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Former sports editor wins publishing deal for books inspired by daughter

A former sports editor has won a publishing deal for a series of children’s stories inspired by his daughter.

Stuart Rowson is creating a trilogy of adventure novels based on lead character ‘Izzy’, who has the same name as his daughter.

Stuart, pictured with Izzy, began his career on hometown newspaper the Grimsby Telegraph before moving on to the Hull Daily Mail and the BBC.

The first of the trilogy, ‘Izzy and the Tumble Thunder’, was published last month by Whalebone, a subsidiary of The Book Writers Resource.

Stuart Rowson

The coming-of-age story focuses on a young girl called Izzy, who lives with her mum in a clock shop in London, plagued by visions of her missing dad.

Stuart told the Telegraph: “It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to write a novel as I’ve always loved writing, but my main inspiration came after reading all seven of the Harry Potter books to my daughter at bedtime over the course of three years.

“The idea was to write a book to give to my daughter for her 13th birthday, so I was keen to ensure it did two things: deliver a strong female character who was an anti-hero in the modern world and to give young girls a role model who wasn’t worried about fitting in or what she looked like in a selfie.

“The original idea morphed and twisted over time to become Izzy and the Tumble Thunder, and I named the main character after my daughter.

“Not wanting to leave Izzy’s two older brothers out, Danny and Charlie got a village named after them called Great Chardan. That’ll do them as they’re grown-ups now.

“My hope is that it teaches children to stand up for themselves and others, that it’s okay to not fit in, and to be happy being themselves.”

Stuart began his career in 1999 on the Grimsby Telegraph, where he covered Grimsby Town as a football writer.

He subsequently served as sports editor of the Hull Daily Mail between 2004 and 2007 before moving to the BBC.

Stuart worked for Look North and BBC Sport, later joining its BBC Children’s division.

There, he led the digital transformation of Newsround and oversaw the relaunch of the Children’s iPlayer and the team that delivered Bedtime Stories.