A COLCHESTER author has realised her dream after finally publishing her teen novel 20 years after she started writing it. 

Lisa Wakely's novel Hexed will go on sale later this month and is inspired by her time working as a Guest Host Assistant working at Madame Tussauds.

Lisa decided to “weave” all her passions together, from pantomime performances to teenage holiday camp trips to a love of history, and so created Bellsbury, a seventeenth-century themed Dorset holiday village.

She said: "It’s always been important for me to bring the setting to life by feeding my imagination with true sights, smells and sounds from places like Bellsbury.

"However, it was the developing friendship I enjoyed writing about the most. We’ve all been there; the jealousy, the gossip and the crushes!

“I wanted to express the importance of trust and forgiveness, which my four characters must learn individually while dealing with their own insecurities by the end of the story."

Hexed is about a 16-year-old girl Harriet Flynn who after tripping over an ancient gravestone etched with strange markings, wakes up, alongside her friends, with supernatural powers.

Harriet soon realises she has unwittingly awakened a centuries-old, deadly curse and that only she, with less than a day, can put an end to it and save her village.

Lisa has wanted to be a writer since she was 12 years old and describes how after school, she would create stories set in the present day – but with a historical or magical or mysterious twist.

On her blog, Lisa details how it took more than 20 years for various versions of Hexed to be edited, evolved, and tweaked until the independent publisher The Book Guild offered Lisa her big break.

Lisa wrote: “As with any dream or ambition, it doesn’t happen overnight. Nobody else can make it happen for you. It takes hard work, perseverance and a thick skin.

“I started seriously at 20. I got there at 43. If you can keep bounding back after tripping up, you're on the right path.”

Hexed will be published on November 28.