A former defence projects scientist has penned a heart warming memoir about mental health - and his mission to find Prince Charles’ dog!
When Clive Travis - who at the time was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia- heard that the future king of England had lost Pooh, his beloved pet on his Balmoral Estate, he began a mission to help find the dog.
And the often hilarious memoir documents 10 years of Clive living with the condition.
Entitled Looking For Prince Charles’s Dog, the book sees him take the journey of a lifetime to get back to health.
Clive, who this year marked a decade since he was last sectioned, said: “With schizophrenia things can seem like they are to do with you when they are not.
“When I heard that his dog was missing I felt a massive burst of energy in my body - I felt that I had some sort of spiritual experience and I went on this voyage to find what eventually became a symbolic dog.”
In his search for the dog Clive set himself a target of raising £10million for charity, and became convinced that his own situation was akin to the hunger strikers of the Northern Ireland troubles, a topic which still remains close to his heart.
He said: “In my delusions of grandeur I set a target of £10million because it was a royal dog and it was a legendary event.”
He added: “I actually quite enjoyed the illness most of the time, it was the treatment that was difficult - but I think the professionals and friends and family who were trying to care for me were at their wits end.
“Because I was so depressed with these medications, and suicide was on the cards, I realised that I couldn’t be the only person going through this. I felt that there was something in common with the Northern Ireland peace process and the hunger strikers.”
Clive, who now works as a patient expert on schizophrenia, started writing the book the first time he was sectioned in 1994 when he was 33.
And to celebrate its launch he has organised a range of events including a two day festival at Bedford Esquires on October 4 and 5.
And the author thinks that the event, which will feature music from the likes of the Ouse Valley Singles Club and The Wybirds would impress Prince Charles.
He also plans to drop a copy off at Clarence House in time for the Prince’s birthday in November.
He said: “To me the book has already been a success: a, Because it helped get me well, and b, Because the people who have read it so far have said nice things which have been really heartening.
“I hope that Prince Charles is pleased with it all – I think he’ll be impressed with the bands that are playing.”
All of the royalties from the sale of the books will go to a range of charities which inspired Clive on his journey, including the Princess Diana Memorial Fund, and projects in Northern Ireland.
n To find out more about the book – and a range of other launch events – go to www.facebook.com/LookingFor PrinceCharlessDog