy is probably reminiscent of myself, but also reminiscent of some of the kids I’ve taught,” he said.
He said stepping away from football and teaching to try his hand at writing for children was not about making money, but about “creating a little magic” for children.
Billy is probably reminiscent of myself, but also reminiscent of some of the kids I’ve taught.Author and teacher Timothy Bristow
Much of the financial proceeds from the Billy books also support a wide range of charities including St Giles.
”I’m really excited to get back [to Launceston] and share our latest story,” Bristow said.
Bristow will also be signing Billy the Brilliant and I’m the Best! at Petrarch’s on Saturday at 11am.