A COLCHESTER author has used the mysterious legend of the Wormingford dragon as inspiration for her new book.

Liz Trenow, international bestselling author of In Love and War and The Silk Weaver, has returned to her roots for her new book The Secrets of the Lake.

Inspired by the mysterious dragon myth of Wormingford, The Secrets of the Lake is a coming of age story based in a rural village.

It follows children’s author Molly, now in her 80s, who is visited by the police to tell her human bones have been found in a drained lake.

Mystery - Liz Trenows eighth novel is being released on Thursday

Mystery - Liz Trenow's eighth novel is being released on Thursday

The discovery prompts memories of her childhood when she and her disabled brother Jimmy befriend Eli, a reclusive First World War veteran who tends the graves in the churchyard.

He tells them of an old myth about a dragon which lived in a nearby lake, which if disturbed, he says, evil things will happen in the village.

After church funds go missing Molly’s father, the new vicar, comes under suspicion and Eli’s home is under threat.

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The heroine decides she must act, but as the heatwave breaks in a violent storm, her brother disappears.

Liz said: “Although my story is entirely fictional The Secrets of the Lake was inspired by the intriguing legend of a dragon that was said to live in a supposedly bottomless lake close to the village where I was brought up.

“In a nearby church there is a wonderful stained glass window showing a fearsome dragon – obviously a crocodile – with a pair of white legs waving from its mouth, being threatened by a knight on a white charger.

“After seeing this as a child, and long before they became commonplace in children’s books, tv and adverts, I became fascinated by dragons, and my first foray into writing fiction, aged eight, was inspired by this myth.

“More recently, a landlord marked the millennium by cutting a huge dragon into the hillside nearby.

“I visit as often as I can, delighted to see the legend still being celebrated in this way.”

Dragon - The Secrets of the Lake is inspired by the Wormingford dragon

Dragon - The Secrets of the Lake is inspired by the Wormingford "dragon"

The Secrets of the Lake is the former journalist’s eighth novel with previous efforts making the top twenty of the New York Times bestseller list.

Red Lion Books, in Colchester High Street, hosted an online launch party for the book on Wednesday.

Visit www.liztrenow.com or www.redlionbooks.co.uk.