A TEENAGE project by two friends has been turned into a book – 20 years after it was written.
Martin Bewick and Richard Wells were students at Bede School on Durham Road when they came up with the story of Buster Bus.
Richard’s dad Eddie suggested the budding writers came up with a children’s book featuring buses.
They started writing the story but never finished it, and the tale and illustrations of Buster were put away and forgotten about.
But when Martin’s four-year-old daughter Jessica found an old picture of the character, they were spurred into action to finish what they started.
The completed piece has been turned into an e-book and app, which has been accepted by Apple and Kindle.
Martin, a civil servant who now lives in East Boldon, said: “I wanted to be a writer and Richard wanted to be, and now is, a successful art director.
“The project didn’t really move on much because we got married and had kids ourselves and, together with day jobs, life was just too busy.
“The recent mix of new technology, e-books and apps, and becoming proud dads ourselves, has inspired us to deliver Buster Bus to the world.”
The 41-year-old added: “My daughter Jessica discovered an old illustration of Buster in the cupboard under the stairs which had been there for a number of years.
“It was the final spark which made us pick the project up again and think seriously about taking it forward. Now it’s an e-book and app, and our own children ask if we will read Buster Bus to them before they go to bed.”
Martin, who is married to Dawn, 43, and also dad to Amelia, eight, said feedback on the book, which features a bus just starting out on his working life, had been good.
The friends want to turn the book into a hard copy and hope the series could inspire a television programme and merchandise.
Martin added: “There’s been a lot of hurdles to overcome but we’ve got there. We just want people to enjoy our book. The second episode is already in development.”
Richard, 42, who now lives in Cheltenham, is married to Helen and dad to Emma, seven.
l For more information, visit www.busterbus.com.