A Richmond author has penned a second book for charity, proving she is determined to use her skills to help people in need.
Heather Holmes, who works as a teacher aide at Waimea College, has written her second novel to raise money for the Nelson Tasman Rescue Helicopter Trust.
Her first novel, ‘What’s in a name?’ published in 2017, was well received and raised money for the Cancer Society.
Heather is a busy woman, “but when I do have any downtime I like to write. I’ve written and sold short stories and won a few competitions, but ‘What’s in a Name?’ was my first attempt at a novel”.
The new book, Spies Lies and Secret Agents, follows the adventures of three brothers who inherit running a residential home for the elderly.
One day, in with the usual laundry deliveries, they find a large bag of money which disappears almost as soon as it is found. Who does it belong to and where has it gone?
A lifelong writer, Heather says she doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t write, illustrating and publishing her first book when she was five with a packet of crayons and a stapler.
“It’s my way of relaxing. The stories play out in my head like a film, and I never know how they will end until I get there.”
“The books write themselves so take as long as they need.”
The first book took Heather about six months, while the new novel took her a year to finish.
“I am an early riser, I wake up about 5 am, and that’s when I write.”
Heather says that the first book came about because she wanted to raise money for the cancer society, after seeing so many people around her suffer from the disease.
“The disease is no respecter of age or circumstance.”
The motivation for the book really came when someone Heather knew well was diagnosed with cancer for the second time.
“I wanted to do something to help, and being able to use something I love seemed to be the perfect answer.”
Writing furiously to get the story to a publishing standard saw Heather raise over $8,000 for the Cancer Society.
Now, she’s decided she wants to give it another crack.
The feedback and fundraising response that she got from her debut novel encouraged Heather to write a second book to raise money for the Nelson Marlborough Helicopter Trust.
As soon as people had read the first book, they wanted more.
And deciding what charity to choose for her second novel wasn’t hard.
“I chose the Rescue Helicopter Trust because, when you hear the sound of the helicopter in the air and look, you know help is on its way.” Every book sold puts $20 towards the Trust.