A DAWLISH author has published her first novel at the age of 75.

Roma Dillon-Everest’s murder mystery, set in Dawlish, was written after she was inspired by her own diaries.

Dawlish-born Roma, who is married to magician Tony Everest, explained how she came up with the idea for the book.

Having been given a five-year diary as a teenager, she went back to look at what she had written.

She said: ‘I kept this diary from the age of 16 to 21.

‘I had an idea for a story for several years but in the Covid lockdown, I thought about it some more.’

At her beach hut at Coryton Cove, she would sit down and put pen to paper.

Now, 55,000 words later, the story has come to fruition.

She says it was loosely based on an incident which happened to her many years ago and involves a pantomime.

Not wanting to give too much away, the tale involves a closed road and an inmate who has escaped from a nearby prison.

Of the writing process, Roma said: ‘It was very difficult, making sure the chronology was correct, the details and I kept notes about each of the characters.

‘It was an in depth process and not the easiest thing I have ever done.

‘It is based on something I know happened. Dawlish was a totally different place in those days to what it is now.’

Roma will be signing copies of the novel at Presents in The Strand on Tuesday October 24 between 10am and 3pm.

Copies, priced at £6.99, will be on sale at various outlets in Dawlish including the Puzzled Sweet Shop, Gay’s Creamery, Strand Centre and the Cove Cafe at Coryton.