When librarian Karen Morris told me there was a very real need for a story about dementia I said I’d have a go.

Karen said a lot of children were having to come to terms with the fact that their grannies and granddads were losing their memories.

Beloved grandparents were acting oddly and they didn’t know why or what to do. I sympathised; I have friends with Alzheimer’s, bright friends who started acting out of character.

Lovely Old Lion is the result of this collaboration. Susan Varley has illustrated my text with huge sensitivity, conveying every nuance of emotion – and it is an emotional story.

Klaus Flugge of Andersen Press believed in my story and decide to publish, despite thinking it was for a niche market with limited appeal.

Bologna 2015 proved him wrong – and right! Foreign publishers quickly bought up rights.

French, German, Japanese and Chinese translations – and lots more – are on the way.

Dementia is a universal problem and I’m delighted that my story is helping.