A COUNTY Durham pensioner is urging people to follow their dreams after publishing her first novel at the age of 78.

June Wright’s story, titled ‘Our Evie’ is a love story set just before the First World War. The action takes place in Weardale, Darlington and the fictional village of Grainlea on the road between Cowshill and Burnhope.

The tale follows a seamstress from Weardale who falls in love with a solider who goes off to war.

She doesn’t know whether he would return or not and marries a widower, but is she happy with this life?

The characters are loosely based on people June, from Howden-le-Wear, has met throughout her life, from her various jobs including at Frosterley Quarry, the Co-op and the post office.

June has written short stories and poems before and is one of the original members of the Crook writers group which disbanded a few years ago.

Mrs Wright said she does a lot of reading, adding: “I like to write a book that I would like to read.”

She said her favourite books are murder mysteries, especially those by LJ Ross set in the North-East.

Being retired June, 78, had a lot of time on her hands to practise her writing and perfect the book.

She started writing the book 10 years ago to pass the time when the football was on, but had to stop when her husband got ill – returning later to complete it.

She tried to write at least one page a day, but she once lost an entire chapter in the computer.

However that did not put off June, whose mantra was: “I started so I’ll finish.”

June contacted Lintons in Crook, who printed 100 copies for her. They have been distributed around the local community including the butchers in Howden-le-Wear, and Stanhope community centre.

For those people whoare retired and have time on their hands, June said: “Take the plunge and do it. It’s worth doing and don’t take notice of other people – you can only get better.”