HE may not sell as many books as Harry Potter creator JK Rowling, but Sunderland author Simon Greaves is just as prolific.
And while his words may not be as magical as those in the Harry Potter series, thousands of schoolchildren owe Simon a huge debt of gratitude. For he’s the man who makes life a little bit easier for those stressing about exams.
In fact, Simon’s written so many revision books, they cover his entire garden.
Writer, co-author, reviewer and proof reader, the 48-year-old is now celebrating the release of paperback number 52.
The prolific writer, who taught at Ryhope Junior School, started penning educational books for publishers Letts, and Harper Collins, in 1999, after hearing parents complain that they were struggling to help their children revise.
“I was a Sats teacher and had the idea to write books which could help parents to revise English, maths and science with their children,” he said.
“I co-authored the first one, and when it was published I was still working at Ryhope.
“It was funny because the head teacher came into the staff room and said I wasn’t allowed to photocopy the book. I said ‘I’m sorry but I am – I wrote it.’”
Simon, of Herrington, whose wife Helen Greaves, 46, is also a writer, is now celebrating that his newest works – Times Table Success for key stage one and key stage two – co-authored with fellow writer Angela Smith, have hit the shelves.
“They were released a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “And mean I have now published 52 books, which I don’t think any other author from Sunderland has done.
“I’m proud of my writing career, because I feel I have made a difference to education, and it’s nice to see my books being used by parents and teachers.”
Simon, who keeps up-to-date with education by sitting in on school lessons, said he hopes to diversify into writing history, which he studied at John Moors University, Liverpool, before studying teaching at Newcastle University.
“History is my strongest subject,” he said. “And with changes being made to the way it is taught, I would like to help children understand it, and learn it more easily.”
Simon, whose mother, Elizabeth Greaves, 78, was also a teacher, and father Roland Greaves, a former ship yard worker at Deptford, who died aged 66 in 1999, said he followed in his family’s footsteps by working education.
“For all my mother was a teacher, I had a working class upbringing,” he said. “But I always thought I would be a teacher – even though it was the last thing in the world I wanted to do – like my mother and my aunt.
“I worked in the dole office for three years to pay my way through university, and once I became a teacher I absolutely adored it. My parents always had faith that I would do what I wanted, and they were unbelievably proud when they saw my first book published.”
l Comment – Page 14