A TOP businessman has opened up a whole new chapter in his life – by writing a book.
Hartlepool man Niel Bushnell, 42, who owns and runs the 3D animation company Qurios, had his first book Sorrowline published this week.
The children’s book is a time travel adventure which Niel started writing in September 2009 while he researched his own family tree.
He said: “It is aimed at children aged from 10 upwards.
“It tells the story of 12 year old Jack Morrow who discovers he can travel back in time through Sorrowlines – channels that connect every gravestone to the date of the person’s death.
“The idea came to me when I was researching my family tree.
“I was spending a lot of time looking at death certificates and wandering through graveyards, imagining what life must have been like for my ancestors, when the idea came to me.”
Readers get to follow Jack who finds himself in 1940s war-torn London, with his then-teenage grandfather, Davey.
Jack soon realises that his arrival in the past has not gone unnoticed.
The evil forces of a secret world are determined to find him – and to find out all he knows.
Charlie Sheppard, editor at publishers, Andersen Press, said: “I have been reading children’s books now for nearly 40 years and sometimes I feel there’s nothing new out there. It’s all been done before.
“So when a manuscript lands on my desk full of originality and ready to stretch my mind, take me to new worlds and open up new possibilities then I grab it with both hands and want to share it with young readers everywhere. Sorrowline is one such book.
“Niel Bushnell has come up with the brilliant idea that running through gravestones are sorrowlines – and these sorrowlines are tunnels through time.
“Every grave is connected to the date of the person’s death by such tunnels and a few chosen boys have the rare gift of being able to open up Sorrowlines and travel along them into the past.”
Niel added: “I started it in 2009 and did a first draft.
“I sent the first 30 pages to a group called New Writing which was looking for new talent.”
His work was so good, it won a Northern Promise title in the Northern Writers Awards 2011.
Niel lives in Hartlepool and runs Qurios which he first set up in town in 2001. Since then, it has moved to a base in Newcastle.
It counts television series Spooks and Tracy Beaker among its clients.
Niel said: “I started writing as a way of relaxing.”
The book is being published by Andersen Press, part of Random House Publishing.
It costs £6.99 or £5.59 online at Amazon.