Karen kelly and her new book 1

A former air hostess from Wistaston is flying high after self-publishing her first novel!

Karen Kelly’s new book, Lillian White’s Journey, has been more than 15 years in the making.

The central character is a cabin crew member for an airline, who wakes up on the day of her wedding with a hangover, a naked stranger and no recollection of the previous night!

But Karen, 51, insists the twists and storylines in the book are mostly from her creative mind, and not based on her many years in the airline industry.

Mum-of-two Karen, who lives with husband Dave in Wistaston, says: “I’ve been writing on and off for about 20 years!

“Writing short stories, blogging as a single parent, anything really that I wanted to get out there.

“It was almost 16 years ago when I first had the idea for the book, but there were times, even years, when I didn’t touch it.

“12 months ago I set myself a goal – challenged myself on social media so I couldn’t back out – and here we are!”

And the book has as many adventures, and moments of hilarity and madness, as Karen’s own personal journey.

The former Kings Grove School pupil has done everything from running a pub and working in Australia as a temp to running her own Zumba class venture and working for a hairdressers.

And of course there were her many years as cabin crew for major airlines.

“At a young age I always had an ambition to travel and fly to different places and seek my fortune,” she recalls.

“I suppose working as an air stewardess helped me fulfil that dream.”

Karen Kelly book Lillian White's Journey

Karen’s book “Lillian White’s Journey”

Karen worked for a number of major airlines, including Virgin, and it was during these years she lived in Australia for a short time.

But she decided to leave the industry when her first child came long in 2004.

“I felt it was the right thing to do as a single parent at the time,” she adds.

“I picked up my writing and that’s when I got involved in the Zumba franchise, which we helped teach in schools as well as run our own classes.”

Karen soon picked up more paid work as a writer, blogging for a a major toy company as well as some freelance PA work.

And as the book took shape, she made the brave decision to self publish to save on costs, although she did employ a copy editor and illustrator.

“I’ve changed it a lot,” she smiles.

“But Lillian is not based on me, or anyone else from my own experiences.

“I think she is a unique character and the storylines are from my own creative mind!

“The ending is, shall we say, unpredictable,” Karen adds with a twinkle in her eye.

And despite the frustrations and hard work of self publishing, she has finally seen it come to fruition – with an official launch at Nantwich Bookshop on Friday June 14.

“Self publishing is stressful! I’ve read it over so many times to make it perfect, now I’m actually bored of it.

“I have a title for my second book already – and this time I hope to get a publisher on board.”

Karen, who also runs a one-hour show for Redshift Radio on Fridays, will be talking about her own writing journey at Nantwich Bookshop from 6.30pm to 9pm on June 14.

Tickets for the launch are just £7.50 which includes a glass of fizz and £2.50 off the book. There will also be a bar.

You can pre-order your tickets by calling the Bookshop on 01270 611665.

You can find out more and support Karen by visiting her Facebook page Karen Kelly Author.

And you can order a copy of Karen’s first novel on Amazon here.

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