Debut novel hits the shelf

Author Stephanie Butland
Author Stephanie Butland

After writing two books about her battle with cancer, a mum has now launched her first novel.

Broomhill-based Stephanie Butland had such a success with her first two tomes that she turned to creative writing.

And her new work, Surrounded by Water, is also receiving a good response.

Stephanie, a former Coquet High School pupil, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.

In 2011, the mum-of-two wrote How I Said Bah! To Cancer, documenting her battle with the disease.

The following year she published Thrive: The Bah! Guide to Wellness After Cancer which deals with the complex emotions which often follow someone going through cancer and treatment for the illness.

But now she has turned her hand to creative writing.

Surrounded by Water is a powerful novel about loss and love and learning that life will move on, whether you want it to or not.

Stephanie said: “After writing books about cancer, it reminded me how much I enjoyed writing.

“I studied English at university and I always harboured dreams of being a writer but it never came off. Writing the cancer books rekindled that.”

Stephanie then got involved with NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, in which authors are tasked to write 60,000 words in 30 days during November.

And Stephanie’s novel started this way.

“I decided I would do it and because it was on the spur of the moment I couldn’t research anything,” she said.

“One of the things I knew about was being on a committee so I thought I could base a story on that. I wrote about 20,000 words and then stalled. And when I asked people to have a look they said it would be better without the committee element so I just wrote it.”

“I am really pleased that people are reading it and that people seem to be enjoying it.”

Publishers have likened Stephanie’s work to that of JoJo Moyes and Liane Moriarty.

Surrounded by Water is published by Bantam Press and is priced at £14.99.