Out of adversity, Steve Priest has created something amazing – and received royal approval.
His children’s book, “The King’s Biscuits”, has tickled a prince.
Publishing the story is something he had planned on for centuries, but never got around to.
His third brushstroke with cancer, however, provided the incentive to finish it.
He sent a copy to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their children, Princes George and Louis, and Princess Charlotte.
William and Kate responded by sending Steve a thank-you letter saying how much they appreciated his gift.
Steve, 48, from Higher Crompton, Oldham, said: “My cousin Josh and mom, Kay, were messing around writing short stories and writing a little bit about a king who loved cookies.
“My mom dared me to write a book and I took the idea of King and Biscuits and turned it into something.
“I based it loosely on King Arthur and his knights – but made cookies into the Holy Grail.”
Steve Priest, whose book, The King’s Biscuits, was well received by true royalty (Image: STEVE ALLEN)
The quest for biscuits for the king is continued by three “knights” – a sneaky, stealing mouse; a brave lioness; and a cunning fox.
The book is only 30 pages long, but the plot is by no means paper thin – with a dragon and a wizard also in the mix.
Steve said, “I worked with art and made doodles for a long time. It was during the lockdown and for the third time that I was diagnosed with cancer that I got the drive to finish the book and get it out there. published it on my birthday, November 17. It’s a children’s story, but there is a moral to it.
Steve had testicular cancer twice twelve years ago before he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year.
“About the same time I was diagnosed last year, my partner, Liz Payton, who is an elementary school teacher in Oldham, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is currently being treated for it. It has been a difficult time.
“For my latest prostate cancer, it was Mr Vijay Ramani and his team at The Christie in Manchester who performed my surgery and who have most likely done a great job and saved my life.”
Steve has been composing and selling music for use in TV ads for the past decade and recently had a jazz clip used in a movie.
He also works at Oldham Art Gallery, where he is a guide for visitors and has curated an exhibition.
A letter sent on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thanking him for a copy of his book. (Image: STEVE ALLEN)
The Duke and Duchess’s letter was beautiful – I thought it was my invitation to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
“The book is not yet on the Sunday Times bestseller list, but everyone who has read it loves it. I was surprised I could write something decent.”
The royal couple’s letter to Steve says: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have asked me to thank you for your kind letter and gift for their children.
Their Royal Highnesses are very grateful to you for taking the trouble to send them the book. It was really very thoughtful of you and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have asked me to say thank you very much and best wishes. ‘
Steve has written two more stories and is working on a third. The KIng’s Biscuits is available at all top bookstores for £ 6.99.