How a tragic personal plot twist turned Rik Alker aka The ChilliMan into a best-selling children’s author
RiK Alker University Lecturer at UCLan
In service to education, I helped launch thousands of students into the world as a university lecturer in economics and business.
Champion of Local Food Producers
In service to the growing and food production industries, I pursued my dream, took a leap of faith, and turned my hobby into a business growing hundreds of varieties of chilli. I found fame as a colourful, whacky chilli grower and champion of local producers from Lancashire.
I became the highest-profile chilli grower in the UK. I had a massive coastal facility producing 25 tonnes of chillies and more! My high media profile introduced me to Michelin-starred restaurants and celebrity chefs.
RiK Alker The ChilliMan Chilli Growing Local Food Evangelist in The Media
I created my alter-ego, the colourful ChilliMan local food evangelist. He was pure, unadulterated, good old-fashioned fun! I took a media rocket ride from an article in:
to the TV celebrity chefs like:
- the Channel 4 F-Word Final with Gordon Ramsay,
- The Hairy Bikers,
- BBC Something For The Weekend with Simon Rimmer,
- a finalist on the late great Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes,
…and many more!
“Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes competition summed up everything we stood for as local food producers. It was an honour to be nominated by so many #foodies and a privilege to be selected for the competition.”
I featured in Ted Robbins’ Golden Moments of BBC Radio when he selected our hilarious chilli-tasting session. I recall one BBC Radio Lancashire listener had to stop his car in heavy traffic due to uncontrollable laughter!
Event Headliner & Compere
In service to the food and drink industry, I performed the role of compere at Bolton Food and Drink Festival, attended and sometimes headlined at food events up and down the country, including the NEC BBC Good Food Show and Gardener’s World Live.
RiK Alker 999 Emergency Ambulanceman
I’m afraid the ChilliMan was reluctantly shelved during the recession when I accepted the challenge to serve the country on the 999 emergency ambulances where I saved 6,000 lives (0.1% of the UK population). I performed everything from the beginning of life—delivering babies, through trips, falls, breaks, cuts, bruises, road traffic and major incidents to life-saving work at the end of life.
“During my entire career on the 999 emergency ambulances, every single patient that entered my ambulance alive left it alive.”
RiK Alker Charity Ambassador
I served as an ambassador for the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust Charity and have shining letters of commendation from patients, very senior ambulance service managers and solicitors, but pride of place goes to the letters about patients found dead on arrival and later walked from hospital to enjoy their welcome back to the big party of life!
How RiK Alker Became A Best-Selling Children’s Author
A tragic personal plot twist was the positive writing catalyst that presented the most unusual opportunity to achieve my dream of writing a best-selling children’s book…
I was injured helping someone, which ended my career on the 999 emergency ambulances in my fiftieth year and left me immobile and unemployed at the height of COVID.
My injuries launched a journey into the love of writing for my children. I could not run and play with my kids, but the imaginary world released me from my broken body, and together, we explored as I wrote the book.
RiK Alker’s First Best-Selling Funny Children’s Adventure Book: My Grandad vs The Fangazoo
The result was my debut, funny, self-published, illustrated children’s adventure book for age 7 upwards: My Grandad vs The Fangazoo, and accompanying colouring and activity book for age 4 upwards.
Rik Alker Best-Selling Author Published Internationally
I achieved a top 20 Amazon best-selling position; US sales and Lancashire Libraries have purchased copies of the book.
Primary School Author Visits and Children’s Library Author Days
I now enjoy creative service in the writing industry as a full-time children’s author and love performing library and school author days.
I’m R.K. Alker Children’s Author 😊
About My Children’s Books
My Key Stage 1 Colouring and Activity Books
contain solutions to my own children’s challenges from age 4. I weaved discreet education into all the normal colouring and fun activities to help them learn to read and count; and write by tracing cursive letters.
Great Activity Book for Kids. My daughter is 5 and loves completing the mazes, colouring and dot-to-dot puzzles. My son is 3, so he’s more into the colouring at the moment, but there’s plenty of that for him! It’s a good introduction to the characters of the book, which I hope we’ll read together when they’re a little older.
My Key Stage 2 Funny Adventure Books
tackle critical themes in a light-hearted way to encourage young people to develop love, understanding, empathy and wisdom.
“Fantastic for children, but I loved it as an adult!”
“Overflowing with laugh-out-loud moments and unforgettable characters, this stunning black and white illustrated children’s tale is perfect for readers aged 7 upwards.”
KS1, KS2, Ages 4-7, 7-9, 9-11.
Middle-Grade, Fiction, Adventure, Comedy, Humour, Short Story, Tall Tale and Poetry.
Fiction, Adventure, Humour, for Ages 7 upwards.
