Kathryn Rose Newey ~ Children's Book Writer, Poet, Environmental Author

Author of 'Animals in the Forest' and 'Inoblet Elmer' books

Radio Interview on Environmental Fiction ‘Animals in the Forest’

Nick Coffer interviewed me live on BBC Three Counties Radio about my environmental fiction book ‘Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came‘ early in January 2018. Listen to the podcast of the interview on Youtube or the replay of the interview on the BBC website (replay available on BBC website 3 Jan – 2 Feb 2018).

As background, here’s some more information about the ‘Environmental Fiction’ genre:

What exactly is ‘environmental fiction’?

It’s a relatively unexplored genre of fiction, which encompasses anything to do with nature, the natural environment, nature conservation, green issues, and/or wildlife and animal rights, within a story.

Why is ‘environmental fiction’ important?

Books and stories, whether they are paperbacks, e-books, audiobooks, braille books or picture books, are a wonderful way to engage young readers into new worlds.

Usually environmental fiction and nature conservation stories have significant elements which are true to life, for example, the descriptions of wild animals, or the green issues that characters may grapple with. Although the story itself, the characters and perhaps even the setting may be fiction, there will be parts of the story which will be realistic and accurate. These stories successfully weave non-fiction into fiction.

Environmental fiction books are therefore educational and inspirational in terms of the information and motivation they give readers; readers can take further steps by researching these important issues more and deciding on actions based on their new knowledge.

Read more about why I feel compelled to write in the ‘Environmental Educational Fiction’ genre here.

Radio Interview: You can find out more about environmental fiction and my nature conservation storyAnimals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came, aimed at teens and children aged 8-14 years, which was discussed live on BBC Three Counties Radio.

Nick Coffer’s midday show of Wednesday 3rd January 2018 will be available for playback on the BBC website until 2nd February 2018 – listen to my radio interview here (from 2.44pm). Alternatively a permanent podcast of the radio interview is available on my Youtube channel here.

What do Batman and Ilnoblet Elmer have in Common?

Batman drawing by Jamie Ridge

Batman by Jamie Ridge

Or more precisely, what do an illustration of Batman and the book cover for ‘Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves‘ have in common?

Answer: Both have been drawn and designed by Jamie Ridge, who is currently an Art & Design student and aspiring illustrator!

Jamie and other Art & Design students from Oaklands College in Hertfordshire, UK, partook in a competition in November 2017 to design the book cover for ‘Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves‘.

The author, Kathryn Rose Newey, briefed the students with a synopsis of this children’s and young teens’ science-fiction story, a brief extract of a scene with Ilnoblet and an alien, and some measurements and file specifications for the book cover. The students then went off to weave their own interpretations of this story into an original book cover for it.

Jamie put his initial ideas onto paper, then translated his developed drawings into a digital drawing via a tablet drawing app. The book cover design was then tweaked and completed in online image-finishing software.

Final book cover by Jamie Ridge

Final book cover by Jamie Ridge

Kathryn says “I felt that Jamie, who hadn’t designed a book cover before, had a really good feel for what a book cover needs. His overall concept and execution were good. He had interpreted the character of Ilnoblet well for younger readers and cleverly used a reference to another science-fiction story – I think it all just works!”

You can see more of Jamie’s artwork at his Instagram account here.

Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves‘ is available in Paperback and e-Book formats from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk (as well as various amazon websites worldwide).

Join my Exclusive VIP Reviewer Group – Get a Free Book!

Calling all children and young teen readers as well as parents, teachers, grandparents, childminders and homeschoolers – join my Exclusive VIP Reviewer Group:

What you’ll get: A FREE e-Book of my latest kids’ science fiction ‘Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves‘ to keep.  Plus you’ll have your review published, and get the opportunity in future for previews before launch/publication, more free e-books, and invitations to review other books if you want to.

What I ask of you: Simply read the free e-Book and leave an honest review on Amazon (or elsewhere)* within a week or two. That’s it!

Why do this? You’ll be helping other readers decide if the book is worth reading or not! And for an author, this is really useful. It’s a bit like the ‘chicken or egg first’ scenario: how does the book get reviews if it’s still fairly new? That’s where you come in! 🙂

Join the Exclusive VIP Reviewer Group here. Upon sign-up, you’ll get your free e-book and links to leave your review.

Thanks for your help! 🙂

Free e-Book: You’ll receive the free e-Book as a PDF file, which I’ll email to you as an attachment or link. Adobe PDF files can be opened and read on any device as long as you have Adobe Acrobat Reader software (most computers, tablets and even mobile/cell phones come with it these days – but if not, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free here).

* If for some reason you don’t have an Amazon account or don’t want to write a review there, never fear! Simply write a review at any of the following places: My Facebook Author Page, as a reply/comment below this post, at Goodreads.com, or email me your review and I’ll post it on this website. Note: you only need to write the review once at one of those places.

Amazon links for Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves‘: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com.au, and most other major Amazon websites in the EU and worldwide.

