A Geography teacher who has created a series of children’s books which focuses on a family dog visiting European cities is proving to be a hit with readers across the globe.
The Louis Louis series by Gillian Muir has already been translated into French and Dutch with fans from all over the world including Canada, South Africa and South Korea following Louis’ adventures.
Gillian from South Ayrshire based her Louis Louis books on her own dog who travelled with her and her family around Europe. Inspired by her teaching career and in particular, working with young boys with behavioural problems, Gillian is a big supporter of making learning fun and interesting.
So far there are four books in the Louis series, all illustrated by Belgian artist Delphine Frantzen, with plans for another next year.
Gillian said: “The inspiration for the Louis books came while I was writing a coming of age novel called Ten at Last Ted. While I was working on this book, we adopted a Cockapoo from a dog shelter in Brussels.
“He travelled with us around Europe and I realised there must be a book written about him.
“Whilst living in Belgium I met a very talented comic strip artist who subsequently illustrated the Louis books.
“After setting up an independent publishing company, wee dug books, to print and market the books the feedback has been amazing.
“There are Louis fans all around the world – not only do readers love to hear about his adventures but they also enjoy visiting the sights in the various cities.
“After working as a Geography teacher in Ayrshire for 20 years I’m delighted so many children are enjoying reading about different places in a fun way.”
With her books already translated into two languages, Gillian plans to have her latest book Louis Goes to Edinburgh also available in Gaelic. She is also currently working on the next book but can’t reveal the location just yet, as she is planning on running a competition for Louis fans to guess the next destination.
Gillian added: “I’m hoping that our Edinburgh book will inspire people to visit Scotland and experience the wonders of Edinburgh.
“Hopefully the Louis series will also encourage people to consider checking out their local dog home and give a dog a new home. That is the spirit of the Louis books; to enjoy reading, explore new places and give something back.
“I was ready to take the business to the next level and so I contacted Business Gateway in Ayrshire. My adviser John Strachan was a fantastic source of information and knowledge and through him I enrolled in events and gained expert advice on finance, marketing and digital marketing.
“Through Business Gateway, I’ve gained expertise in various areas and help in expanding my business not only in Scotland but on a global platform.”
John Strachan, Business Adviser, Business Gateway said: “Gillian has created a unique character which has caught the imagination of so many people.
“We have helped Gillian through a number of ways and she has taken advantage of our fully funded workshops to gain important skills and knowledge.”