MILLIONS of visitors have seen the magic of the Dales - but it takes an author's eye to turn that magic into a series of best-selling books for children.

Settle born-and-bred writer Robert Bullock has just published Noah Ramsbottom and the Runaway Sphinx, the fourth in a series about a nine-year-old who who has magical adventures after exploring a cave in the Dales.

His 'Noah' books have delighted schoolchildren - and fired their own imaginations to have a go at writing their own stories.

Robert, who worked in finance before deciding to become a full-time writer, also spends much of his time visiting schools, libraries and community groups to present workshops for children.

The 45-year-old says: "It's so important for children's development to to get them reading, writing and using their imaginations - if you can engage them they very often go on to produce excellent work of their own. I love talking and reading to the children and they give me feedback too - there is a girl elf named Lilyplod in the new book because they asked me to put one in!"

Robert has written many books and short stories for young children and teenagers, as well as articles for grown-ups in various publications.

And although he had always wanted to be a writer Robert was actually living another kind of dream- for seven years he and wife Kristen lived in south-west France.

"We loved the country and our French neighbours were really kind - there were some real characters and we had some great times. But eventually the pull of the Dales proved too great and we moved back

"Victoria Cave was a magical place for me when I was a child and I try to bring some of that feeling of magic to my young readers. I like to set my stories partly in the real world - I believe it helps children to get into them."

Books set in Roman York and about women in World War One are in the pipeline.

Noah Ramsbottom and the Runaway Sphinx (ISBN: 978-1-63135-136-5) is now available. For more information on Robert's books see his website