Woman's debut novel published posthumously in family tribute

Heather Bulpett

Heather Bulpett

First published in Freetime latest Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE family of a woman who died unexpectedly last year have found the perfect tribute for her - getting her first novel published.

Heather Bulpett had a lifelong passion for writing, turning her hand to poetry, short stories and even a spoof newsletter written from the point of view of a cat.

She had completed a novel, Grieftime, but passed away aged 57 without having the chance of getting it published.

It was released through the publishers Book Guild this week after her family's tireless work to make sure the book could be read by others.

Heather's brother Robert said: "We found some printed out sheets and the text for novels saved on her computer. One of them in particular was pretty much completed. My daughter Melanie looked at it, checked it and phoned the Book Guild, who agreed to publish it for a fee.

"Having spent all this time writing them, it would be a real shame not to get at least one of them into print. We took it along to them and they were quite enthusiastic. It progressed from there.

"She used to spend a lot of her time at home in the evenings writing and reading. When she got her teeth into something she really got into it.

"Part of the intention is to make sure all the effort she put into it was recognised. The publishers say it's a very nice book."

Heather, from Weston Turville, died after contracting septicaemia as a result of complications following a fractured rib.

Robert said: "Her death was most unexpected. Because she was such a tough individual she wouldn't have complained about feeling not very well."

A love of literature led to Heather studying English and Drama at Bangor University before becoming a teacher.

She then took a break in order to get to work on Grieftime, a dystopian futuristic novel where life and love are heavily controlled and regulated by the state.

The central character, Lyn, is forced into remarrying just weeks after the death of her first husband and her life unravels under constant surveillance in a world devoid of free will and shaped by technology.

Robert said: "She's always been very interested in literature, right from her early schooldays. She was always interested in reading and writing poems and short articles.

"She was heavily involved with the Cat Protection League and used to write a newsletter for them, which included an amusing article supposedly written by one of her cats.

"She took a career break in between jobs a few years ago and started writing a bit more seriously. She put together a couple of books and did approach publishers but they said she needed to have at least three complete novels before anyone would consider them."

The first novel is now due for release and Heather's family is also looking into the possibility of making public more of the unpublished work on her computer.

Grieftime can be ordered by going to www.bookguild.co.uk/grieftime-pr-1465.html.

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