Amazon account holders: You can write a customer review on any Amazon website as long as you have an Amazon account – this is allowed by Amazon, who know authors get book reviews in a variety of ways. Here’s what Amazon says:

“The following reviews are generally allowed, provided they comply with [certain other] guidelines: A customer writes a review of a product received for free at a trade show, convention, or other similar venue where the provider does not monitor whether the customer writes a review or condition any benefits on writing a review or the content of the review.”

What are ‘Animal Rights’? And Why Should we Care about Animals?

Picture of animal rights activists at a rally. Picture credit: https://pixabay.com/en/rally-march-protest-signs-2712259/

The term ‘Animal Rights‘ is everywhere these days. To the point where perhaps it’s easy to dismiss, like the myriad of other things vying for our attention in the modern world.

But here’s why the rights of animals are important. Now we could get into ethics and philosophy, but to me it’s simpler than that. (By the way, all clickable links included in this article are also included below under ‘sources’).

Firstly we can often see the suffering of animals. It’s right under our noses: stray animals, animals being treated cruelly or neglected, and social media posts and videos of animals suffering in zoos, tanks, labs and cages. We have to stop and ask – what kind of human beings are we, if we can see suffering, but do nothing to stop it?

Then there’s the animal suffering we knowingly or unknowingly cause through our actions. We know animals are killed or treated ‘inhumanely’ so we can eat their meat, wear their wool, fur and skin (leather), and eat or consume materials or ingredients they produce. These include: eggs from hens and other birds, tallow in banknotes, honey from bees, and things like castoreum, bone char and animal fats in perfumes, sugar, plastic bags and frozen dairy products. Not to mention rennet (from the innards of dead baby animals) in many cheeses, or gelatin (from animal ligaments) in most chewy, jellylike sweets.

Or the millions of animals we kill or maim on the roads every day with our fossil-fuel-guzzling cars and trucks, or the countless animals we hunt to purposely kill for ‘fun’ or ‘sport’. Again, if we know we are actively causing suffering of animals (or any beings, for that matter), why aren’t we doing something to reduce or stop our actions?

Cows going to slaughter. You complain about waiting in line at the grocery store - can you imagine the horror of the line they are waiting in? No living being wants to die. Picture from: http://www.rabbitadvocacy.com/animal_rights_page.htmNow I can hear the usual, sometimes loud or sometimes just confused arguments we humans like to make – “but I like eating meat/eggs/honey”, or even “but animals are just dumb and put here for humans to use”! Or perhaps “but we can’t simply stop eating cows/sheep/pigs/chickens because if we did, what would happen to the millions of these animals we have for this purpose?”

The answer to that is there’s no simple answer! But surely if we work together, we can work it out! If each person just took one action, say to cut down or cut out meat-eating, that would make a huge difference.

There’s another reason why animal rights are important too. Many of the things we do to keep, feed and kill the animals we feel we need, are causing very significant damage to the environment and to planet Earth. Our home, this planet, which is the only home we have, is being damaged by many of our everyday actions.

For example, factory farms are very common, even in countries you may not expect, for example, the UK (‘factory farms’ are where animals such as cows, pigs, rabbits and chickens are kept by the millions in very confined cages or enclosures for their whole lives, limiting their natural behaviour). Not only does this intense farming mean animal diseases are more easily spread through the unhygienic conditions and proximity, which in turn leads farmers to overuse antibiotics, leading to the spread of super-bugs and the decline in effectiveness of antibiotics for humans, but the vast quantities of pollution from the animal waste of these facilities leads to serious environmental hazards and destruction.

Then all these millions of ‘kept’ animals need food and space to be kept. So we clear large areas of forests and other lands which are exceptionally important for ecosystems and environmental health, or those which belong to indigenous tribes, to grow food for the farmed animals we are going to kill and eat, while millions of humans on Earth are starving!

Ultimately it just makes sense to care about animals and be compassionate towards them, because by doing so, that will also save our home, planet Earth. Okay, ‘Animal Rights’ is more than just being kind to bunny rabbits! So why not change something in your life today, to make life better for animals, yourself and the Earth?

I think it’s also really important that our kids – who are the adults and guardians of this planet in the future – get to engage in animal rights and environmental issues when they’re young. That’s why I’ve written Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came, so our children can start thinking and acting for animals and nature, through reading a story (and the extra information included) about animals living through their own environmental crisis.

Get your copy here: Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 

Sources and further reading:










Picture credits:



Animals in the Forest – Audiobook Available Soon!

Thought I’d give you a head’s up – Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came (already available as Paperback and e-Book) is going to be made into an Audiobook.

Once created, it will be available from Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

I’ve chosen an English native speaker to read the manuscript, in keeping with the story which is set in an English/European forest. The narrator and all the animal characters are holed up in her recording studio, reading the story aloud and creating those audio files!

I’m very proud and excited that this book will also be offered as an Audiobook, so that those who are unable to access the written versions will still be able to hear the story as well as the environmental themes and educational content embedded in the story.

In the meantime, get your Paperback or Kindle e-Book from:

 Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.com 

Update February 2018: The Audiobook is now ready! Get it from:

 Audible.co.uk or Audible.com 

Author Talks, School Visits & Book Readings / Signings

I do author talks, book readings and signings, visits to schools, homes, groups, etc.

