A WEST FIFE author is inviting fellow cancer sufferers and their families to contribute to her latest book.

Claire Monaghan was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and, after going through a year of heartache and treatment, is compiling a poetry book to help breast cancer charities.

The mum-of-two, who lives in Dunfermline's Townhill Road, said she wanted to do something positive after a bleak 12 months.

"It has not been the best year," she said. "Having cancer is bad enough and having cancer during the COVID pandemic has been an absolute nightmare. As soon as I was diagnosed I knew, being a writer, that I would have to do something.

"I wanted to do something positive and finish the year off with something to look forward to. It was mainly because of the care I had from NHS Fife which has been spectacular.

"The oncology teams from Edinburgh and Fife have been absolutely amazing and supportive so I wanted to do something that we could raise money."

In October 2019, the Press reported that Claire had released a a special anniversary edition of her novel, 'The Hollows: A Midnight Gunn'. The Victorian supernatural murder mystery scooped finalist status in the Reader’s Favourite 2018 International Book Awards and the Independent Author Network 2019 Book Of The Year Awards.

The poetry collection – which will be divided into categories of awareness, diagnosis, treatment, family, loss, support and hope – is a way of allowing Claire, and others, to depict their experiences.

"I have tried to carry on with my writing but it has been very difficult as I have been very poorly," she said. "I am a member of a couple of support groups on Facebook with men and women who have had similar things.

"I was listening to everybody's stories and how they talk about different things and I thought it was a wonderful way to express yourself. You don't have to be a poet, just write from the heart."

Claire's publishers, Hudson Indie Ink, have agreed to help her publish the collection and 100 per cent of the profits will go to charity.

"We are asking for contributions from male and female cancer sufferers and from members of families if they want to write something. It is a lovely way of raising awareness and allowing people who have had a terrible year to be able to express themselves and also do something positive by way of helping to fund research.

"Without the research and treatment, I would not be here so it is a way of giving back."

Anyone wanting to contribute can do so by visiting Claire's website, www.clmonaghan.com, where further details and a submission form can be found.