Sandra Everitt’s children provided the inspiration for Mr Bomp, Hardigadeez and Dookandat, the title characters in My Imaginary Friends

A former primary school teacher from Instow has published her first children’s book.

Sandra Everitt has released My Imaginary Friends, the story of a young child whose loneliness is alleviated by three imaginary friends – Mr Bomp, Hardigadeez and Dookandat.

The 67-year-old said the names of the characters originated from her son who had three imaginary friends as a child.

She said: “I always loved writing and the names were just too good to leave.

“I developed the characters and plots but my son did the names.”

As well as the story, the book also includes a variation of poems written by Sandra.

She told the Gazette: “I actually wrote some of the poems about 25 years ago, poems that were relevant to what children thought about.

“Sometimes children can be insular and I was quite sensitive as a child so I wanted to write a book to let children know that was OK.”

Although the story is written from a child’s perspective, it can also be enjoyed by adults.

“I think it makes an ideal story for a bedtime story, for parents to do funny voices if they want to, or for older children who can read it themselves” said Sandra.

“The characters are loyal, mischievous and naughty at times but have a good sense of humour” she added.

My Imaginary Friends was published earlier this year by Austin Macauley Publishers, who also illustrated the book.

“I sketched some of the characters to give them an idea of what I wanted” said Sandra.

“That was exciting – seeing what they were coming back with for every chapter and how they were interpreting the book through illustrations.”

Depending on the success of My Imaginary Friends, Sandra is hoping to publish a sequel to the book.

She said: “I’ve got a sequel in my head and some ideas down on paper but it all depends on how well this one does really.”

Sandra was born in London but now lives in North Devon with her two golden retrievers.

She has a son and a daughter and although she no longer teaches, provides private tuition for primary-aged children.

My Imaginary Friends is available to purchase from Amazon, Waterstones and Walter Henry’s Bookshop in Bideford.