Gillingham resident Anne Kings is to appear on ITV’s ‘Sunday Best’ show on Sunday August 30th.
Anne is best known for her community work as a Dementia Friends Champion, and also as a tutor for the National Association of Jewellers, in which she helps to prepare her students for their careers in the fine jewellery trade.
It was during lockdown that Anne decided to write a children’s story, which she dedicated to her three grandchildren, Noah, Bella and Abel, who have always called her ‘Granny Annie’. It was friends who encouraged her to turn this little story into a book.
So with the help of a local friend, Shireen Brickell, who produced many of the illustrations, and a friend in London, Anne-Marie, who managed the formatting, ‘Button Cottage Lockdown’ was born.
Anne said: ‘I made the decision that if the book could be sold then all profits would go to ‘Julia’s House Children’s Hospices’.
‘Producing a book during lockdown was difficult as printers weren’t working, and advertising was non-existent. Writing it was the easy bit!
‘But I quite like a challenge anyway, so using all my contacts and friends; I nervously ordered the first 100 books.
‘I could never have imagined that these would sell out in five days, but because I had a list of orders, I needed to keep re-ordering; and this has been the case ever since.’
She added: ‘Copies of the book have been posted all over the UK and abroad. Word of mouth is an amazing thing.
‘I could never have imagined that this quirky little story, which serves as a memento of this very weird time could become so popular, not just with children but with people of all ages, yet still be raising much needed funds for Julia’s House.’
Anne was invited to do a Book Signing day at Waitrose to promote the book, and as a result of this some publicity obviously reached the eyes of ITV television producers, who decided to invite Anne on to the ‘Sunday Best’ morning show to be the guest ‘Granny’ with Martin Kemp and his son Roman.
Anne says: ‘I was slightly flabbergasted when I had the invite, I even thought it might be a windup, but it wasn’t. I hesitated a bit at first, but then I decided I really couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend an hour with Martin Kemp; and if it was going to help me sell more of my books for ‘Julia’s House’, then I had to agree to do it.
‘I just hope I don’t embarrass myself!’
The programme can be seen on ITV on Sunday August 30 at 8.30am