Good news for author

  • 22
  • Feb

Islington author Stewart Martin Johnson has just published his debut children’s book Bad News Belinda. It tells the story of everyone’s least favourite relative, and the two children who hatch a plan to get her to leave.

“A few years ago, a friend was telling us about a rather unpleasant woman who stayed with her and her family. This led to some serious one-upmanship as we traded stories about horrible house guests and lousy lodgers. I thought that it would be fun, and vaguely therapeutic, to put all these elements into one composite character,” he explains.

Stewart, a freelance illustrator, crafts designer and a ‘background’ artist has written several books anonymously for much younger children.

“But ‘Bad News Belinda’ is the first book that has been published with my name on the cover,” he says. “I wanted to write something that was more challenging without being limited to one specific idea or character.

“My ideas come from all directions, from people you know or meet and speak to, simply observing can stimulate a good idea.”

Stewart grew up in South Africa, but has lived in Finsbury Park since June 2010. “There is so much in Finsbury Park that everyone can utilise and enjoy, really great restaurants and shops, the terrific Park Theatre, the wonderful N4 Library and of course the Park itself,” he says.

So what has he got planned next? “Hopefully some more children’s books. I have more ideas and I am working on them”, he says. “There is also more craft based work. I am hoping to take part in the Made in Clerkenwell open studios event in May 2017.”

Bad News Belinda by Stewart Martin Johnson, published by Austin Macauley, is available to purchase from all good bookshops. For more information, visit

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