I wrote my new book, "Squawk: A Book of Bird Adventures", in response to the vivid sensory experiences I have, which are induced by the damage on my brain.
This sounds serious and potentially alarming, but Squawk is a collection of hilarious, colourful tales about birds who travel to the most unlikeliest of places, written for children aged 8-11 and the whole family.
The stories come to me involuntarily, as endless characters appear somewhat randomly, and talk to me.
I paint and write down what they say. This is how I create my books. I write stories to process and celebrate the things I see and hear, which no one else sees or hears.
In Squawk, we meet Flo the flamingo, who is a performance artist. None of the other birds understand Flo, she is a loner. She goes to a Zen Buddhist temple in France, aiming to become a nun in the name of performance art. Dirk the duck is a scout chief, but also an undercover spy. Mary the canary is trapped down a coal mine, but escapes and becomes a Guardian journalist.
This book shows the reader how to cope with difficulties and build emotional resilience, whilst also making us laugh.
I had great fun writing this book and painting the pictures. My experiences are unique, and not always funny, they can be overwhelming. But Squawk commemorates and builds good mental health - which is possible for everyone.
For information about launch events and to pre-order "Squawk: A Book of Bird Adventures", visit my website here.
About the Speakers Collective
The Speakers Collective is a Social Enterprise. We work together with a shared commitment to challenge stigma, facilitate important conversations and promote learning on a variety of social issues.