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Julian Warrender, author

julianJulian Warrender, is also founder and chief pot stirrer of Ouse Valley Foods – a successful Sussex food business producing marmalades, savoury jellies, chutneys and jams. She is renowned for her innovation and creativity and has won many awards for her delectable preserves.

Julian is a trained Montessori teacher and has two sons, two grandchildren and a rufty-tufty dog. Julian established Hare and Heron Press in 2012, when the urge to write and publish her first children’s book became too pressing.

How it all got going… “My educational years were by no means a success. Until the age of 12 I was taught by a governess with my younger brother and sister; this was followed by incarceration in a Catholic convent for a further 4 years. I was miserable and sought escape in writing secret thoughts and observations; they remained secret since whenever I tried my hand in class I never seemed to get any recognition for my efforts – nuns could be difficult to please in those days.

So the idea of me writing a book was pretty preposterous but the urge took over from the inhibition when I became a Grandmother – funny how innocent little children can inspire adults to relive their childhood again!

So the dam is burst and I now HAVE to write – 64 years later and it has been a long time coming.

I took the cue for my first book, Granny Marmalade and Uncle Tractor, from the nicknames that my eldest son gave me and his brother when my first grandchild was born. As someone who runs a “Jam Factory” mine was obvious as was Jamie’s – he is a farmer. The drive behind the book was to illustrate the symbiotic relationship between food and agriculture in way that was authentic and fun for eager young minds.

The Railway Land Dogs’ Club stories were inspired by my delight in walking my little dog Ivy on the Railway Land. As a newcomer to living in Lewes I was enchanted to find this magical place on the edge of the town and on my doorstep. I have a particular love for the low lying meadows criss-crossed by canals that border the river Ouse. It has a strange resemblance to the Sedgemoor levels that I remember so well from my child hood in Somerset. And I have been fascinated to discover the history of the now long-gone house and grounds.

Anyone with a dog will recognise the spontaneous relationships both dogs and owners can strike up with complete strangers, and the humorous predicaments we find ourselves in. I hope readers young and old will enjoy my tales of secrets, fun and friendship.

Magnus Carter was inspired by the 800th anniverary of the sealing of Magna Carta. It is the story of a brave little mole who rises up against the selfish King, to fight for justice and fairness. It is a gentle way of introducing the concept of democracy, and a milestone in our history, to younger children.