A South Newton mum of two contributed to one of the best-selling Christmas books on Amazon.

Lesley Thomas, 55, is the author a story in the Advent anthology book, The Enchanted Christmas Treasury: A Tale for Every Day of Advent with her story of “Sam, Ninja Nan and the Spirit of the Christmas Tree”.

Lesley said she suddenly thought of the characters ten years ago, but initially refrained from putting pen to paper.

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Lesley said: “I think it was the usual lack in confidence around will people like it, who am I to write a story, who am I to think I could be a published author, etc., etc.”

By chance, Lesley met Abigail Horne of Authors & Co, who decided to compile an anthology of newly published children’s stories for Advent in 2023.

All of the characters in the story are inspired by Lesley and her family.

Her son Sam, 15, is featured as a younger, seven-year-old fictional version of himself and Ninja Nan is inspired by Lesley’s mother, Ray Bees, 80, though the character also incorporates a large part of Lesley’s own adventurous spirit.

Lesley’s oldest son Adam, 17, features as a nine-year-old version of himself and her husband, Steve, makes an appearance as well.

Ninja Nan has purple hair, as Lesley’s mother does in real life.

Lesley said: “About ten years ago she started using a product that is meant to keep white hair white, but it’s a purple product and for whatever reason it turned my mum’s hair purple and she has essentially kept it purple.

“She gets a lot of people now who come up to her and tell her how much they like her purple hair.”

Lesley said her mum has been very happy to see the extreme popularity of the book on Amazon across the world.

She said: “She loves the fact that because the book has been Amazon number one bestseller and also it’s number two on Amazon for being the most gifted this Christmas as well. She’s looking at me thinking how amazing that families around the world are getting to hear about Ninja Nan, Super Gran and her purple hair and just be part of other people’s Christmases.

“My mum has always been a massive, massive Christmas fan.”

Lesley said this isn’t the last we will see of Ninja Nan, as she already has the ideas in her head for a longer book and many adventures featuring the character.

Lesley said: “The whole thing with Ninja Nan is when she spots the opportunity for an adventure, she puts a headband on and that signifies she’s about to go off and have an adventure, so my story is going to be Ninja Nan going off and having adventures in all sorts of different places.

"That might be things like going back to the pyramids when Cleopatra was alive, or going to Paris when the Eiffel Tower was being built.

"She’s going to kind of go on a little bit of a geographical adventure in this book. I haven’t written it yet, I’ve just come up with some of the storylines.”