AN AUTHOR and screenwriter from Northwich has won a prestigious international book award.

Alan Fleet’s new novel for children, See Bella, was crowned ‘Best Book’ in the genre category at the 2022 Page Turner Awards.

See Bella is the heart-warming story of four young detectives who must use all their skills and imagination to find a puppy that disappeared eight years ago.

Eight-year-old Pearl enlists her little sister, Primrose, and best friends, Milly and Reggie, to help her solve the mystery and make a Christmas wish come true.

Northwich Guardian: Alan Fleet has written for both adults and children (Alan Fleet)Alan Fleet has written for both adults and children (Alan Fleet) (Image: Alan Fleet)

Speaking of his win, Alan said: "I have won awards for films I have worked on, but this is the first one I’ve won just for my writing.

"I’m absolutely delighted about it.

“I came up with the idea for a children’s screenplay, which was See Bella, but by the time I had finished the screenplay, there was so much information in it, I knew it could be turned into a children’s novel.  

“It was like a reverse adaptation. Normally a film script will come from a book, but this happened the other way round.

“The premise of this book is, how do you find a puppy that was stolen eight years ago when supposedly all the leads had disappeared? But the children don’t believe there won’t be any leads.

"They believe they’ll find the puppy even though the puppy will be eight years old.

“Writing for children is vastly different from writing for adults. You have to change the way you explain things, and the reasoning of children doesn’t have to confines of the reasoning of adults. For lots of children, nothing is impossible.

“Because they don’t have any limits on what they believe they can do, they ultimately succeed.

“As adults, we do put limitations on ourselves. We have what we call ‘thinking outside the box’, but children just call that thinking.

Kingsmead resident Alan is also a chartered geologist, working in the oil and gas industry since 1979.

“Being a freelance consultant gives you lots of time to do other things, and that’s how I turned to writing.

“I started out writing novels for adults. The first was called Woollyback, based in Winsford, and it deals with the trials and tribulations of an overspill town between the locals and the incoming people form Liverpool.

“I probably won’t write any more novels for adults because I just love writing for children.”

“Children always have to read because it’s part of their education. Adults can chose whether they read or not. There will always be a massive market for children’s fiction."