Never too old - North Walsham author has first novel published

North Walsham author Dorothy Saltwell Kimmings, 87.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

North Walsham author Dorothy Saltwell Kimmings, 87.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

An author is celebrating getting her first novel published - at the age of 87.

Dorothy Kimmings, from North Walsham, has self-published her book, A Portrait of Amy, and intends for it to go on commercial sale soon.

The book is a romantic fiction covering seven decades of the twentieth century and begins with the central character, 80-year-old Amy, looking back on her eventful life.

Mrs Kimmings comes from Essex and retired to North Walsham in the early 1980s. The book is based on a mixture of experiences from herself and her mother among others.

She had first tried to get the book, which she wrote 20 years ago, published in the 1990s, but as there was a recession was told by publishers they were not taking on any new authors.

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It was a chance comment while she was at a hotel in Cromer at Christmas time last year that she should contact Anthony Grey, who runs his own publishing firm, The Tagman Press, which started the ball rolling again.

She took the book to him and he agreed to help her publish it.

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Mrs Kimmings said: 'I never thought I would get my book published at my age.'

Her passion for writing was inherited from her father, who was a great storyteller and who she includes in her work with her author's name of Dorothy 'Saltwell' Kimmings.

She first had a short story published in a children's magazine when she was eight.

She said: 'I see everything as like a film and I am very good at remembering things. I am always observing people and writing.'

The book, costing £7.99, can be obtained by emailing

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