Author books in for debut launch

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A TOWN author is celebrating before the launch of her first novel.

Michelle Birbeck, from the Headland, will officially launch The Last Keeper at the Belle Vue Community Sports and Youth Centre later this month.

The fantasy story tells the story of “Keepers” who are tasked with protecting the delicate balance between vampires, witches and humans.

Michelle, who is originally from Blackpool, moved to Hartlepool 15 years ago.

She said it would be “fantastic” to become a professional full-time author.

The 28-year-old, a full time carer to husband Phillip, 28 who suffers from a blood condition, said: “I started writing this book four years ago and it has been a labour of love.

“I got my first vampire book when I was 15 and my passion went from there really.

“I take my inspiration from a range of sources and I dip in and out of writing.

“With my husband not being very well I have to time my work around him.

“I have had several reviews from friends and family and they all loved it, although I think they could be biased.

“I have another book coming out next year and I will see where it goes from there,” added the former Garlands worker.

Michelle’s second novel, Last Chance, is due out in May next year.

As well as launching the book at the Belle Vue complex, Michelle will also be hosting a workshop with primary school pupils.

Centre manager Gordon Larkin said: “We are delighted to be able to get involved with the launch of Michelle’s first novel.

“It will also be great for local school children to get the opportunity to spend time with Michelle during the workshop sessions.

“Having somebody from town, who is doing so well, come in and talk to the children is brilliant. She is somebody for them to look up to.”

The book, which will be available for £13, has been published by The Writer’s Coffeeshop.

It will be officially launched at the centre on Thursday, May 31 and will be available through Amazon.

Michelle will also be holding a talk and book-signing session at Hartlepool Library, in York Road, on Wednesday, June 20 at 6.30pm.