Steeton’s very own prolific children’s author is hoping to break into the US market.

Peter J Murray, author of Mokee Joe books and a favourite visitor at Steeton Primary School, has grand designs of matching JK Rowling’s domination in the States’ literature market.

The former maths teacher promotes his own novels and has been told by a communications company in New York that he could go all the way to the top.

He has so far produced six “spooky” mysteries for readers, aged eight years and over, and now Triumph Holdings has bought the film rights for the books.

But Mr Murray, who spends most of his time travelling across the UK and other countries dressed as the 9ft terrifying figure Mokee Joe, is trying to keep his feet on the ground.

He said: “We keep saying ‘if and when’ we make it but they keep saying ‘when’.

“At the moment the launch is going to be in LA in May and it will take a while to get a reputation and grow before we can even think about doing films, so it will be a while yet.

“But it is very exciting.

“Because I tour schools reading the books to pupils I am considered an educator and we envisage schools in Keighley being linked to ones in Harlem via video so interactive readings between all pupils and myself can take place.”

Because Mr Murray sells his own books he is not eligible to be counted on the best-sellers list but by shifting more than 1,000 books a week he would otherwise feature on it.

He has just released his sixth novel, Moonwailer, and is currently working on another book, set in Steeton itself.

Mr Murray said: “It will be called Scabbajack and is about a local boy who scabs and goes to work when everyone else is on strike.

“The whole village then turns on him and the book will be about him coming back to haunt people in a house, which I now live in.”

Moonwailer is about a creature who frequents the imaginary place “Howling Ghyll,” and Murray based this idea on Trollers Ghyll, in the Yorkshire Dales, after a “chilling” walk around the area inspired him.

Spookily, he has since found out that there is also a real legendary demon of Trollers Gyhll.

“I hope this latest book, which features Billy and Callum from the last two books, will be as popular as the others have been,” he said.