14th May 2021, 7:00
Posted: 26th June 2020
'The Cuckoo Who Flew' by Paul Farquharson - Out now
Paul Farquharson realises dream of publishing positive mental health book, 'The Cuckoo Who Flew'
A self-employed man from York whose work was halted by the Coronavirus pandemic has realised a 20-year long dream to write and publish his first picture book, to aid mental wellbeing.
‘The Cuckoo Who Flew’ is described as ‘a tiny tale of a little cuckoo and a troubled mind’. Reflecting the author’s own experience, the book cleverly uses stylized drawings and a simple storyline to highlight the importance of mental wellbeing, listening to yourself and taking a break from time-to-time.
At the start of lockdown, Paul Farquharson, who owns and runs video company BeetrootBox, found himself with more time on his hands than he’d ever had before. Creating and publishing his own book was something he had wished to do since Art School, but due to ever expanding work and family commitments, had never found the time to realise.
However, inspiration struck Paul whilst walking the dog one morning in late March, and the idea for ‘The Cuckoo Who Flew’ was born.
Paul explains: “I have thought about creating and publish a book for a very long time. I always scribble and doodle ideas down. The Cuckoo Who Flew came to me while listening to a mindfulness and wellbeing podcast one morning while walking the dog. I typed the ideas into my notes on my phone until I could get home to start writing it. Once the idea was there I wrote the story very quickly.”
Paul refined the story over the coming weeks, and used his design skills to experiment with drawing different styles of cuckoo – eventually settling on a character inspired by an illustration on a ceramic milk jug at his desk.
The book itself is a gentle lesson in good mental health, but once completed Paul knew he wanted to use his experience to help others. Now published in printed copy and as an e-book, Paul is donating 50% of all proceeds to local mental health charity York Mind.
“When it was finished I wanted it to be more than just a tick on the bucket list. The story seemed to resonate with people and what was going on in the world and I hoped it could help people or at least put a smile on some faces. So I contacted York Mind, and I was delighted when they came back to say they liked the book and were happy to work together. It's made this whole project more worthwhile and exciting.”
Holly Bilton, Fundraising Manager at York Mind said: “When we read ‘The Cuckoo Who Flew’, it immediately resonated with much of what we hope to achieve as a charity. In a wonderfully charming way, the book sets out simple steps that people of all ages can take to help manage their own wellbeing. Whilst lockdown has been incredibly tough for many of us, we’re so pleased that Paul has used the time he’s had to create this inspiring little book. We would like to thank him for thinking to fundraise for our services at this time”.
Paul reflected: “I have no idea what will happen and I have no expectations. I just hope the little cuckoo flies far and puts smiles on many faces. Lockdown has allowed me the time to stop and think, and to pursue new creative outlets and ideas. I look forward to working on the next one.”
‘The Cuckoo Who Flew’ is now available in hardback: https://www.blurb.co.uk/b/10148863-the-cuckoo-who-flew