Portion of a page from "Satchel’s Night Nest Adventures: A Trip To London." SUPPLIED

Fenwick resident Mark Bulmer recently published his first children’s book, Satchel’s Night Nest Adventures: A Trip To London.

The book revolves around a dog named Satchel and his experience in London, England. Satchel’s character in the book is inspired by their own dog, a white Maltese, with the same name.

Bulmer says that the idea for the book came from his wife, El, after she had a dream that their dog had snuck out of the house and stowed away on a train. In the dream, the train took Satchel all over the world where he had countless adventures.

Mark Bulmer at the keyboard, accompanied by the real-life Satchel. SUPPLIED

His wife shared her dream with Bulmer and encouraged him to write about it. After Bulmer finished the first book, he started on a second, aiming for a series. The second title, Satchel’s Night Nest Adventures: A Trip To Niagara Falls, is in the publication process now, and Bulmer says he has eight other Satchel’s Night Nest Adventures already written.

“It’s just a matter of getting them published one at a time because it’s a fairly expensive process. So we’ve got the first one done and we’re starting to see some decent sales off of it, so I’ve got the second one in publication. And then when we get there we will get the third and the fourth ones out.”

The books are based on different trips that the couple have been on and take place in those destinations. London, being the location of the first book, held significance for Bulmer. It was the very first real vacation that he and El went on together and the place where his father grew up.

“We went to see where my father was born and where he was raised, the church where he was baptized and those kinds of things. And so London became the place for the first adventure.”

The upcoming book is located in Niagara Falls, where the couple had their honeymoon.

Bulmer’s children’s book series is, for the most part, a retelling of past adventures and according to him, still took a long time to write. He says that while trying to describe an experience he wanted to write it in a way that really touched the readers and made them feel how special certain moments were for him.

He has also written a mature audience novel that is currently out with test readers. Bulmer adds that it’s far from being published at the moment.

“I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I love telling stories, I love making people smile. I think the best thing you can do is give somebody a break from reality and let them have a chance to escape into something just for a little while.”

Choosing to self-publish his book, Bulmer urges fellow writers to go this route as well.

“The days of submitting a manuscript and getting a huge advance, those days are gone, they don’t exist anymore. So, publish your book the way that you can.”

Bulmer chose to work with FriesenPress. The company is based out of Victoria, B.C., which was a plus for him in that it was a Canadian firm. He also liked the services that they provided and hopes to take advantage of their editing advice when he chooses to publish his novel in the future.

“The process was very back-and-forth with FriesenPress. And we came up with, what I think, is a fabulous finished product. They are a bunch of unique professionals that know what their clients want based on little information.”

He says that it can be a difficult process, and as both creative and publishing forces are involved, authors may be faced with conflicting ideas about how things should look, and that finding the perfect mix between the two is important.

Olivia Hashka created the images for Satchel’s Night Nest Adventures and Bulmer says that she was an “absolutely fantastic illustrator.”

The coronavirus is affecting efforts to promote his book. Bulmer says that using social media to find new readers has become a full-time job for him.

“My challenge right now is that because of the pandemic, because of COVID-19 I’m really limited in my personal approach. I can’t go to libraries, I can’t go to schools and I can’t go to bookstores right now. But hopefully, that will ease off and I will get a greater audience when things calm down.”

For more information visit his website at https://satchelsnightnest.com