Fermanagh native, Dara McAnulty weaves a wonderful web of words in his first book ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ that it is impossible not to be drawn into his world.

Creating vivid pictures in the readers head through his prose, this first book from the 16 year old gives the reader an intense insight into Dara’s love of the outdoors, nature and how it and his writing are both intertwined with his autism.

An ability as a writer to paint pictures with his words, Dara says it has been “glorious” to see the reaction his book has received with high praise from many.

“Its been glorious. I’ve enjoyed it and been stressed about every single second.

“How people have viewed it has been mindboggling but really hopeful. I have been very, very surprised. I never expected any of this to happen and it has been insanely overwhelming.

“I’m just kind of trying to like sort of understand what is going on.”

Dara’s book is a series of diary entries over a year when he and his family moved from County Fermanagh to County Down and a new life, from the western edge of Northern Ireland to the eastern precipice.

Starting in spring, Dara writes with a natural emotional connection to nature, vividly describing the world around him.

“I remember when I was early writing, I just said to myself, I need to be able to see it as if I was blind.

“And that’s how I try to write up my world to a point where not really knowing what something was but still see it so description was really, really important for me.”

He describes the book as detailing the journey he takes throughout that year.

“It’s all about a journey and it’s all about change around me and me trying to cope with that change and nature sort of like always being there.

“And that is obviously the main focus of the book that among these diary entries, I try to make it as much of a movement as possible and have some sort of beginning and destination.

“The uprooting of myself and my family and completely changing location and place and belonging and then being lost for a long period of time and then discovering the world around me.

“And that cycle I think is one of the most important things I put in the book because it showed home just wasn’t where you lived it was where you are.”

The beginning of the year, and the summer season was the most difficult for Dara, he admits, but as the year ends he finds joys again.

“Summer was painful to say the least because that was the moving phase and I had to re-experience that pain which was not pleasant.

“But winter that was probably the most enjoyable piece of writing I have ever done. To be able to philosophically think about the world, just in thought and slow moving, pondering.

“I remember the days I was writing winter, I think I wrote winter as the quickest time of any of the other chapters because I just enjoyed it so much.”

Dara’s book shows how nature can help with the unravelling of a hectic world and he encourages everybody to get outside and enjoy it all.

“I feel like to really experience nature you don’t just want to go outside you also want to notice the world around you.

“A lot of the time you can go outside and just kind of flow along and have no real recognition that you are outside but as soon as you take the time to just stop and breathe in, take in the smells, the place around you and then you get that connection, that intense feeling of happiness.

“You can only really get that if you decide I am going to notice the world around me and I’m also going to have the respect and love for it.

“That’s the most important think I could tell anybody to do, go outside stop and look around you.”

Dara, who gives a special mention to his granny and granda, is not stopping at his first book.

Plans are in place for a children’s book further down the line, and if the reaction to ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ are anything to go by the future is bright for Dara.

Dara’s book is available No Alibi’s bookshop in Belfast and from www.littletoller.co.uk.