Suffolk author to release debut book 10 years after first writing novel

Ann Hayton

Ann Hayton is releasing her first book later this year - Credit: Ann Hayton

A Suffolk author is preparing to release her debut novel ten years after she first put pen to paper. 

Ann Hayton, from Wickham Market, will publish her first young adult novel this year. 

The Other Side of the Whale Road will be released in September by Lightning Books under Mrs Hayton's pen name, K.A. Hayton. 

The story follows a 16-year-old boy named Joss, who is sent to live in a Suffolk village and ends up travelling back in time to the Anglo Saxon period to meet King Edmund.  

Ann Hayton

Ann Hayton has been working on her young adult book for 10 years - Credit: Ann Hayton

The book is set in and around the village of Hoxne, where legend has it that King Edmund was betrayed by a couple crossing a bridge on their way to be married. 

Mrs Hayton, who is also a health visitor, a magistrate and a vaccinator at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich, has been working on the book for a long time. 

"I did write a version of this book about ten years ago," said Mrs Hayton.

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"It started because I wanted to write about the Dark Ages and the Anglo-Saxon times. 

"I don't think there is much written about that. Particularly not for young adults.

"I think there are lots of books about the Tudors and about the war but there isn't much about the Dark Ages."

The Other Side of the Whale Road by Ann Hayton will be released in September. 

The Other Side of the Whale Road by Ann Hayton will be released in September. - Credit: Ann Hayton/Lightning Books

Mrs Hayton said it was important for her that the book was accessible for teenagers.

"I didn't want it to be a history book disguised as a novel," said Mrs Hayton. 

Mrs Hayton decided to start rewriting her book three or four years ago and is excited to be able to see it published. 

"I have always wanted to write since I was small," said Mrs Hayton. 

"I've been on the fringes for a long time. So this is monumentally exciting for me to have something in print.

"It was quite amazing to see it on the website. I think that was the moment I start to believe I wasn't actually fantasising. It was actually going to happen. 

"I am struggling with imposter syndrome."

Mrs Hayton hopes that this first novel will be the first of many for her. 

"I really do hope so," said Mrs Hayton. 

"This process has been a joy. I am never happier than when I am writing. It's just what I do to make myself happy."

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