And he had two of America’s biggest publishing houses keen to back his book Dino Express.
Children’s illustrator and author Tim Beaumont will hold workshops and sign copies of his book in Huddersfield when it is released on April 26 in the UK.
And the unique pop-up glow-in-the-dark book is released in America and the rest of the world on May 3.
Born in Waterloo, he began his career as a sheet metal worker apprentice but his illustrations were picked up by his bosses who encouraged him to draw.
Tim said: “It has been a real journey – it’s the product of a lot of sacrifice, heartache and dedication.”
Dino Express is penned by Tim and also illustrated by him.
He loved dinosaurs and trains as a young boy so decided to combine the two and began to doodle the characters and develop a story.
Tim added: “The book has pop-up elements and glow in the dark inks and pull tabs. It really fits the three to five age range.”
He has been working on Dino Express since 2009 but it was back in the 1980s he began to focus on illustrations.
“I started off as an apprentice at an engravers in Bradley Mills then got an apprenticeship at Morley Brothers on St Andrew’s Road,” he said.
“At the time I used to take my art work in and one day the manager saw them and said I could move to the drawing office and utilise my skills.
“They did some work with a printing firm, Pillings in Elland, and I later moved there and worked in the art department. I learned everything about commercial art work there and picked up a lot of experience.”
But by 1987 Tim decided to go freelance. “I’ve been working on illustrations ever since and have had a lot of support from my family,” he added. “Getting a publisher is payback for all their support.”
Married to wife Julie since 1998, Tim has a son Harrison, 12, and step-daughter Nicola, 27, who have all have read Dino Express and given him feedback.
Tim sent ideas and illustrations to agents and publishers throughout the UK but got knocked back.
But Laurie Nowicki at Painted Words in New York, which specialises in illustration and literacy, backed him.
At one point Tim had publishers Bloomsbury willing to take the book, but it will be published by Running Press.
Tim will launch it at Lindley Library on April 26 at 3.45pm followed by a book signing at The Children’s Bookshop in Lindley.
On May 5 at 11am he will sign copies and hold an interactive workshop for young children at Waterstone’s in the Kingsgate Shopping Centre.