In this blog piece, library volunteer and member, David Sleeman, speaks about the latest addition to our children’s collection – Holy Macaroni! written by the brilliant and much missed Maureen Sleeman.
Holy Macaroni! by Maureen Sleeman
A wonderful new addition to the shelves of the Morrab Library will shortly be arriving. Holy Macaroni a children’s story written by Maureen Sleeman who was a member of the library for many years will be published early in November by AH Stockwell.
Macaroni, an Italian mongrel lives with the Fettuccini family in a pizzeria near the ancient town of Pompeii. Macaroni finds himself carried back 2000 years to the reign of Caligula. Plunged into a madcap world of slaves, gladiators and a lunatic emperor Macaroni becomes a dog with a cause, sniffing out treachery, pitting his wits against villains and saving Pompeii from the Emperors wrath.
Children in the family have read Macaroni and Maureen took him to a local primary school and read to the children who loved it. The inspiration came from her love of Italy and a holiday where we visited Pompeii.
It was against this background that I chose to try and get Macaroni published.
Sadly, Maureen passed away in April 2019 aged 58 and Macaroni just lay there asking to be let out. He has travelled to London, twice to Wales, before finally finding a friendly publisher in North Devon.
Maureen loved to write and was known locally in various writing groups. It seemed as if Maureen always had a pen in her hand making notes about characters and places for the next story. Over time, she has produced many articles and novels, one with a film script which got as far as Working Title in London but alas not taken up. Her last novel set in Rhodes, crime fiction was all but complete prior to her illness. Maureen had planned to go back to her writing in January 2020 and work on getting her writing published but it was not to be.
My tribute to Maureen was to get Macaroni published and let children enjoy the benefit of her wonderful imagination.