An author in Ynys Mon has surpassed the 50,000 followers mark on social media following the release of her new book, Fox Under The Moon.

Fox Under The Moon is a picture book for all ages that features a collection of conversations between an anxious, but inquisitive fox, and the wise, old moon.

Between them, they address some of life's biggest challenges, engaging in issues covering grief, loss, love, friendship, depression, anxiety and others.

The writer initially developed her idea for a mental health supporting book during lockdown in February 2021, before bringing it to life during the summer of that year, whilst working as a campsite warden in Bodedern, Ynys Mon.

Stacey explained: “The lockdown experience for people was incredibly varied.

The National Wales: The author had faced her own mental health challenges in the past.The author had faced her own mental health challenges in the past.

“For many people, the forced isolation was tough on their mental health, and this was certainly true for friends of mine, both in Wales and further afield.

“I wanted to send cards to show them that I was thinking of them, but couldn’t find one that accurately reflected the mood of feeling at the time, so I created my own and shared the imagery on social media.”

The cards were an instant hit online, with the small, printed batches selling out quickly, prompting Stacey to order more, whilst also creating other designs.

By mid-summer of 2021, she had self-published her first book, Fox Under The Moon’

Asked about taking that initial step, Stacey said: “I was incredibly anxious about placing the order for the first 500 books!

The National Wales: The cards Mrs McNeill made.The cards Mrs McNeill made.

“I was worried that they wouldn’t sell, and I’d be left with hundreds of copies and an empty bank account. However, by Christmas of that year, I’d sold 1000 copies of the first edition and had exhibited them at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells, where they received an incredibly warm reception.”

Buoyed on by the success of the first edition, Stacey made the switch to digital illustration for the second edition, making production and distribution easier.

Since then, Stacey has sold a further 1,500 books, and has seen growth in both her online sales, in which a significant proportion are international, as well as her face-to-face sales at shows, which has meant that the business is now wholly supporting both her and her husband, Jamie.

The pair, who first met at university in Bangor in 2007, returned to Wales in 2018, after quitting their teaching jobs in England, selling their house, and moving into a touring caravan on Anglesey.

“Both my husband and I have faced challenges with our mental health in the past, so what you see in the book has been based on our own lived experiences, as well as those of people we know, and those who have reached out to me by email,” said Stacey.

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“Weekly, I receive emails from customers who describe the comfort my book has given them, which is incredibly humbling. To be able to give comfort to someone in crisis is incredibly rewarding.”

After the release of a mini-book in Welsh, titled Doethineb y Gaeafol (Wintery Wisdom), the author has another plan in the pipeline.

“We’re in the process of developing a schools’ programme,” said Stacey.

“The pandemic and lockdown experience has left a mental health legacy in our young people, which we would like to help support. I’ve also got more ideas on future designs and there’s also a second book in the pipeline!”

Further information about Stacey and Fox Under The Moon can be found on her website, www.foxunderthemoon.co.uk.