A CARER who took up writing to fill in her spare time is celebrating the publication of her first novel.
Michelle Birbeck, 27, had high hopes of being an author when she was at school but as she got older “life got in the way”.
But Michelle, who lives on the Central Estate, in Hartlepool, and is a full-time carer for her husband, Phillip, decided to reignite her passion for writing once life settled down and took up an A- level course in English Literature at Hartlepool College of Further Education.
Michelle, who moved to Hartlepool 15 years ago from Northumberland, has written a novel The Last Keeper, which tells the story of a group of immortal vampires and their efforts to come out of the shadows.
She said: “I read a lot of these kind of books and I always wondered what stopped the vampires from completely taking over.
“My books were born from that idea.
“My husband was told that he had a blood condition and I ended up quitting my job at Garlands Call Centre so that I could be there to care for him when he needed me.
“But I was soon feeling the affects of not working everyday, there’s only so much day time television you can watch.
“So I began writing again as a way to keep my mind occupied.”
Michelle’s dreams of seeing her work on the shelves have been hit by several rejections along the way. But after three years of pushing her idea she finally given a publishing deal by Australian firm The Writers Coffee Shop.
She added: “The process was a lot more work than I thought it was going to be.
“It was all very scary and now its going out into the world for others to read.”
Michelle’s book, which is due to go on sale in March 2012 and can be bought from Amazon.co.uk, will be the first in a series of novels.
She already has two further books written, with a fourth one also well underway.