Dimples the Bear is back with more exciting tales from the forest

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A former sewing machinist who dreamed of being a children's author has a second book under her belt.

Vicky Stapley only started writing in 2007 when she was made redundant from her job in a factory.

Her first book, The Adventures of Dimples the Bear, was a hit with schools and sold thousands of copies across the country.

Now Mrs Stapley, 59, of Harvest Walk, Denmead, has published part two of the brave bear's story which she hopes will be just as popular.

She said: 'My first book was a huge success. Basically, I've loved telling stories all my life. My mum always read to me and I love teddy bears so I combined the two.

'I used to visit a chiropractor and was talking to her about my teddy bears one day when she said, "You should write a book" and I did just that.

'I never dreamed it would take off but I've sold 3,000 copies. I had a letter from a headmistress in Scotland who said she thought every school should own a copy of the book. That was a wonderful moment for me.'

In the latest book, which is aimed at children aged over five, Dimples has secret adventures in the forest where he rescues his animal friends who get into all kinds of scrapes.

As well as the book there is an accompanying teddy bear which is made by Mrs Stapley's sister Valerie Abbott.

They have become collectors' items and can be picked up at teddy bear fairs as well as The Bear Works, in Portreath, Cornwall where Dimples has become the top seller. Mrs Stapley still uses her sewing skills and makes outfits for the bears.

She said: 'It's a real family affair. My family love the books and help out where they can. I've also had a lot of support from the community, particularly schools such as Horndean Junior School and local Brownies groups.

'My dream of becoming an author has become a reality and Dimples deserves the success.'

Mrs Stapley would like Dimples to become as popular as Paddington Bear. Her goal is to publish a series of books on her beloved character and even turn him into a cartoon.

Mrs Stapley has spent thousands of pounds publishing and marketing the books herself.

She has donated 20 books to The Rowans Hospice, Purbrook, to be sold off to raise cash for the charity.

If you would like to arrange a visit from Dimples the Bear to your child's school call (023) 9226 5304. To buy a copy of the book go to dimplesthebear.co.uk