Artist Marnie Maurri has always wanted to illustrate her own book - and finally her dream has come true.
The 46-year-old is the creator of Doodle Girl, a character living in a sketch book with a group of animal friends.
When someone said they had just got my book through the post or they showed me a picture of the book on Facebook, I was quite emotionalMarnie Maurri
Doodle Girl has a magic pencil which she uses to turn random doodles into magical modes of transport to take them on adventures, where they find someone or something who needs her help.
Marnie was contacted four years ago via Facebook by two Leicester-based writers who thought Doodle Girl would be perfect as a book character.
They started working together and within a year they secured a four-book deal with international and UK publishers Simon & Schuster.
And the first book, Doodle Girl And The Monkey Mystery, was published last month.
Marnie, who grew up in Standish and now lives in Worcestershire, said she “couldn’t be happier” about her first book.
She said: “When someone said they had just got my book through the post or they showed me a picture of the book on Facebook, I was quite emotional.”
Doodle Girl is aimed at pre-school children and at the end of the story is a giant pull-out poster, which features all the characters and events so children can re-live the story.
Marnie said: “The doodle poster is very much something I am known for as one of my most popular commissioned pieces is something called a doodle heart - personalised bespoke pieces which include memories and events and illustrations specific to the person who commissions the pieces. I have worked on these pieces for the last five years and they are so popular that it seemed logical to include them as part of the books somehow, and it works really well.”
Marnie, who is married and has two children, is now working on the next book.
Her work also sees her painting pictures as private commissions and doing illustrations for her own ranges and products, such as prints and colouring books.
Her Facebook page Marnie Makes has more than 28,000 likes and she is becoming well known for her work.
It is a dream come true for Marnie, who studied at Winstanley College and Wigan College Of Technology, before going to Birmingham University and Slade School of Fine Art in London.
Marnie will hold a book signing event from 1pm to 6pm on Saturday at Waterstones in the Trafford Centre.