Insight Local Government Lawyer Insight February 2018 43 How did you become an author? I started writing books through my work as a lawyer, as a way of explaining complex legal issues to myself. My first published book was A Guide to Local Authority Charging Powers which involved a huge amount of research through Halsburys laws and was designed to help councils to better understand when and how they could generate income through identifying statutory powers. This topic has been very controversial and has come back into vogue during the credit crunch and recession. I have written or contributed to several other law books since. I find writing and updating law books a great discipline for keeping up to date with fast moving legal developments and my loose-leaf book ‘Local Authority Companies and Partnerships – LACAP’ has been in continuous circulation for over 25 years, now on its 37th update! Has your legal background influenced your writing? Definitely. I was always keen to find a job that involved writing and being a lawyer certainly hits that objective. There have been many lawyer/authors of course so I think it is a natural progression of sorts. Can you tell us a bit about your other books which seem to cover a wide range of genres? Basically, I love inventing stories. When my two boys were small, I wrote some rhymes and stories on the train to and from work (Nottingham to London). I loved reading my kids nonsense poetry such as Spike Milligan, Dr Zeuss and the daddy of them all - Edward Lear. The first rhyming story that popped into my head was The GrumbleGroar – a story about a fearsome creature who lives near the centre of the Earth and is responsible for earthquakes, volcanoes and other seismic events. The GrumbleGroar serves as a metaphor for what really happens beneath our feet and schools like the concept as it triggers children’s imagination to want to find out more. The GrumbleGroar won the New Writers UK Children’s Book of the Year 2012 following feedback from schools in the East Midlands and was featured in the summer of 2016 as a visitor attraction at the Nottingham City of Caves which was really fun to do and involved audio, props, lighting and a script for actors to take smaller visitors round the caves complex to discover signs of the GrumbleGroar’s existence. How did you come to write a prize winning book about war? It is a bit strange going from children’s writing and law to something completely different but I wrote a book about my father’s experiences in the Special Air Rob Hann tells Local Government Lawyer about his other career as an author. Law, war and the GrumbleGroar!