On the writing of
BEATRICE AND THE LONDON BUS
“One day, I was sitting at a Starbucks by the Royal Free Hospital in Belsize Park. Having worked in that area for two years, I often found myself staring at a bus parked by the bus stand in front of the cafe’.It wasn’t a happy time for me – I was going through a very difficult period. Following a series of events I had experienced some years back, I was struggling to cope with daily life activities. As I found myself staring at that London Bus, number 168 via Waterloo, I decided to write a song asking ‘him’ to take me away as far away as possible from the challenges I was facing. Then, I’ve heard a grumpy but reassuring voice: “Get on board young lady, let’s go!” I was stunned – the love and the positive energy I got from allowing myself to develop trust in an imaginary being – a LONDON BUS – just as a child naturally does – helped me through my struggles. I have started looking again at the world with the eyes of child; this way, I was able to make sense of many things that as an adult I struggle to accept. Then a girl came along, her name was BEATRICE, and the three of us embarked on a JOURNEY of discovering but also healing … the writing of their adventures allowed me to recapture the city of London, which sadly had become to me a ver hostile place where I wasn’t longer feeling physically safe, in a new light. And, through my writing a new London was born, with her reassuring speaking characters; a London Bus and London most iconic buildings such as London Eye, Westminster Palace, MI6, BiG Ben, Hampton Court, all with their unfulfilled dreams, problems and quirkiness. My determination to bring my characters to life as well as to bring them in front of children, to inspire them about pursuing their dreams, about never losing faith and learning to overcome struggles, fears and bad experiences with the help of one’s own imagination, was the beginning of my recovery.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A print and tv journalist, independent publisher and children’s book author, Francesca Lombardo has worked for major corporate companies (Thomson- Reuters), as a consultant and she has co-founded of start up companies After gaining a Master’s degree in Journalism at the LCC, her writing has been published by top UK, Italian and Irish newspapers , tabloids and publications; Financial Times, Daily Express, Sunday Express, The Telegraph, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The Herald, The Sunday Business Post, Irish Times, La Repubblica, Il Sole 24 Ore and Vogue. She has worked as editor of an inflight magazine for INK GLOBAL and as consultant for educational EU vocational training programmes and as co-producer of the multimedia project, Vampire Wedding at Castalides Pictures.
She currently works from London for SKY, interviewing A-list actors and filmmakers and runs Daily Fairy Tales, an independent media company specialising on the creation, production and distribution of inspirational and education IP for children and on the publication of Beatrice and the London Bus and its spin offs. Through her books, Francesca hopes to encourage children to use writing and imagination to build self-esteem and find internal resources to cope with difficult issues or challenging situations. The character of Beatrice embodies all that, sending a clear message that writing is not in the domain of specially talented people or grown-ups; writing and storytelling is something every child or grown-up can and should do regardless of the outcomes and the recognition. BEATRICE AND THE LONDON BUS and its spin-offs are available from 12 Southwark Libraries and from some selected central London WATERSTONES and FOYLES, AMAZON, some London independent bookshops and from 25 other online bookstores globally.