A FANTASY novel more than 30 years in the making has finally seen the light of day after its author opted for self-publication.

Nigel Upson, of Tiree Avenue, St Peter’s, Worcester, has released Aviatha’s Kingdoms via the e-reader Kindle after originally putting pen to paper in 1978 while a pupil at Dyson Perrins CE Academy in Malvern.

In the intervening years it has found form in numerous incarnations and the 48-year-old said the final version took three years and several re-writes to complete.

This method of publication allowed Mr Upson the flexibility to prepare, edit and format the book himself, as well as designing and creating its cover.

He said: “I have always wanted to get the story into print but I didn’t have the means until I had my first home computer in 2000. I spent many hours late at night and into the early hours of the morning getting it onto a hard drive.

“The story and characters have always been around in the background for me since I first wrote it in 1978.

“And after it first arrived on paper in full in 1982 the story and the characters have taken many twists and turns since then.”

Set in the dark ages amid a time of bitter and bloody war, the tale begins during an annual battle between two kingdoms, Argostia and Vartagron, who are involved in a 1,000-year feud while being terrorised by a dragon named Aviatha. It develops to look at an impossible passion shared by a prince and princess from either kingdom, powerful secrets, abductions and brave quests.

Mr Upson feels it would appeal to teenagers and adults alike and is close to completing the sequel, which he also hopes to publish via the handheld e-reader.