A WORKINGTON author who had her first book published three years ago has not looked back - and is delighted to have expanded abroad.

Keswick School teacher Helen Haralsden said: "My author journey began on March 15, 2019, with the publication of Little Pearl - Amber's Pony Tales book 1.

"Since then, I've continued writing and publishing independently: nine individual fiction books, one collection book and a journal for pony riders."

She recently also signed her first foreign rights deal with a publisher in Istanbul, Turkey.

"They are buying the translation rights for The Dalmatian that Lost its Spots, with a possibility of them taking the full Daley's Dog Tales series if it goes well," said Helen.

"The thought of my books being available around the world in different languages is out of this world."

The book is based on her dogs: Lucy the Dalmatian and Petra the German shorthaired pointer and was completed during the spring lockdown.

"Everything that's happened, and is happening, makes me feel full of energy as I enjoy it so much," said Helen, who runs a writing coaching course.

"When I started out, I'd never have believed I'd be in the position I'm in now. I really lacked confidence in myself as an author.

"Growing up in West Cumbria in the 1980s / 90s, we never received any author visits in school so they've have always held a sort of mystique.

"I imagined that they were special and came from far away places. It didn't occur to me for a long time that someone from a small town in Cumbria could be an author.

"But now I believe it, and I want others to believe it too, especially children.

"When I go into schools to deliver author visits, I always make a point that anyone can be an author. It doesn't matter where you're from, or how well you do in tests. All you need to be a writer is passion, patience and a willingness to persevere."

She is looking forward to spreading that message in the schools she will visit this year, including the Carlisle School Partnership Literature Festival in June.