APRIL is a big month for Lochgelly woman, Christina Banach, who will see her first book published.

Christina, from The Beeches, has been writing and publishing children’s stories for years but this is the first time she has completed a book for publishing.

The former primary school headteacher will see MINTY, a contemporary ghost story involving identical twins, available from Amazon later this month through publishers Three Hares, and it is a story set in the East Neuk of Fife.

The 14 year-old twins go to Elie for a day out with their dog. Jess and Minty are inseparable and head for the seaside with their pet. Nothing can tear them apart until the trip to Elie. As Minty tries to rescue her dog from drowning she ends up fighting for her life. If she does not survive how will Jess cope, only the stormy sea knows the answer. Minty is a story of love, loss and coming to terms with the consequences.

Christina told the Times that she compiled the book from a mixture of experiences and knowing the East Neuk well, especially Elie, and she thinks it will catch the imagination of children.

Christina explained how she gave up being a headteacher at a primary school in Perth to take up writing stories for children and then a book. She had taught for 27 years in schools in the Lothians and Fife before taking over as head of a new school.

She said, “When I was at primary school my teachers used to tell me that I wrote great stories and that, one day, I’d be the next Enid Blyton. I’d like to say that I believed them, my parents did, but I never thought a girl like me could be an author.

“True, I was never happier than when writing yet another story or creating homemade comics to give to my family and friends - but become a writer? Er, no, that could never happen to me. Could it? It took me until I was scarily ancient before I began to think that it could.

“I decided in 2006 that it was what I really wanted to do and I asked my husband Eddie what he thought and he said, ‘go for it’.

“That was the encouragement I needed and with the support of my dad Roy also very strong, I began writing children’s stories”. Last year she began putting together MINTY and she talked of how writing a book was something which took a lot of work, “The first draft is just a sort of base camp. From that I wrote eight versions of MINTY, each one having improvements in it until I felt it was as perfect as it could possibly be.

“I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and also the Society of Authors and the input from people in these bodies was very helpful in preparing the book and I am looking forward to it being published.” And Christina already has the follow-up book to MINTY in the pipeline which will also have a supernatural flavour and this time set in Glencoe. Meanwhile she is looking forward to being involved in June in visiting schools in Fife to talk to children about being an author.