A TYNEDALE woman has released her first book after she began writing again during lockdown.

Iona Daley (21) has written, illustrated and self-published a children's picture book, 'Big whale, Blue'.

Iona, who is from Haltwhistle but moved to Hexham last year, said: "I have always written short stories but it stopped when I finished school.

"I picked it back up again in lockdown, mostly out of boredom to be honest.

"I was never planning on doing anything like this."

Starting last September, Iona, who has a full-time job, wrote the story in a couple of weeks, whilst the book's drawings took a "good few months", she said.

"I really enjoyed doing it," she said.

The book, a story of friendship between a little girl, her Grandpa and a whale, was released on July 1.

Iona said: "It's doing really well.

"I think we have sold coming up to about 200 copies."

On Friday (July 9), Iona visited her old school, Haltwhistle Academy, to read and discuss the book with pupils there.

Describing the day as the most rewarding point of the process, Iona said the students seemed to really enjoy the book.

They also gave her lots of ideas for if she decides to write more books, she said.

"It was lovely.

"Hearing that they all liked it has pushed me to want to do that [write a second book]."

To order the book, visit bigwhaleblue.com. It is also available on Amazon.