STORYTELLER extraordinaire and proud York lass Danyah Miller has just brought out her first book on the art of telling tales.

With a foreword by the acclaimed children's author Michael Morpurgo, Danyah's Seven Secrets of Spontaneous Storytelling uses the fictional story of a family facing everyday challenges to impart the skills that can help everyone better express feelings and emotions, gain confidence and unleash the imagination.

Having grown up in a house in Holgate, York, at the foot of Windmill Rise, Danyah now tours around the country sharing the transformative power of storytelling.

Danyah’s maternal grandmother and mother were both born in York - her Nana worked at the Rowntree's putting the red bows on to boxes of Black Magic.

Danyah's playground in York included the area around Holgate Windmill, which was then derelict.

York Press: Danyah MillerDanyah Miller

Her father David Lodge started the campaign to renovate the mill, but sadly died before its sails returned.

Much of the inspiration for Danyah’s book, Seven Secrets of Spontaneous Storytelling, comes from her formative years in York, and even the windmill makes an appearance.

She said: "As you would expect, there are many influences from my own life in Seven Secrets of Spontaneous Storytelling, including Echo Hollow which is based on my holidays in Muker, Swaledale, where we regularly went to a small cottage high up on the Pennine Way. I spent most of my time cloud watching.

"I went to Bretton Hall College which is now the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and I lived in Scissett in West Riding.

"My father and his family were all from West Riding and back in their family history his family owned a mill. I love this connection. I also love that my surname is now Miller!"

She said the book was a charming, heart-warming tale through which adults and children alike would discover the magical, transformative power of storytelling, as well as learn story games and practical skills to tell their own spontaneous stories.

Danyah has enjoyed a successful career in theatre. She was the first female theatre manager for Stoll Moss Theatres in the West End, before meeting her husband and setting up a production company.

Their first original production was The Beatles musical, All You Need is Love, which had a West End run and toured nationally.

She loved her work, but wanted to appear on the stage herself so retrained in mime and physical theatre in Paris.

On her return, she secured her first school storytelling job, and immediately saw the impact of storytelling on the children.

She has written and starred in five theatrical solo storytelling shows, including the award-winning I Believe in Unicorns, by Michael Morpurgo, which she has just finished touring.

Seven Secrets of Spontaneous Storytelling by Danyah Miller, with foreword by Michael Morpurgo, is out now, published by Hawthorn Press