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Harleston raised former Diss High School pupil Richard Ford has been inspired by his daughter and English teacher to write his first book

An author has released his first book after being inspired in his love of writing by a former teacher.

Richard Ford developed a passion for writing while being studying at Diss High School and singled out English teacher Stuart Ballantyne for particular praise.

“I grew up in Harleston, attending Dove, Cannon Pickering and Archbishop Sancroft, before going to Diss High School to study English, history and geography,” said Mr Ford, who now lives in Brighton.

Mr Ford has released a children's book.
Mr Ford has released a children's book.

“I loved my time in Diss, especially, and was very much inspired by the late headteacher Mr Ballantyne, who instilled a love of literature in me and taught me so much.

“He was a big fan of Thomas Hardy books and taught me a lot about characterisation and atmosphere.

“My own books have taken a slightly different direction from Thomas Hardy, though, as they are aimed at a much younger audience of two to six year olds.

“My first book, which was released a few months ago, is called Unken Dunken Makes Pancakes and is about a girl having lots of fun while making pancakes with her uncle.

“Hopefully, it will be the first of many, as I have plenty of ideas and I certainly feel like I have found my niche with children’s books.

“I am also taking the opportunity to bring more multi-heritage characters in to books aimed at these age groups, as my daughter is British-Nigerian and it’s important for her to see herself in the characters she reads about.”

Mr Ford’s self-published book recently appeared on Channel 5’s children’s show Milkshake and can be bought at Waterstones for £7.99.

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