A MOTHER of seven from Weymouth has published her first novel - a year on from living her dream as a published author of short children's books.

Kate Knight, aged 43 from Preston, has published her first novel, Fiona and the Champions of Everley, after she became a publisher last year with children's books Louis and The Big Yellow Thing, and Woody and Louis Find a New Home.

READ MOREWeymouth author has first children's book published

Dorset Echo:  Fiona and the Champions of Everley Fiona and the Champions of Everley

Her first novel has a fantasy-themed plot about a young girl called Fiona who was given a silver amulet good luck charm by her Granny Joy, which reveals a family secret and unleashes a world of magic and fantasy.

She said: "The novel is around 280 pages long, while my first two children's books were mainly picture-based stories, which were around 20 pages long.

I'm pleased to announce that the novel Fiona and the Champions of Everley has finally been published.

"It's been a long time coming. I'm so pleased with it.

"It's published by Ginger Fyre Press which is based on Portland."

Five of Mrs Knight’s seven children still live at home, so she makes sure to write in the evenings when she can enjoy some peace and quiet.

She said: “I have written for 25 years but I never thought I was good enough. It was just a hobby really.

“I never dreamed I’d be published.

“My husband had a friend who edits books so my husband suggested I ask him to take a look at my novel.

“I handed him the book and said, 'it’s probably rubbish - if it is, tell me', but he said it was great and edited it for me.”

She has been coming up with stories throughout her entire life although she did not always commit them to paper.

Her first novel, Fiona and the Champions of Everley, is based on a tale she used to tell to her younger sisters as a bedtime story.

Mrs Knight said: “I used to read them stories and we ran out of books so I made them up. I first came up with the story of Fiona to get them to go to bed at night.

“The story has just been in my head for years and I eventually wrote it down.”

The Woody and Louis children's book series centres around a same-sex woodlouse couple who adopt seven woodlouse children and a ladybird. Mrs Knight believes it is important to educate children on social issues.

She added: “I want to normalise these things rather than make it an issue. It's important that kids understand that these are normal, everyday things.

“I’m a great believer that everyone is equal and labels don’t matter. At the end of the day, you are who you are.”

Fiona and the Champions of Everley can be purchased for £10 at www.gingerfyrepress.com