Family inspiration behind Harrogate author’s children’s book

Author GK Wood.
Author GK Wood.
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The death of his father has prompted a Harrogate man to publish his first children’s book in tribute.

Not that it’s the first time Geoff Wood (aka G.K. Wood) has made an impression with his writing skills.

A decade or so again he won a BBC sitcom writing competition and even had his script turned into a show which was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland.

He’s not found in easy to repeat the trick in the often surreal and political world of radio broadcasting – but that’s another story.

His new book for children is called The Gorilla Babysitter, an idea born of his family life in Harrogate with his doctor wife and two children.

Geoff said: “I’d been getting bored pretending to be the serious dad from The Lion King when I was role-playing with the kids.

“One time I improvised a friendly orang-utan who babysits the cubs but isn’t very good at it. The Oran-utan Babysitter didn’t sound right so I changed him into a gorilla.”

Although Geoff had a period away from Harrogate, his roots in the town are long; his great-grandfather was railway station-master at Starbeck.

The Gorilla Babysitter is available now as an e-book on Amazon and, hopefully, in print soon - but it may not have got to this point without a family tragedy.

Geoff said: “For a while it was just an idea but, after my dad’s death, I had a sudden urge to write it down. I wanted to do something positive that would appeal to youngsters while also being a little tribute to my dad – and struggling dads everywhere!”