Debut author raises funds for charities

Author Emma-Louise James has published her first book,  entitled Jo’s Hidden Secret. 

Inspired by real life, the story focuses on the main character Jo, detailing the struggles she faces and the support she gets that helps her overcome them. Inside the front cover of the book, readers can find a list of charities that offer support for people facing similar difficulties. 

Emma-Louise said: “Jo is based on me. My book covers every challenge I’ve experienced in my life: from the head injury that caused my epilepsy, to bullying at school, living with epilepsy, mental health issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorder, being in a challenging relationship, my eldest being LGBTQ. Getting support from wonderful charities saved me in so many ways.”

In her book, Emma-Louise’s main character tells her story of developing epilepsy aged seven and the changes and challenges this entailed. The story follows Jo into adulthood, when she faces multiple challenges: mental illness, eating disorders, domestic abuse in different forms, challenges at work, and battling post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to this, Jo also faces desperate poverty, inadequate housing and debt. 

However, through all these difficult times, Jo meets extraordinary people who offer support and kindness. With support from the NHS and several charities (listed in the book), she overcomes her struggles and dedicates herself to charity work. 

As well as being an author, Emma-Louise works tirelessly to raise funds for multiple charities that have supported her through challenging times. Her dedication and hard work has led to her being nominated for the West Country Women’s awards.

On a mission to help others, especially teenagers, Emma-Louise raises money to donate mental health and domestic violence support packs to local secondary schools and libraries. She has already donated a copy of her book to Kingswood Library for free access. 

Emma-Louise said: “I want to let teenagers know that they are not alone and there are lots of wonderful charities out there to help them. My book raises money for two charities: Next Link and Mothers for Mothers, both of which helped me at my darkest times.”

Emma-Louise said: “Every pack contains my book Jo’s hidden secrets, leaflets from about 10 different charities such as Young Carers, Next Link domestic, epilepsy charities, mental health charities, etc., so teenagers know what support is out there.”

Since finishing her first book, Emma Louise has been working on 76 stories hoping to publish as many of them as possible. As the stories become published, her aim is to choose a different charity to support with each story. 

For anyone interested in reading Emma-Louise’s book, you can borrow it from Kingwood Library. 

To purchase the book, you can order a copy on Amazon or via its publisher, the  Listening People:

To make a donation to her fundraising page visit: