Teenager publishes first of a fantasy trilogy which she wrote after her brother’s death

Becca Chisholme, 16, has just published the first book of a fantasy trilogy, which she wrote to come

Becca Chisholme, 16, has just published the first book of a fantasy trilogy, which she wrote to come to terms with her brother Matthew's death in 2008 - Credit: Archant

An Elsenham teenager escaped the pain of her brother’s sudden death by writing a series of fantasy novels – only letting her grandmother in on the secret.

Becca Chisholme, 16, – or R.E.Chisholme, as she is known on the cover of her debut novel Bellum Locket – started writing the trilogy when she was 12, soon after her eldest brother, Matthew Williams, was killed in a train incident at Great Chesterford railway station in 2008.

“Each book represents a different aspect of depression. The first is escapism – giving people a way out. The second is coming to terms with emotions after the pain, and the third is reflecting on all the things you’ve had to deal with,” she said.

“I definitely feel I’m at the third stage now,” the Joyce Frankland Academy pupil, in Newport, who has just started studying for her AS levels in English, drama and media studies, added.

The book follows the adventures of Elisia, a young orphan who gets caught up in a legend, as the world edges nearer to war and destruction.

She told the Reporter: “I didn’t write it for others, I wrote it for myself – it was a part of grieving for my brother.”

The teenager, who says she’s no J.K.Rowling, kept this project on the down-low, even from her family. Only her grandmother has been privy to the workings of the novels.

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“If I’m ever unsure, I send my nan an email,” said Becca. “She’s great – she ignores my typos, and tells me where the plot’s going. She had a bit of a go at me because there were bits in the second book which were really dark. I’ve sorted them now!”

Becca’s mum, Dr Heather Dix, who recently moved to Station Road with her family, said: “You can’t imagine the hurt in the household after the accident and it’s clear it helped her through those times.”

“When she presented them to me and said she’d written a book, I was all in indulgent mother mode. But then she handed over 50,000 words – almost as long as my thesis,” said Dr Dix, who dedicated her PhD to her eldest son when she completed it a year after his death.

Bellum Locket is published by Irregular Special Press. It is available from Amazon for £8.50.