Erica Vandy says that meeting an author when she was at primary school inspired her own writing.

The Werribee woman said a school visit by Bruce Whatley, author of The Ugliest Dog in the World, was a pivotal moment in her life.

“He signed my book and I thought, ‘I’d like to write a book in the future and be an author’,” she said.

Mrs Vandy recently published her first book, The Raggle Rug, about a little girl who is scared to move into a new house with her parents, but finds the perfect rug to protect her at night.

Mrs Vandy said the story idea came out of the bedtime stories she would make up for her six-year-old son Harrison.

“Telling him the story at night and realising it made him happy, and seeing it come to life as a book, was really good,” she said.

Mrs Vandy is a classroom teacher and literacy intervention coach at Derrimut Heath Primary School, which is part of Baden Powell College, and a vision therapist at Eyecare Plus Optometrists in Altona.

She said her work with children who have developed eye problems because of the amount of time they spend on phones and computers motivated her to encourage a love of reading books in young people.

“And I hope I can inspire children, like the author did for me when I was young,” she said.

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