A Richmond-based writer is following in the footsteps of her literary grandfather as she publishes her first children’s novel next month.

Zoe Verner’s book, The Adventures of Izzy and Columbus - Nakamomo Island, follows the magical adventures of a young girl and her dog.

However, writing runs in the author's DNA, who is the grandchild of renowned Richmond crime author Gerald Verner.

The writer of more than 80 original novels translated worldwide, he was featured in The Richmond & Twickenham Times in 1956. 

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Gerald Verner in The Richmond Times 1956Gerald Verner in The Richmond Times 1956

He also wrote for radio, television and the stage, including the adaptation of Agatha Christies novel Towards Zero.

Zoe’s novel the first in a series of four books, aimed at 8–12-year-olds with bright coloured illustrations.

She has given a starring role to her dog Columbus, who enjoys walks by Richmond Bridge.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Zoe with dog Columbus by Richmond BridgeZoe with dog Columbus by Richmond Bridge

The presenter and voice-over artist turned writer moved to Richmond, Surrey in 2017 to be closer to her family roots.

This is her first book dedicated to her son Zac, aged one.

The writer said:

"I wanted to write an adventure story because I always loved The Chronicles of Narnia and Labyrinth growing up. I based this on the vibrant and magical jungle in Costa Rica, where I spent some time a few years ago.

“I have always been fascinated by the rainforest. I have also included my dog and best buddy, Columbus and for a bit of fun-based some of the characters on my good friends.”

It's available from March 16 on Waterstones and Amazon for £9.99.