Sidmouth author’s characters brought to life in bear form
PUBLISHED: 12:29 30 October 2019
One-of-a-kind collectables based on the characters of a Sidmouth novelist have been released.
Fantasy and horror writer Jeannie Wycherley, who owns Sidmouth Gifts, teamed up with Alison Beal of Haven Bears to bring six of her beloved characters from her Wonky Inn series to life.
The bears have arrived in time for Halloween and include the novel's protagonist Alf the witch and fan favourite Florence the ghost maid.
Mrs Beal, who is based in Surrey, has been making the bears for 17 years using mohair, alpaca and cashmere as well as sassy fabric or ultra suede pads to create the animals.
Each creation is one of a kind and filled with steel shot, glass beads, rubber or plastic pellets to give it weight.
The Sidmouth Gifts owner discovered the creator's work through the Teddy Bear Times three years ago and asked if she could stock some of her creations.
Mrs Wycherley said: "I love teddy bears. I contacted her and said we would be interested in stocking some of her bears in the shop.
"She names them after local names, such as Sid, Branscombe and Budleigh. It's a nice little keepsake.
"I gave Alison a description of 12 characters and said for her to choose which ones to do.I would love to keep them all. It will be first come first served and it will break my heart."
The collection also includes Wizard Shadowmender, Perdita Pugh, Finbarr the Irish witch and Silvan.
The bears will be sold at about £100 each.
Mrs Wycherley only intended to write the first book The Wonkiest Witch for her mum Carole to enjoy, as she was not a fan of her more gory work.
As of Thursday (October 24) the series stands at 10 books with the release of Witching in a Winter Wonkyland.
Mrs Wyncherley said: "It's a Christmas special rather than part of the series. I think I need a break [from the series]. I'm not 'wonkied' out, I want to write more, but my dark side is calling."
The writer has told the Herald in the past how the East Devon landscape inspires her writing and she will be looking to the area's forests in winter to create new horror stories.
The writer has topped the horror charts with her debut Crone knocking her idols Stephen King and Neil Gaiman off the top spot.
She is currently working on a new trilogy of books called Spellbound Hound and will be returning to her horror roots with Hollowbank.
All of her books and the bears are available to buy in Sidmouth Gifts now.
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