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Feature: Book came from the despair caused by daughter’s death

17:00 28 February 2013

Nicola Simpson with a draft copy of her book Abigail

Nicola Simpson with a draft copy of her book Abigail's Rainbow she wrote in memory of her daughter

Archant

Nicola Simpson was devastated when her daughter, Abigail, 15 died in a car crash in Scotland. Lee-Ann Richards spoke to her about how she turned this painful experience into a book.

Six years ago, Nicola Simpson could not even bring herself to write her daughter Abigail’s name, let alone think of writing a book about her.

Abigail was killed, aged just 15, when the car she was travelling in lost control and hit a concrete pillar in Scotland.

Her family had moved there two years earlier from Collier Row.

Writing was the last thing Nicola wanted to do.

“My friend suggested it as part of the grieving process, but I said ‘never’,” she said. “I was so grief-stricken, there was no laughter in me and it was just too painful. Also I was just not a writer.”

Now six years on, Nicola has not only written a book about her experiences but it has sold 2,500 copies.

On the first day of its release, Abigail’s Rainbow made it into the top 100 of Amazon best sellers.

Nicola, 39, decided to put pen to paper – not for herself but for others.

Painful memories

She said: “I am just a grieving mum who wants to help other people to know that, when life is hard, they can find the inner strength to carry on.

“The book doesn’t pull people out of a dark tunnel but it makes them realise that they are not alone.”

It tells how Nicola struggled to come to terms with Abigail’s death and how the family moved to Cyprus to try to get away from the painful memories.

The writing process was not easy, she says. “It was a very long and difficult journey and writing about the accident was the hardest, because it was like I was reliving the whole thing again.”

However, it has allowed Nicola to forgive the young man who killed Abigail.

“I always say that forgiveness found me, I didn’t find it. I met up with him two years ago and he just felt so remorseful and it helped me to get the answers that I needed.”

She added: “I felt sorry for him because it is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life.”

Nicola has now set up a publishing company called Yellow Rose to help others who want to put their painful stories down in print.

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