Merseyside author defies the odds to build a dream career & support her community during lockdown.

Liverpool author and social entrepreneur Natalie Reeves Billing, who had published one

children’s book at the start of the pandemic and went on to publish a further seven titles

during lockdown, says that the challenges posed by Covid have made her more determined

than ever to reach children through creativity and storytelling and to help narrow the gap in

educational opportunities this year.

Natalie has published The Monstrous Me collection, featuring the books: ‘My Daddy is a

Monster’ and ‘My Mummy is a Monster,’ as well as ‘Ben and the Bug’, a title which she

created to help address and ease children’s anxiety about Covid.

This year, despite the current UK lockdown, the author says that she’s determined to reach

a broader audience with her books, and to make a contribution to the wider community

during challenging times. In addition to writing seven books during the pandemic, she

graduated from the School of Social Entrepreneurs and is launching a new social enterprise

to help families access educational and creative tools.

Natalie believes that Merseyside is a great place to be based if you have big creative goals,

saying: “Liverpool always defeats the odds. We have a caring community, and although

funding and wealth are lacking, we have heart, and we care for each other. Because of that,

it is always much easier to find a way of getting things done. People will put themselves out

and dedicate their time and effort to do good in the community, and we have such an

innately creative culture.” 

Although writers and publishers have faced various practical challenges this year, from

cancelled book tours and events to the closure of book shops during lockdowns, Natalie says

she has felt more focused and motivated during the pandemic, adding: “To be honest, I

have found that by having the ultimate excuse for not doing anything at all, it completely

took the pressure off and helped me to focus and achieve more than I ever have. Creativity

and writing for me are the ultimate escapes, and though we can't travel we can always