A FORMER military wife from Malmesbury has published her first novel twenty years after she was first inspired by a posting to Cyprus.

Sarah Knights, who first arrived in the town in 1985 when husband Peter was a navigator on Hercules transport aircraft at RAF Lyneham, went out to Akrotiri in 1991 with her three young children.

It was there that she first came up with the idea for Aphrodite’s Child. “I always thought it would make a fantastic setting for a novel, but it wasn't until many years later that I decided to make that idea a reality,” she told the Standard.

On her return to the UK she threw herself into her work as an English teacher and started developing a business as a photographer. But the idea of writing a novel remained with her and she made several attempts.

“ It wasn't until October 2012, when I got on the creative writing MA course at Bath Spa University, that I started to write properly and the idea I'd had all those years ago took shape,” she explained.

Her book uses her experience of life in the military on the Mediterranean island as a background to the romance, which tells the story of an RAF officer’s wife who reinvents herself in a modern take on the myth of Aphrodite.

“The setting is real but the characters are pure fiction,” Sarah stressed.

“I had the basic plot idea for the novel but the concept of linking it to the myth of Aphrodite came to me like a sort of epiphany – it just seemed so suitable and gave my story a focus. Once I'd thought of the link, everything seemed to fall into place and I thought of the title of the book which I felt had a great ring to it.”

The next task was to get the book published. Self publishing used to been seen an as vanity publishing.

“Now, however, everything has changed with the introduction of ebooks and print on demand. It is now allowing writers to control of their own destinies,” said Sarah.

The book is available through her website sarahcatherineknights.com