A 22-year-old domestic assistant from Margate has published the first book of a trilogy after being prompted to put pen to paper during the covid restrictions.
Susan Higgins, who has just started working at the Bradstow School in Broadstairs, is at work on the second book of The Josie Martin series.
The first instalment – Watching Josie Martin – is out now on Amazon as paperback or ebook.
The former Charles Dickens student says a former English teacher had made her promise to pursue literature and the pandemic presented her with the opportunity to work on her dream. She hopes to eventually write for a living full time.
She said: “It is self published. I wanted to be able to go through the writing and publishing process independently as a way of proving to myself that I am capable of accomplishing unbelievable things that I have worked hard at.”
The family drama tale has been inspired by Susan wanting to raise awareness of emotional abuse.
She said: “My character Josie has to live with and experience this type of abuse at home daily at the hands of her stepmother and father. These books are purely fictional but I have seen too many cases of both men and women being emotionally abused and having to live alone through it.
“Emotional abuse is rarely believed and more support is needed in this area. I hope that my book reassures a reader experiencing this that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you are never truly alone.”
The book centres on Josie,who is attending college and has to deal with a hostile home life. She finds herself in the path of a young man called Nicholas. As time goes on, Josie believes she has truly found her hero. Little does she know that there is a life changing secret lurking and once she unravels the truth, she will question everything she thought she knew.
Susan says her love of books was fostered by reading a lot as a youngster. She said: “I didn’t have any technology until I was 15 or 16, so I read lots of books. Writing was always something I wanted to do,
“In the past I thought dreaming big would just lead to being let down but now, after writing and publishing the first book, I wonder why I thought it wasn’t possible. Now I know you do have to dream big and aim for better things.”
Book one of the series runs to 140 pages and Susan says it ends on a cliff-hanger.
Book two -Knowing Josie Martin – is much longer and follows Josie’s discovery of the life changing secret and her search for the full explanation. This is due to be released in March.
Susan says feedback so far has been good, adding: “Quite a few family members said it was good but, because they are family you wonder if they are just being nice! But I have also had a really lovely review from a lady which made me cry. She is from outside the UK so knowing there are people everywhere reading and enjoying my book is massive.”
Book two will reveal secrets and also end on a cliff-hanger to be resolved in the third instalment of the series.
Susan, who says she likes to read authors from JK Rowling to Anna Todd, said: “I hope readers will want to know what comes next.”