A POOLE author whose first novel was one of the bestselling children’s debuts of 2012 is a day away from the launch of her second book.

Sarah Lean’s A Horse for Angel, out tomorrow, follows up the success of last year’s A Dog Called Homeless.

Her debut was fought over by seven UK publishing houses and has now won her a place on the long list for the prestigious Branford Boase Award, awarded annually for an outstanding first novel to a first-time writer of a book for young people.

The talented mum-of-one has now signed up to a three-book deal with Harper Collins, in addition to her first two releases.

She told the Daily Echo of the whirlwind journey to literary success.

“It has been wonderful and just so unexpected,” she said. “It’s one of those jobs that somewhere deep in your heart you know you’d love to do – but there was no belief it was going to happen. And of course when it did it was quite a shock.”

Sarah, 49, came late to writing after trying her hand at everything from newspaper page-planning, to stencil making to gardening.

She returned to education aged 40, gaining a first class English degree and becoming a primary school teacher before returning to complete an MA in creative and critical writing at the University of Winchester.

She added: “I was trying out different styles but it was when I did a children’s fiction module that something clicked.

“I somehow found it easier to write like a child. I don’t know why that was – it felt so comfortable.”

She finished the novel in 2010 and the following year it was snapped up by publishers Harper Collins.

“It was one of those situations where if you don’t find out now, you’re never going to know. Everything fell into place at the right time – I don’t think I could have written like that when I was younger,” she added.

Sarah lives with her husband Nick, 17-year-old son Edward and Harry the dog, who helped inspire her first book.

A Horse for Angel, for children ages nine upwards, is about two very different girls and the horse which eventually brings them together.