After a nursing career spanning 30 years Gill Belchetz has learned a thing or two about human nature.
She has used her observations to write her first book, A Game of Consequences, which has just been published by Fisher King and is selling on Amazon.co.uk and Kindle eBooks.
“It’s been a long journey to get it published and I’m overjoyed to secure a book deal with a publisher,” says Gill, 53, a pre-assessment nurse at Spire Leeds Hospital.
“Some of my short stories have already won a few competitions and this gave me the confidence to bring out a book.”
Gill’s debut novel is a series of 12 linked stories loosely based on the parlour game of Consequences. It starts with a story about a young man tragically ending his life on the railway tracks.
This leads into a series of interconnected stories. From Leeds to Lahore, Mombassa to Paris, the lives of those affected by the suicide are revealed.
One of the stories is linked to dementia, which has a strong resonance for Gill, and the book is dedicated to her father, Norman Ellis, who died last year aged 87 after suffering from dementia for the last seven years of his life.
All Gill’s profits from the book will go to three charities fighting dementia.
Gill, who lives in Wetherby, is married with children and grandchildren.
She started writing seven years ago, and, while nursing part time, did a BA in English at Leeds University as a mature student followed by an MA in Writing for Performance and Publication.
The global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi designed the concept of the book cover, which features railway tracks disappearing into the distance, as well as formatting illustrations inside the book.
“The concept of the cover design relates to the first story about the suicide and also serves as a metaphor for the notion that life is a journey,” adds Gill.
Each story in the book stands alone, but they are linked as some of the characters reappear in more than one story.
“I’ve drawn inspiration from some of the incredible people I’ve met during my years in nursing,” says Gill.
“We know very little about how people live their lives behind closed doors; how events affect them and force them to re-evaluate their lives, and the book provides an insight into that.”
The publisher has already taken up an option on her second book, which Gill is busy working on – a novel that is due out at the end of next year.
Gill added: “I feel very lucky. I’m passionate about writing and nursing. Being able to combine them is the best of both worlds.”
A Game of Consequences by Gill Belchetz is published by Fisher King and available to buy on Amazon.co.uk for £8.99.