Why Chesterfield firefighter Joe is hot property as author of a children's book

A Chesterfield firefighter who has written a children’s book is hoping families will takeinspiration from the story’s aptly timed themes, as the country emerges from isolationand lockdowns.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 4:22 pm

Joe Moorwood, a 43-year-old parent of two, has been published twice before, but recently teamed up with his sister, Anna Stephenson - an artist and mother of three - to create their first children’s picture book.

The Outside is Inside, which began life as a critically acclaimed poem*, tells the story of a young boy who has misgivings when his elderly grandad moves into the family home.

His concerns are soon replaced by wonder as the two of them embark on a series of adventures.

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Firefighter Joe Moorwood, author of children's book The Outside Is Inside

Despite being confined to the house, the pair explore imaginary worlds ranging from tropical rain forests to the open ocean.

Joe, who lives in Brincliffe, was inspired by childhood memories, in addition to more recent experiences of parenting.

He said: “Anna and I were fortunate to enjoy a childhood packed with make-believe stories, games and imaginary adventures, whether it was with our grandparents, parents, siblings or friends.

“I didn’t set out to consciously address any particular issue. The book started as a stand-alone poem, written just before everyone’s life changed so dramatically at the start of 2020. As the world went into lockdown, the messages and ideas woven into the poem suddenly felt more relevant than ever."

Joe with his sister Anna Stephenson and their book The Outside Is Inside

Joe, who is a firefighter in Chesterfield, said: “I love my job as a firefighter, it is such varied and contrasting working day or night. I love the extremes of the work.

“You go to intense situations and they do stick in your mind. I find the idea of a predictable career soul destroying. I can’t imagine a 9-5pm job, I did it and wouldn’t swap back.

“In the fire service, you retire at 60 and I want to keep going as long as possible. Of course you have to keep fit!”

The Outside Is Inside has been dedicated to Joe and Anna’s mum, Janet Moorwood, who died earlier in the year after a brief battle with cancer.

Joe reads to son Max, five

For more information about The Outside Is Inside and to order a copy, visit: www.theoutsideisinside.co.uk

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