A Mansfield-born carer-turn-poet who used his passion for words to kick-start a career has become one of the area's most sought-after writers.
Richard C. Bower, 42, who attended Queen’s Elizabeth School in the 1980s and 90s before moving to Worksop, began his poetry career as a result of his mother’s death - leading to a three-book publishing deal for his efforts.
His mother died in 2014 following a short battle with cancer, which sent him “off the rails” and left him “struggling to come to terms with her passing”.
However, after attending regular counselling sessions where he was encouraged to translate his emotions into poetry, Richard discovered that he has a skill for writing and storytelling.
Richard was encouraged to submit pieces of his poetry for publishing, which led him to receiving the three-book deal with Soulful Publishing Group and releasing his first book, 'Postmodern', in October 2018.
And since its release, Richard's book has received stellar reviews on Amazon, leading to Nottingham-based magazine LeftLion nominating it as one of its 'books to read' for 2019.
He has also been invited to give speeches at Queen Elizabeth's Academy, where he went to school, and at his old university to the current English Literature students, has been compared to Nottinghamshire poet Lord Byron, and has been championed by the Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature as one of Nottingham's "rising stars".
Richard says he is "lost for words" at how his book has been received, and sees his success as his "mum looking down on me and pushing me to success".
He said: "To be honest I'm still pinching myself and getting my head around the fact that I'm an author and that I'm getting compared to the likes of Lord Byron.
"It all seems to be snowballing since the initial release and it's forever evolving.
"I've been invited back to Queen Elizabeth's to give a talk about how to succeed, I've been to book launches and signings, read my poems on BBC radio and appeared at so many Nottinghamshire literature events.
"Sometimes I have to stop and look at what's happening, to take it all in and appreciate it, because life is an interesting journey.
"I see this as my mum looking down on me and pushing me to succeed. It helps me to smile looking back at my mum's memory because none of this would be possible without her, and knowing that she would be proud of me for what I'm doing."
Richard's book 'Postmodern' gives an insight into how he came to terms with his mother's death and sheds light on the emotional trauma of grieving.
His second book is scheduled to come out later this year, however he plans to relish the successes of 'Postmodern' for as long as he can.
He added: "I'm going to let 'Postmodern' run its course and continue on its journey, because when the second book comes out the pathways will be trodden and it can follow in the same direction."