How to be Brave

How to be Brave, my debut novel, was a lifetime in the making.  A dream come true after a long, long journey.  When Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books offered me a book deal on 9th February 2015 I quite literally cried.  I will never forget how it felt.  And since that moment it has been one magical experience after another, from seeing this beautiful cover for the first time to the incredible launch party to the amazing reviews to reaching the top ten on Amazon.


The tale that began as a short story would not stay small.  It had always been in my heart, I just had to find the best way to tell it.  And first I told it to my daughter when she was having a hard time with her insulin injections.  I’d tell her a little of Grandad Colin’s incredible sea survival in exchange for her accepting the needle.  And I knew this was something that might inspire others too.

Here’s the blurb…

All the stories died that morning … until we found the one we’d always known.

When nine-year-old Rose is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, Natalie must use her imagination to keep her daughter alive. They begin dreaming about and seeing a man in a brown suit who feels hauntingly familiar, a man who has something for them. Through the magic of storytelling, Natalie and Rose are transported to the Atlantic Ocean in 1943, to a lifeboat, where an ancestor survived for fifty days before being rescued. Poignant, beautifully written and tenderly told, How To Be Brave weaves together the contemporary story of a mother battling to save her child’s life with an extraordinary true account of bravery and a fight for survival in the Second World War. A simply unforgettable debut that celebrates the power of words, the redemptive energy of a mother’s love … and what it really means to be brave.

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