THE onset of a condition that causes her hands to shake has prompted a woman  from Old Woking to write and illustrate a children’s book.

Angela Hales said that when she received a diagnosis of essential tremors, a Parkinsons-like nervous system disorder, she decided to act on a long-held ambition to produce a book.

“I’m not one to sit down and feel sorry for myself so I thought now is the time to do it,” she Angela.

“I thought ‘if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it’ and I’m turning 70 this year.”

Angela said she worked on the book on days when her hands weren’t shaking badly.

“I have good days and bad days. Sometimes I can’t even pick up a pencil.”

The book is called The A to Z of Animal Magic and features 26 characters, with each in a short story.

Angela said the hardest letter with which to find a matching animal was “x” but she found that the African ground squirrel is also known as a xerus.

She said she used to draw pictures to stimulate two of her children who had moderate learning difficulties and found school difficult.

Angela is enjoying her new life as an author of children's books. (Picture supplied)

“They’re grown up now and have mixed in well with everyone else. They’re doing very well,” Angela added.

She said she is enjoying her new life as a children’s author. “Writing and illustrating the book has really helped me cope better with my condition.”

Before she retired, Angela worked in retail and has lived in Old Woking for 33 years. She previously lived in Chobham with her late husband, Andrew, son John and daughters Katrina and Penny.

The A to Z of Animal Magic is published by Austin Macauley and is available in bookshops and on Amazon.

Angela said she researched publishers while she worked on the book and Austin Macaulay encouraged her to finish and submit it. It is dedicated to her late niece, Sam Young, whose name features in Angela’s next book, which is about children’s emotions.

“I have finished it but I’m holding back trying to have it published until I see how the first one goes. I worry about children as they don’t often know how to show their emotions at a young age.

‘‘They get depressed quite easily these days with so much pressure on them.”

The book will come with a fridge magnet that depicts different faces so children can demonstrate what emotions they are feeling. There is a story featuring each emotion around Sam, a young male furry animal that Angela as made up and drawn.

“Hopefully it will help children to open up a bit,” she said.