The challenges of parenthood is explored in a new book by Chippenham resident Mark Charlton.

Mr Charlton, 51, a married father of three sons, aged 17, 16 and eight, began writing essays over a period of eight years and his book, Counting Steps, came about as a result of that.

Mr Charlton, who is a communications director for a company in Swindon, said: “The book is about my journey into fatherhood and bringing up my children. The book is a series of essays – they are meant to be universal – about how we love our children and when they grow up the real difficulty we have in letting them go.

“There are some funny and lighter pieces. I found the process of becoming a father really astonishing.”

Mr Charlton is also the author of the popular nature blog Views from the Bikeshed and has tutored writing courses in Wales.

His book has received critical acclaim from Rory Maclean, travel writer, who said: “Heartfelt, tender and deeply moving, Counting Steps is a book to savour, to dip into and dwell upon. I could hardly put it down, devouring it from cover to cover in two sittings.”

Mr Charlton will be speaking about his book at a meeting of the Laid Back Book Club at The Pheasant pub, Chippenham, on November 28.

Counting Steps is published by Cinnamon Press, priced £8.99.