An Ammanford woman has had her first major novel published at the age of 76.

Beryl Nicklas Henshaw, of High Street, has written many short stories, plays and poems over the years but August 30 marked the publication date of her first full-length novel Kindred Spirits, a story loosely based on her family history with her ancestry being Bavarian, Irish with a bit of Welsh.

The novel follows a compelling family saga, spanning over 100 years against the backdrop of three wars and across two continents and tells the tale of how ordinary people live through extraordinary times.

When she retired from accountancy work in 2002, Beryl finally found the time to test her writing skills and enrolled in a creative writing accredited course which set her on a new career path.

"I used to go to classes at the old Lloyd's Bank building and the Black Mountain Centre in Brynaman in the earlier 2000's," said Beryl.

"I originally wanted to sign up for an art class but it was held on Thursday's and I was looking after my first grandchild on that particular day, so I joined the creative writing accredited course instead.

"I never had ambitious to become a writer, but my grandson come first."

The grandmother was accepted into Lampeter University in 2010 at the age of 68 and graduated in 2013 with an MA in Creative Writing despite having no previous qualifications.

Beryl sent her novel to Olympia Publishers, who work with first time writers and agreed to publish her work.

"It has taken about 12 months back and forth between myself and the publishers but the story itself has taken years," she said.

"A lot of research took place including me travelling to Bavaria about 10 years ago.

"I would advise anyone who is to write a novel to get in contact with Olympia.

"They offer good advice and they promote people's work on Facebook which I think is excellent."

The book cover is a photograph of Beryl's grandfather, grandmother and father as a young boy and is the photo she has of her father and his parents.

Her grandfather, the son of a Bavarian residing in England, joined up in 1914 to fight against his father's countrymen, this in turn saved his father being interned as a German alien.

Beryl has already received welcomed feedback from family members regarding the novel.

She said: "My family have said that they couldn't wait to read the next chapter which is good to hear."