A GREENOCK author told, How did a young girl whom she met while working as a mental health worker persuade her to put pen to paper?
Shona Mckenzie Peers, who is originally from Rankin Street, Said she came up with a story to help a young patient on an adolescent who works in the psychiatric ward in a story.
The girl had shut herself off from the world and refused to talk, but Shona started talking after the relationship with them and promised that she would turn this story into a book.
Shona kept her promise and has now released ‘ A With Called Lela’ with part of the sales being donated to Young Minds- a UK charity championing young people’s mental health.
”When I was in the night shift, I thought I would try and answer.
”She was sitting and I told her that I had a story about a book. At that time I didn’t.
”I told him my idea and he raised his head for the first time and talked. It was a turning point in his recovery and a few months later he asked me what I would do with this story.
”I was honest and said that I tried to make him speak but he said it was worth the book and he asked me to do it for him.”
But after beginning to pen the novel, Shona was diagnosed with a generalized dystonia-a rare incurable condition that causes abnormal movement.
She said: ”I wasn’t allowed to work at the hospital anymore because my illness had progressed.
” It sends my body into spasms-at its worst, I can’t walk and talk. It’s quite a nasty illness.”
But Shona was determined not to let the girl down and worked to complete the book.
He said, ” this is about a young girl whom I regret to care about, she was transferred to various hospitals and passed away.
”I had to complete it like that.”
Shona hopes this book will help other young people suffering from mental illness.
”I have a passion for trying and helping these children. I want them to know that time will change and things will change.”
The 53-year-old, who is a former Port Glasgow High School pupil, says her wife Helen and daughter Maggie have been a huge support and she now plans to donate a copy to Greenock Central Library.
She has already started work on a follow-up and hopes to continue writing. The book is available to order online at Amazon.