Metford-based science fiction author Andrew Cahill-Lloyd hopes his latest novel The Visitors helps teach children a better way to live.
The Visitors is an entertaining and insightful look at the world gone wrong from the point of view of two alien time travellers.
The book opens in the year 2032, with Bjorn and Zorn in orbit around earth witnessing the destruction of the planet.
Upset by what they see, they decide to travel back in time to collect a little band of misfits to help them save humanity from itself.
They encounter the laid-back Ptoni the Pteranodon, the lady-like Florence the Jersey Cow, the excitable Penelope the Adelie Penguin and the chicken-nugget-obsessed Dax the Maine Coon Cat and set off on an adventure that sees them cross the galaxy and back again.
Their adventure is filled with drama, fun and chaos, proving that alien abduction can be fun.
Behind the humour and rip-roaring narrative is a more serious message.
"The Visitors is speaking out against racism and homophobia and religious entitlement," Andrew said.
"I look around the world today and see a lot of worrying developments and I think the only way to effectively change things moving forward is to teach children to be more open and accepting.
"The book opens in 2032, with Bjorn and Zorn watching the earth being destroyed by religious wars so they decide to travel back in time, hook up with some locals, investigate the causes of the problems and come up with solutions to fix it.
"It's a lot of fun, there's a lot of lot humour and the story is character-driven, but at its heart are some serious messages that hopefully get through."
Andrew spent ten years as a serving member of the Royal Australian Air Force and is a grandfather to 10 children: nine girls and one boy.
He has a keen interest in marine life and the environment and is a qualified veterinary nurse and a champion for animal rights.
He encourages people to adopt from shelters and rescue groups. Dax, the Maine Coon Cat in his novel, was was based on an actual rescue adoption.
In writing The Visitors, Andrew was heavily influenced by seeing a young child in the Ku Klux Klan.
"He has been taught that, it doesn't come naturally and I want to teach kids that there is a better way to live, and I'm trying to do that through my writing," Andrew said.
The original story was written back in 2014-15 and after a familiar literary journey of knockbacks, UK-based publisher Austin Macauley agreed to publish it.
It is available through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Waterstones by going to Andrew's website www.andrewcahill-lloyd.com,