Birmingham mum self-publishes debut book as a lasting legacy for her daughter

My name is Sharron Zarelli and I have recently self published my first children’s book, Gina Goes on Holiday. This is based on my life with my daughter, Gina, who had Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2 (SMA) and who passed away in March 2005, not from the SMA but from additional complications.

Following Gina’s death I started to work for a wonderful organisation, Midland Mencap, which is based in the West Midlands and which is a charity that provides support to children, young people and adults with a wide range of learning disabilities. As a support worker I work with children and young people aged 5 – 19 and it was whilst working on play sessions and when reading books to children that I became frustrated because sometimes these books had little or no story or made any sense to me.

I reasoned that if the book made no sense to me then it was likely that it made no sense to the young people that I was reading to, even though they may not be able to communicate this to me.

As a result, I became motivated to write my own book as I thought that I could write a book that was more interesting, entertaining and relevant because it is based on Gina, who was a wheelchair user.
The book is based on our holiday to Torquay when we nearly got into difficulty on the beach. It is a fun and light-hearted depiction of that day on the beach.

I have many more true stories about Gina that I would really like to bring to life in books. As an amateur writer, in order to reduce costs, I have self-published my first book on Amazon, however now I have had such positive feedback from family and friends I would like to do full justice to Gina and the illustrator of my book, Jamie Hardy and raise enough money to be able to pay a professional publisher to print and distribute my second book, Gina goes to Zoo.

Annually, I attend a memorial service at The Orchard School, Oldbury, which Gina attended, which is held to remember and reflect on all the children that have passed away over the years and my book is another way for me to keep Gina’s memory alive in something that is tangible.

It is my dream to get Gina as far and wide around the country, if not the World as possible and if you would like to support me to do so please can you either buy my first book on Amazon or support me here. I am currently writing the second book and any funds from book sales or through Go Fund Me will go to towards financing my second book.