Author Niel’s on write path

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THE former boss of an animation company is going from strength to strength in his new career as an author.

Yet while Niel Bushnell, 43, is loving his life in books, the animation company he used to own has closed.

He founded Qurios Entertainment in Hartlepool in 2001. Since then, it moved to a base in Newcastle and he sold it to Dene Films in 2009.

He stepped down as director in June this year and said he severed ties with the firm in August, to concentrate on writing as well as freelance animation work.

Dene Films, which was a trio of businesses including Qurios in the film industry all based on Tyneside, have now ceased trading after work dried up during the recession.

Dene Films director Steve Salam said: “The business was geared up for growth at the same time as the double dip recession hit.”

He said work dried up and added: “It put us on the back foot.”

Niel spoke of his sadness and said: “It is a shame but I was at the point where I felt I was ready for a new challenge. I am happy with where I am and what I am doing.”

Niel had his first book Sorrowline published earlier this year. It is the first in a series of books called The Timesmith Chronicles and is a time travel adventure which Niel started writing in September 2009 while he researched his own family tree.

It tells the story of a boy who discovers he can travel back in time through Sorrowlines – channels that connect every gravestone to the date of the person’s death.

The book looks set to have a second print and also made it on to the Blue Peter Book Awards long list - just missing out on being shortlisted.

His second book called Timesmith is due out in March.

Niel is a man in demand with appearances at book fairs including one in Gothenburg in Sweden.

He said: “I am concentrating on my writing with my second book out in March and consultation work. My first book is getting close to a reprint and they seem happy with it.”