A FORMER Weymouth teacher turned literary sensation is returning to the county that inspired her series of novels.

Kirsten Espensen, who taught at St Andrews School and Westfield Technology College, hit the big time last year when her Stonewylde series earned her a six-figure book deal.

Kirsten, who writes under the pen name Kit Berry, is about to bring out her fourth book and will be in Dorchester’s Waterstones store on Saturday August 6 from 10.30am to 1.30pm.

The writer, who spent more than 25 years living in Dorset before moving to Reading in 2005, said she was looking forward to returning to the area and saw it as an appropriate place to launch her new book, Shadows at Stonewylde.

Kirsten, 53, said: “I can’t wait to come back.

“I lived in Weymouth for 27 years and it was whilst I was there that I started writing this series of books that is set in Dorset.

“It’s set in an imaginary estate in Dorset but I kind of based it on Charborough Park, where Richard Drax lives.

“I used to drive past the wall and imagine something weird going on in there.”

She added: “I decided it was Dorset where I really ought to launch the book because, although I live in Reading now, all my original fan base was in Dorset and I had so much support there.

“The idea of coming back to Dorset was very important.”

Kirsten originally self published her first three books but publisher Orion offered her a five-book deal which included republishing her first three novels.

Her agent is currently in talks about film rights with a view to bringing the series to the big screen.

Kit Berry also has a massive online following with a dedicated group of followers on her own social network group.

Mother-of-three Kirsten said: “I can’t really believe it all finally happened.

“When I was a school teacher I used to dream about this but it was one of those things you never think will actually happen.”

For more information about the Stonewylde series by Kit Berry visit www.stonewylde.com