An Orange teacher has brought his knowledge of school life to light in his first published novel, Following the Leader.
Drew Bale, who teaches year 5 at Orange Public School, has been writing books since he was at university and wrote his latest self-published novel during school holidays.
"This one took me about a month to write, it usually takes me a bit longer," Mr Bale said.
"It's a book set in a school setting about students joining the school council, the leadership team and the main character finding ways how he can make a positive impact on the school.
"He opens his eyes to a few things that he wasn't aware of before."
Mr Bale said Following the Leader was based on a year 5 student and the book was suitable for older primary school students, high school students up to adults.
"It's a general school, there are a couple of experiences that have happened... the story itself is entirely fiction and it's drawn a couple of little things in that I've seen," he said.
I've already got a pretty good job, [I just wanted to] make sure I got my foot in the door and did it myself rather than wait for someone else to say it's OK.Drew Bale
The novel is Mr Bale's sixth book and he said he decided to self publish it through Amazon after making it through a few levels when he approached publishers with previous novels, but was ultimately given the runaround.
"I've already got a pretty good job, [I just wanted to] make sure I got my foot in the door and did it myself rather than wait for someone else to say it's OK," Mr Bale said.
"I really like the story and think each chapter really leads to the next, it's kind of harder to stop writing than to start.
"I don't write what I read, I like writing fantasy and for young kids, I like reading historical fiction."
With his newest book he had help from friends when it came to proof reading.
The father of two children, Austin, 4, and Xander, 2, said his wife Sally was very supportive when he was in a writing phase.
He said Austin initially didn't believe he was an author until he saw the first hard copy of the novel.
Mr Bale also had the help of friends when it came to proof-reading the book.
Mr Bale said his students were supportive and excited, but to his knowledge they hadn't read the book yet.
As well as being available online at Amazon and Kindle, Following the Leader is available at Collins Booksellers in Orange and The Beekeepers Inn.
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