A FIRST-TIME author has charted his boyhood growing up in Huddersfield in a magical short novel.

Stephen Holmes, 62, who now lives in Vancouver, Canada, should see his fantasy tale, Woodargon, on the shelves in US bookstores by August.

The story begins with his real-life experience of stumbling across Robin Hood's grave when aged 10 or 11.

It then leads the reader on an incredible journey back to 1247 and secrets hidden deep within Sherwood Forest.

Robin Hood's grave site is reputed to lie in the grounds of Kirklees Hall, near Brighouse.

And Stephen says many people in Canada find the truth stranger then the fiction. "When I tell people I found the grave a lot of them scratch their heads and say `sure'!"

At 14, Stephen emigrated to Toronto with his mother, Edith.

He is married with one daughter and a grandson, Stephen, who sparked the idea for the book.

"I started to write a biography about myself before I popped my clogs, so he would know about his grandad a little bit," said Stephen.

"But the story was boring as Hell, except for the Robin Hood bit."

So Stephen abandoned his biography and set about creating a more imaginative book.

Woodargon, released by Publish America, will be available in the UK over the internet.

The book took Stephen about eight months to write and is illustrated by his own drawings.

He studied fine art and now works as a graphic designer.

"The story in my head came easily. It just flowed."

He is now busily working on his second book and says he would love to come back to visit Huddersfield.

Although he has two cousins living in the area, he last visited Yorkshire more than 20 years ago.