A RETIRED music lecturer has released her debut book.

Rene Mairis, of Apse Heath, has turned her hand to writing fiction, and has released a festive children's story in time for Christmas.

Entitled The South Pole Santa, the book explores the concept of two Santas ­— twins, operating on separate hemispheres.

One lives at the North Pole with his wife and elves, working hard all year to make toys for the children of the Northern Hemisphere.

His twin brother, meanwhile, lives an identical existence at the South Pole, and does the same for the children of the Southern Hemisphere.

Because the population of the Southern Hemisphere is smaller than the Northern Hemisphere, the South Pole Santa and his elves work for only half of the year and holiday for the other six months.

Year after year, this system had worked, but this year things are different. The South Pole Santa is not happy. Christmas may have to be cancelled.

Can the reindeer, elves and an Arctic tern called Alba Tross save the day?

Author, Rene, is active in the Isle of Wight music scene, singing with The Island Savoyards, Tritone Singers and Ryde Chorus, and playing the flute with the Wight Accordion Group.

She said: "I first had the idea for a children’s Christmas story many years ago, but, despite revisiting it and making alterations several times, I never got round to publishing it.

"The lockdown spurred me to get it finished and send it to a publisher. I sent it to three and all of them accepted it.

"The South Pole Santa is about Santa’s lesser known twin brother who looks after the Southern Hemisphere.

"He has always shunned publicity, but now he wants his share of recognition and fame. The whole South Pole team threaten to strike, and Christmas itself is in jeopardy."

The book is suitable for children of all ages, with colourful illustrations, and is available from most bookshops."