ENDURANCE Taekwondo owner and head instructor Alistair Lawson has launched his debut book, My Hero.
The children’s book, which is illustrated by Torquay artist Luisa Gioffre-Suzuki, shows children the many different heroes hiding in plain sight within the community.
Mr Lawson said putting these people in the spotlight was a major motivation for writing the book.
“From teaching kids in Taekwondo I get a lot of parents telling me ‘we need another positive role model in their life’, and the amount of people that said that to me made me think ‘that would be a great concept for a book,'” said Mr Lawson.
“I’d dabbled with poetry and writing in the past and always wanted to have a topic that I could be passionate writing about.
“What I really wanted to do was bring it down to earth and have a look at local heroes, rather than saying you have to look up to this movie star or this superhero because there’s heroes in all our communities.”
Mr Lawson said getting the story published was both a challenging and rewarding experience.
“It’s a big learning curve. When you want to go and publish a book you have no idea where to start,” said Mr Lawson.
“I learnt that some of the big publishing houses only have a very small numbers of books that they’re looking for in different categories. It might not mean there’s anything wrong with your manuscript, but it not fit into the category that they are specifically looking for.
“But the whole journey and the whole process was really good. The fact that my story is now brought to form in book form to help, hopefully, get people looking in the right direction and find role models and heroes they can look up to.”
Mr Lawson said he was also delighted with Ms Gioffre-Suzuki’s illustrations.
“We were able to talk on the phone and through messenger and have a few chats about the book and colour pallets, and various things like that which I hadn’t even thought about.
“The illustrations were above what I had expected, it was so good to see the finished product.”
Mr Lawson has already been able to send hardcopies to the people that supported the book’s Kickstarter campaign.
My Hero is available at Torquay Book Store and can also be purchased at alistairlawsonbooks.com.au.