A man from Dundee has told how his dyslexia has not stopped him from publishing his first book inspired by his time as a foster parent.
John McIntyre, 52, has written How Witches Get Their Broomsticks, which tells the story of struggling witch Val who has dedicated her life to becoming witch of the year.
The idea behind the book came from his love of telling stories to his foster children.
He said: “When I used to foster with my ex wife, and when I was telling the kids stories, I was trying to read them out of actual books, the kids were going ‘I prefer your story, tell us a story’.
“So I was telling them stories about bears and goodness knows what else, and they were preferring them to the books I was actually trying to read them.
“We had a little five year old, I made a wee story up about a brown bear, and then I made other stories up for other kids.
“I kind of thought to myself why don’t I see if I can actually write something.
“I wrote the whole story on my phone.”
John wrote the bones of the story in 2014 before it got put on the backburner. But a trip to Poland with some friends a few years later gave him the confidence to continue.
Dyslexia not “an obstacle”
John said: “I’m really dyslexic so I sit there for ages spelling things.
“If I sent you the book from the very start and the book it is now, you’d go ‘wow, he’s dyslexic’.
“You would look at the paragraphs and things are all a wee bit mixed up, the way words are spelt and I don’t know why but it will look alright to me until I come back to it.
“It is what it is though, I just get on with it. I’ve been a manager for Auto Windscreens, I’ve managed a pub in London. It’s not an obstacle. I don’t think dyslexia could ever be an obstacle. It’s a hindrance, that’s all it really is.
“It just means that you have to maybe come back to it in a couple of days and read it again, that’s all.
“I wouldn’t recommend that anybody listen to any kind of schools or university telling you what you cannot do. If you’ve got it in your head and it takes a little more effort to get out there, it’s still worth doing.”
After trying various publishing houses to get his book published John eventually decided to publish his book himself and it is now available worldwide on Amazon Kindle.
He said: “It was probably one of the happiest moments when one of my pals in Australia phoned me up and said ‘John I’ve just been looking at Kindle and you’re on it.’
“It’s bonkers. I did it to prove a point and do you know what, I think point’s proven.
“I’ve got my book sitting in my hand right now, and that feels quite good. It’s not very big but it’s kind of good and the second one is nearly written.
“It’s a sequel to this one, as that’s what I always intended to do, to try and make two if I could.”
The artwork inside John’s book has been completed by local autistic artist Lauren Clementine Tinsley, whilst John himself designed the front cover.
John said: “She’s quite a wee talented artist. She’s done a good job.”
John has recently donated copies of his book, which can be purchased here, to the Archie Foundation.
The book is also available at