A FORMER journalist from Galashiels has published her very own children's story more than three decades after it was written.

But only after her sister sold the family silver.

Pat Mosel's delightful children's novel, Firecracker, was finally published earlier this month.

But the adventures of the pink and yellow toy koala bear are only climbing up the book charts following some financial assistance from the author's sister, Margaret Earle.

Pat explained: "My sister, Margie, sold her elaborate silver candlesticks at an auction near her home in England and she very generously decided to donate the proceeds of £1,100 to the publication of Firecracker.

"I have published Firecracker on the strength of this single donation.

"The story of Firecracker - who is a pink and yellow toy koala who glows orange whenever she learns something new - has long been part of our extended family.

"Some 30 years ago, I wrote it for my young daughters who are now quite grown-up - one with children of her own."

Pat arrived in the UK from her native Zimbabwe in 1976 for a working holiday.

But after arriving in the Scottish Borders four years later she decided to settle.

After two decades in Hawick, Pat moved to her current home of Galashiels in 2000.

Firecracker has been published by Westruther company, Twinlaw.

Pat, who suffers from a bipolar condition, hopes the publication of Firecracker will help her reach out to a new audience to discuss mental health issues.

She added: "Í write only when I am well and I am well now, thanks to new medication.

"On the social side of things, I would like to extend the conversation about mental health started by organisations such as the Scottish See Me, and also Time to Change and Heads Together.

"There is a prevalence of anxiety and depression amongst the young in Britain.

"I also hope to appeal to adults who either know about, or care about, bipolar, mental illness and mental health.’

"That having been said, Firecracker is, I hope, a cracking good story about a toy koala bear."

Firecracker is now available at Craft It in Galashiels and also Gala Park Post Office.

It is also available on Amazon or from Pat's website www.patmosel.co.uk.