I’m based in Hertfordshire UK, so am currently offering these within South East England (within reasonable distance). I am happy to come and visit your school/group for free, as long as my book(s) will be purchased either beforehand or at the same event.

Suitable for any small or large groups, such as primary/secondary schools, home-schoolers/home education groups, Scouts/Guides, youth clubs, old age homes, or any other clubs/groups.

Please contact me for more info.

Take a look at my books:

Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came is available from:

 Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com  

Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves is available from:

 Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 

New Children’s Sci-Fi Story with a Difference!

My latest book, Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves (published December 2017), is a fun children’s and young teens’ science fiction story with a difference.

Ilnoblet Elmer is an ordinary boy like any other.

Except for one thing. He’s from another planet – and his family, friends and teachers don’t know.

The story follows his adventures trying to defeat tricky and sticky aliens who come to Earth, wanting to interfere with him and create havoc. All in between him attending school and getting his homework in on time!

The story has lots of fun references to science, water, space travel, numbers and special words (you might not know it, but certain words have an interesting effect on aliens – you just have to know which ones), as well as two poems! There’s even a glossary to help with understanding his original language – you’ll be speaking it in no time!

Get Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves in Paperback or e-Book from: Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 

Environmental Activists and Indigenous Tribes Honoured

Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came is much more than just a story from the animals’ point of view. It’s also “a story to save the Earth”!

How does one story save the Earth, you ask?

The story itself is about an increasingly concerning environmental issue – humans ‘developing’ land where wild animals live. On other levels, the story introduces and implies questions about how humans interact with nature in various ways; and the book includes a number of discussion, research and action guides, with website links.

But more than that, the main characters in the story have been specifically included to honour, and stand in solidarity with, certain young environmental activists, defenders and protectors, indigenous tribes, and places where people fought and continue to fight for rights to land, and clean air and water. All of those honoured are listed at the back of the book, again with website links for further research.

The honoury list includes:

  • Balcombe anti-drilling community groups, Balcombe, Sussex, UK.
  • Barton Moss anti-fracking protection camps and community, Barton Moss, Salford, Manchester, UK.
  • Bentley anti-drilling blockade communities, Bentley, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Dakota water protectors, indigenous tribes and activists against Dakota Access Pipe Line (#noDAPL), Standing Rock, Dakota, USA.
  • Flint communities affected by water pollution, Flint, Michigan, USA.
  • Moxateteu tribespeople (one of the last uncontacted tribes), part of the Yanomami tribespeople living in the Amazon rainforests, Brazil and Venezuela.
  • Ridhima Pandey, a 9 year old girl and young environmental activist, who has filed a legal case against the Indian government for failing to protect the environment, India.
  • Whanganui River and its protectors, the Whanganui iwi/tribespeople – the river has, after a legal battle, been accorded the same legal status as people, North Island, New Zealand.
  • Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a teenage/young environmental activist and Youth Director of EarthGuardians, and part of a group of 21 youths who have filed a legal case against the USA government and various fossil fuel groups for failing to protect the environment, USA.

To find out more about how these environmentally significant people, tribes and places are honoured, you’ll need to read the story…

Get your Paperback or Kindle e-Book from:

 Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 

Or get your Audiobook from:

 Audible.co.uk or Audible.com 

Watercolour fox image thanks to: bugent on pixabay.com

‘Animals in the Forest’ Paperback and e-Book now available from Amazon!

Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came is now conveniently available as either Paperback Book or Kindle e-Book versions on Amazon.

You can get your Paperback or e-Book here:  Amazon.co.uk  or   Amazon.com  or from most other Amazon websites worldwide.

Kids’ books are meant to be enjoyable, readable and fun, and that’s wonderful. But often they’re not about real things in the real world, and they don’t always encourage thinking and questioning. Especially not about planet Earth, the animals that live here with us, and human beings’ interaction with them and the planet…

That’s where the book Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came comes in. It’s a story to read and enjoy, but it’s also so much more. What better way to begin a journey exploring and engaging in environmental issues and nature conservation, than through a story?

Animals in the Forest: I can say the author cares about animals and the environment very much. Deep down in her heart, she wants us all to care, like her, and protect the forest and its living creatures… I rate this book 100%, it really touched my heart.” ~ Reader, aged 13

Plus there’s a 38 page booklet of WonderWorksheets linked to literacy and environmental themes in the book, yours for free when you sign up to my subscriber mailing list! Sign up here!

Enjoy reading, exploring, questioning and taking action, Environmental Warriors! 🙂

Goodreads Author Profile

You can now check out Kathryn Rose Newey’s author profile at goodreads.com, where I answer reader’s questions, post books I’ve read, and announce book events.

Goodreads.com is a fun way for book lovers to connect. You can save ‘bookshelves’ of your favourite books under ‘read’ or ‘to read’, write reviews and ratings, and join readers’ communities. You can also contact your favourite authors or start a book club!

Have fun with Goodreads! 🙂

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