Carmen Allen remembers the very first book she wrote.
It was a mystery novel about a missing banana and a stolen diamond, written on bits of paper she stapled together and in secret while she was in science class in school.
"You can probably guess how bad my grades were in science that year, but it sure beat dissecting poor little dead frogs," the Karuah resident said.
Fast forward many years, a career and a family later, Mrs Allen's itch to write struck again.
She began to dream about a little girl named Molly who was invited to a palace and sent on an important mission. And so, Molly's Big Decision was born.
"Molly's Big Decision was a tale that took me over 15 years to tell," Mrs Allen said.
"One of the main themes in the book, the idea of giving away the king's magic tokens, came to me in a few dreams - in that weird space of time between being fully asleep and wide awake.
"Over the course of a few days I believe God gave me the beginnings of a story. And at that time in my life it had spiritual meaning for me personally."
In 2019, Mrs Allen's book Molly's Big Decision was completed and professionally edited.
The chapter book for children aged 5 to 9 details an exciting adventure the main character, Molly, an orphan, takes. The book is set in an English village in the 1960's.
Mrs Allen found an illustrator, Jamie Buckley, who "brought my characters to life".
"He did a great job," she said.
Molly's Big Decision will be officially launched on March 7.
Mrs Allen will host a book launch party on March 7 at East Maitland public library from 11am.
It is a free event. All are welcome to attend. Morning tea is included.
Along with a book reading, there will be a game and children's activities.
A copy of the book can be purchased on the morning and signed by the author.
Once launched, copies of the book will be available to buy from McDonalds Bookshop in Maitland, Tea Gardens and Karuah Post Office, Raymond Terrace MarketPlace newsagency or through Mrs Allen's website: carmenlallen.com.