A HALE woman who loved Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet after seeing the Zeffirelli film of it thirty years ago, has written ‘The Ghostly Father’, a book in which the lovers don’t die.

In this, her first full length novel, Sue Barnard from Egerton Drive uses Friar Laurence, who inadvertently caused the joint suicide of Romeo and Juliet, to engineer a satisfactory outcome.

Sue, 57, said: “The fact that it works out should persuade people to read it.

“It has been a long time in the thinking.

“I started to write it three years ago. The first draft took me six months. I mulled it over for a while and went back and tweaked it occasionally.

“I got my ideas when I was mowing the lawn.”

The book, beautifully written in clear, understandable period dialogue, gets its title from the Friar whom Romeo addressed as ‘my ghostly father’.

Sue said: “I have been to Verona and Venice where parts of my book are set. Although it is possible to write about places you haven’t visited, it is much easier if you have.

“When the publishers, Crooked Cat, opened their submissions window last spring I sent them the beginning part and a synopsis. A few months later they agreed to publish. I was thrilled.”

The book’s release will take place on Valentine’s day ‘because it is about the world’s most famous love story’.

“It would make an ideal Valentine’s present,” said Sue * The paperback version of The Ghostly Father, priced, £5.99, can be pre-ordered from amazon.co.uk.