Colouring and Activity for Ages 4 upwards.
#Fun #Kids #Press #PressRelease #Media #Publisher #Publishing #Lancashire #Teacher #Teachers #Teaching #School #Author #Authors #ChildrensBooks #UCLan #WorldBookDay #CreativeWriting #Storytelling
Frequently Asked Questions About RiK Alker Children’s Author
RiK Alker FAQ
Why is your name RiK Alker?
*RiK is a contraction of my name, Richard Alker.
*Take my forename initials RK, from R.K. Alker, and add an ‘i’ in-between to create ‘RiK.’
What children’s ages are RiK Alker’s books for?
*Ages 4 upwards and 7 upwards.
*Ages 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
Does RiK Alker perform primary school author visits? What services does RiK Alker offer to schools?
*Workshops in class, groups, one-to-one or assembly.
*Readings, storytelling, talks and interviews.
*Paid primary school author visits include a free school library book for children that cannot buy the book and FREE bookmarks for everyone!
Does RiK Alker perform other events and visits? What services does RiK Alker Author perform for libraries, book clubs, churches, and groups such as brownies and cubs?
RiK Alker’s books are for everyone. He is happy to perform author visits, readings, and storytelling for any type of gathering or event.
Are RiK Alker’s school visits suitable for faith schools?
Yes, RiK Alker has separate presentations for faith schools and secular schools.
What genres are RiK Alker’s books?
Middle-grade, fiction, adventure, comedy, humour, action, short, story, tall, tale, and poetry.
Was RiK Alker really famous as The ChilliMan?
Yes, The ChilliMan was a BIG local food evangelist.
*RiK Alker headlined at BIG events. Featuring in all the media: TV, press and radio was a HUGE thing back in the noughties or 2000s!
*RiK Alker became the highest-profile chilli grower in the UK.
*The ChilliMan had a massive coastal facility producing 25 tonnes of chillies and more!
*RiK’s high media profile introduced him to Michelin-starred restaurants and celebrity chefs.
What press, TV and radio has featured RiK Alker children’s author?
*BBC, ITV, Channel 4, UKTV, BBC Radio, Daily Telegraph, The Independent and more!
*ChilliMan TV presenter
*Gary Rhodes UKTV Local Food Heroes Finalist
*BBC The Gift Finalist
*Britain’s Best Dish
...and many more!
What subjects did RiK Alker teach as a university lecturer at UCLan?
Economics and Business
What did RiK Alker do as a 999 Emergency Ambulanceman?
’During my entire career on the 999 emergency ambulances, every single patient that entered my ambulance alive left it alive.’
*RiK Alker saved 6,000 lives!
*Delivered babies, and treated trips, falls, breaks, cuts, bruises, road traffic and major incidents.
What did RiK Alker do for the ambulance charity?
RiK served as an ambassador for the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust Charity.
Does RiK Alker have any commendations?
RiK Alker has shining letters of commendation from patients, very senior ambulance service managers and solicitors, but…
‘pride of place goes to the letters about patients found dead on arrival and later walked from hospital to enjoy their welcome back to the big party of life!’
How was RiK Alker hurt and injured on the 999 emergency ambulances?
*RiK was injured helping someone in his fiftieth year which left him immobile and unemployed at the height of COVID.
*The injuries ended his career on the 999 emergency ambulances.
‘Writing the Fangazoo books for my kids got me through those darkest times in a fun and exciting way!’
‘The cherry on the top was the publication of my book and achieving an Amazon Top 20 Best-Seller!’
Who is RiK Alker Children’s Author?
RiK Alker Children’s Author is a former UCLan economics and business lecturer, 999 emergency ambulanceman and most famous for his role as his alter ego—the colourful ChilliMan chilli growing aficionado and a champion of local producers or “Food Evangelist!” RiK is a media star of press, TV and radio.
Read his amazing story here in the PRESS SECTION CLICK HERE
Available for children’s author events, school author visits, library sessions, book readings, children’s bedtime stories, kids’ storytelling, book signings, and more!
RiK expanded his crazy hobby of growing chillies to cultivate hundreds of varieties of chili at sites near Chorley and Blackpool.
As a local food evangelist, he appeared on the Channel 4 F-Word Final with Gordon Ramsay, The Hairy Bikers, BBC Something For The Weekend with chef Simon Rimmer, as a finalist on Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes and many more!
The ChilliMan was reluctantly shelved during the recession when RiK accepted the challenge to serve the country on the 999 emergency ambulances.
Injuries helping someone ended RiK’s 999 career during COVID. RiK could not run and play with his kids and began to write for them.
Rik Alker became a best-selling children’s author and now performs school author days, readings and talks about his characters at schools and libraries.
His little girls, think RK Alker is the best funny children’s author in the world!