STORIES a mother created and would tell her son and nephews when they were younger can now be enjoyed by children everywhere.

Sally Tears, 74, has self-published her first children’s book I Can Do Stories, which is a compilation of three tales.

Sally’s book came out last week and she’s elated. “I cannot tell you how excited I was,” she said. “Finally I have got some good, family-orientated stories that are positive and engaging into kids’ hands. To see it in print I was beyond myself.”

While the book was only recently published, the stories have been around for quite some time.

“I have a lot of nephews and a son and it was engaging them when they were younger,” said Sally.

“My husband kept saying write them down and I did.

“They are quite geared to boys because I find with boys it’s harder to get them to enjoy reading so you need to get them at a very early age.”

During lockdown Sally decided to try again to find an illustrator to bring her characters to life and that’s when she formed a partnership with Jenn Garside, who is based in the North East.

I Can Do Stories includes The Waves that Waved, Sammy the Scared Seagull and Olly the Octopus.

“They are all stories that have a positive ending that mean that if you work hard enough, you can get there,” Sally added.

“It’s just been such a joyous collaboration.”

As a speech and drama teacher, Sally is passionate about children being engaged with reading and learning communication skills from an early age.

Another idea she coined during lockdown was a play called It’s a Covid Thing.

It’s written around the different experiences of three youngsters during the pandemic and aims to help children understand how others felt.

The play is set in a classroom where nobody moves and Sally says it’s a great solution for schools.

A proud Sally said: “I was thinking about the kids who carried on going to school because their parents were key workers and how scared they must have been for their parents but maybe daren’t show it.

“I thought for a junior school this would be a great thing to do, where the kids are sitting down but it causes a great conversation. It is quite emotive.”

Sally has approached Rockcliffe School to see if it would be interested but said it was also open to any school.

She’s also aiming to get her book stocked in some local independent bookshops.

Sally has been married to her husband Tony Tears, a retired, long-standing music teacher at William Howard School, for 51 years.

She started her career as a professional singer, aged 16, as a member of The Ivy Benson Band.

She was then part of all-girl group Sally and the Alley Cats.

Sally met and married Tony, who was a session musician, in the 1960s and the couple worked in some of the same bands.

When they had their son Anthony, they decided to move to Carlisle, where Tony, 75, is originally from.

She went on to start her part-time business Finding Your Voice, teaching speech and drama to local young people.

Among them was her son, a former Carlisle and District Music and Drama Festival champion, and her nephew James Atherton, who has appeared in Hollyoaks and Coronation Street. She said working with young people is “inspirational” and is what has led her to write stories and plays.