AN author who has a debilitating illness is celebrating the publication of her second novel.

Karen Bridge, who writes under the pen name Caroline Ward, has written two books despite suffering from extreme fatigue, pain and muscle weakness, as well as arthritis of the spine.

Following the release of A Promise For My Mother, she wrote A Broken Heart which will be launched at Breightmet Library, Breightmet Fold Lane, on Saturday, June 3, with proceeds going to Bolton Hospice.

Her first book charted her traumatic life, dealing with tragedy, bullying, grief and finding happiness despite the debilitating illness, and her follow-up, A Broken Heart, tells of the emotions behind the story.

The 49-year-old, who lives just outside Bolton town centre and worked at Royal Bolton Hospital for 19 years as an auxiliary nurse, said: “Although it was a labour with ever-increasing fatigue, it was good that I could remember my life and, with the help of my husband Tom who typed it out, I managed to finish the book and received a publishing contract.

“Now, with the release of my second book, A Broken Heart, I can share the feelings and emotions behind my life’s events and hopefully it may help others.”

The author believes the traumatic events of her life, including an upbringing filled with sadness and lack of parental guidance, contributed to her illness and writing the books has helped lay rest the ghosts of her past.

She said: “Having been a very active person who was always dashing around, helping others as an auxiliary nurse, going out shopping and socialising, ME has rendered me unable to walk more than a few steps, unable to cook, do housework or ordinary tasks.

“Also, noise and strong smells can affect me and I will often need silence from the TV.

Mr Bridge said: “'It is heartbreaking to see how ME has changed Caroline as a person and we have had to adjust our life together.

“ME does not just affect the person, it affects everyone around, particularly their partners. I am extremely proud of Caroline and her writing and having the two books published has helped to soften the blow of the illness a little.”

The launch of A Broken Heart published by Chiado, takes place from from 1pm to 6pm at Breightmet Library.