MANY years ago Brian Plumridge was the victim of workplace bullying.
So the Mooroolbark resident decided to tackle the problem with a book for children that evokes a magical world.
The 72-year-old is a grandfather to seven children and the book's characters are based on the eldest three. Nine-year-old Lily is the title character Billie, Jack, 8, has become Mack and eight-year-old Ashleigh is Leigh.
Diagnosed with cancer two years ago, he had the chance to put his thoughts down on paper when found himself with spare time while recuperating.
"So my wife said, 'If you're bored, why not put all those stories you tell about Barken into a book?"'
He sought permission from Lily, who jumped on board and helped come up with characters and the setting. Now, two years since he first started writing, the book is ready for purchase.
The story is aimed at eight to 12 year olds, but the messages of triumph over adversity will resonate with many. "The Barken story is a children's book, but it's ever so readable to all those who have seen or experienced bullying in their school, their playtime, and of course, the workplace."
He has been in contact with Xavier College and local schools including Eastwood Primary School and Croydon Hills Primary to have the book put into the libraries and to do readings with the students.
The goal is also to get the book on Amazon.com and to crack the international market. It is on show at the Mooroolbark Library and available at bookstore.bookpod.com.au.