"Socrates the Sprinting Snail of Sorrento"

George Burton's first self-published book "Socrates the Sprinting Snail of Sorrento" is a children's illustrated story and, as the title would suggest, is about the adventures of Socrates, a snail living on the roof of the Regina Hotel in Sorrento. It first appeared in George's daily blog in November 2012 when he and his wife Mary took three days off touring in their 2-berth caravan on site in Pompeii and had three luxurious nights in that same Sorrento hotel. On the first morning, they had noticed a snail crawling up the window of the breakfast room situated on the top floor of the hotel overlooking the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius beyond. They were taken aback by how quickly the snail climbed the entire height of the floor-to-ceiling window and disappeared up onto the roof.

Mary's niece Beth had recently won a competition on the blog to name the caravan they were touring Europe in, so George quickly wrote a couple of hundred words for her about the snail as a prize. Once published on the blog, the response from his readers was so enthusiastic that he was obliged to add further chapters week after week until he found he had written a children's adventure story almost by accident. His family soon persuaded him in 2013 to publish the blog posts as a book which he did in electronic form on Kindle that summer. The second half of that year was spent waiting for artist Elaine Matheson-Falconer to complete the drawings that were to enhance the attraction of the book. 250 paperback copies of the now illustrated book were published in December 2013 and all but 30 of them were sold by the summer of 2014. The book was reprinted in December 2017 and is available here