We’re thrilled to welcome Andrew Terry as our guest blogger. Andrew left the Navy in 2022 and set about writing and illustrating a children’s book about deployment and how as a deployed parent you’re always thinking about your children while away. The book has now sold over 1,000 copies! Here Andrew talks about creating the book….

Earlier this year, I wrote and illustrated a Children’s Picture Book, entitled Life in a Blue Suit. It has received support and praise from many naval charities and from senior echelons within the Royal Navy. I have dispatched books to the Naval Children’s Charity and to Aggies (who will soon be using it as part of their Storybook Waves project) and it is selling very well online.

The premise of my book is very simple and it relates directly to the effects that deploying can have on both the person that is away from home and the children that he or she leaves behind.

I left the Royal Navy in September 2022 (and joined the Reserves), and upon doing so decided to do what some people had been encouraging me to do for years: write and illustrate a children’s picture book. I had lots of ideas, but I settled on writing a book with the aim of helping children come to terms with a parent or guardian away at sea on a long deployment.

I had some expert help from my two children: Kian and Isabella. They helped me with the wording and made some great suggestions for the illustrations. To quote Isabella:

“I liked helping my dad to write the story and I liked that he listened to me when I said to change some of the pictures. I liked where it said that it’s okay to feel sad. My favourite character is Smudge…he’s so cute…but I like Jumper as well, and now I want to write a book and be an artist!”

It took waaaaaay longer than I expected to do the book, and to get it over the line – I nearly gave up several times and it was my shipmates that urged me on. Over 1000 copies sold or given away now.

The book is now available to buy from Amazon, at cost price:

Life in a Blue Suit: Terry, Andrew Denis: 9798803715078: Books

Also, I’ve recently been nominated for an award (for the book):, in the ‘most outstanding Royal Navy and Royal Marines’ section. I am extremely humbled to be shortlisted, especially as so much excellent work goes on around the Fleet.

Reading Force would like to thank the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Charity for their ongoing core project support.