Published: 06:00, 26 May 2020
| Updated: 15:53, 26 May 2020
A little girl who uses doughnuts as her secret weapon was the wacky idea which helped a Maidstone woman realize her dream of writing children's books.
Gianna Pollero-Payne, writing under her maiden name of Pollero, will have her first children's book, Monster Doughnuts, published next summer, with two more to follow, with publishers Picadilly Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK.
The news is the realization of a long-held dream for Gianna, 41, who works as a communications manager in her day job.
"I’m absolutely over the moon to be starting this journey with Piccadilly Press," she said. "Writing books for children has been a dream since I was a child myself so the excitement and happiness I’m feeling at this moment in time is overwhelming."
She admitted that she had help from her nine-year-old daughter Sophia, who may also have been the inspiration for her heroine Grace, who uses doughnuts with a secret ingredient as her weapon while hunting monsters, and who also helped dream up Mr Harris, a doughnut-loving, board game-playing cyclops Grace meets in the book.
It will be illustrated in black and white by award-winning illustrator Sarah Horne, who said: "I jumped at the chance to illustrate monsters again, it really is one of my favourite themes. There is so much creative scope for wacky characters here. I’m very excited to work with Gianna on her debut series."
The cover for Monster Doughnuts is being kept closely under wraps for now, but illustrator Sarah gave a sneak peek on her Twitter feed:
Commenting on the deal Georgia Murray from the publishers, said: "We are all thrilled to be publishing Gianna – she’s such a bright new talent in the world of children’s books.
"She has imagined the most wonderfully funny, warm and zany world in Monster Doughnuts that we know children are going to hugely take to their hearts. We’re delighted to have Sarah Horne on board to illustrate – watch out for Sarah’s marvellous monsters."
Gianna, who trained as a journalist before moving into communications, completed the Curtis Brown Online Writing for Children course in 2017, and she is a member of the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators.
The first book will publish in paperback in August 2021 with a second title following in February 2022 and the third in August 2022.