Southwater author blends children’s story and rock music

Jane Curtis and Blaze Bayley
Jane Curtis and Blaze Bayley

Heavy metal music and a children’s story have been brought together in a book penned by a Southwater woman.

‘Papa Bear’s Journey’ has been written, illustrated and produced by Jane Curtis, 56, under the pen name of Jac Curtis.

The story takes inspiration from metal singer Blaze Bayley, a friend of Jane’s, who has previously performed alongside rock legends Iron Maiden.

Jane makes up stories for Blaze’s daughter Alice, and the story of Papa Bear was finished just in time for her third birthday.

Jane said: “I used to make up stories for Alice, and thought I would write this one down.

“I have had some good feedback already.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this happen.”

In the story, Papa Bear - who sports Blaze’s signature sideburns - becomes famous among the animal community for his singing talents.

His vocal prowess takes him across the land, and he is honoured to be invited to sing at the 130th birthday party of tortoise, the oldest animal in the Great Wide Wood.

However, like many famous musical stars, Papa Bear misses his family while he is away performing.

Jane is a Quaker as well as a fan of heavy metal music.

She met Blaze after attending his concerts, and later became friends with the singer and his family.

As well as the story and illustrations, children can be entertained by a map of Papa Bear’s travels and postcards he sent from his journey.

There are 130 copies of the book, which is available for £4.95.

Anyone interested can email the author at