An author from Walthamstow has encouraged other writers to never give up after getting his books published.

Leslie Jenkins, a 65-year-old English teacher who lives in Walthamstow, received 32 rejections before his book was accepted for publication. In 2017 his book Astral Cats was published, and his new children’s picture book Mrs Jacaranda Stories (The Queen) is now available in bookshops.

The book follows Mrs Jacaranda, a teacher with special powers and a magic carpet named Gladys. Readers follow her on a magical journey when she visits the Queen with her four schoolchildren, Helen, Kate, David and Adrian. The Queen is amazed at Mrs Jacaranda’s ability to make her favourite dogs sing and her horses talk, but anything is possible with Mrs Jacaranda.

Leslie dedicated the book to his three children and said he was inspired to write the book on holiday in Portugal when he saw jacaranda trees on a coach excursion.

Mrs Jacaranda Stories (The Queen) by Leslie Jenkins is published by Blossom Spring Publishing and is available now.