A South Tyneside writer whose near-death experience led her to take up stand-up comedy has written a novel inspired by the events.

‘The Stand-Up Mam’, the first novel to be published by Kay Wilson, from East Boldon, who used to be the main PR person at North East  Chamber of Commerce,  is due to be released on Monday July 1. The story features many of Kay’s own experiences of stand-up comedy – an ambition she achieved after surviving a near-fatal brain haemorrhage.

While shopping in York on her daughter’s 13th birthday, Kay suffered a burst brain aneurysm and was only able to return home three weeks later after life-saving surgery.

She said: “Most people who have a burst aneurysm die in the ambulance, the remainder have a significant disability and only ten percent live their lives as they used to. I was, and still count myself, incredibly lucky.

“Being so ill made me realise how important it is to fulfil your dreams, so I pursued mine. The first one was to do stand-up comedy – perhaps not what most people expect from a middle-aged mother of teenagers.

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“After doing a course at the Edinburgh Fringe to learn the basics, I performed unpaid, five-minute stand-up gigs in the North East for two years and learnt the true meaning of fear...

"The material and experiences from that time have inspired my novel which is about a fictional woman who seems to be the perfect wife and mother until she starts telling jokes at her family’s expense.

“It isn’t autobiographical, but my novel does explore motherhood and what happens when a woman puts herself first. Spoiler alert: it’s not plain sailing!”

‘The Stand Up Mam’ is about one woman’s journey to happiness which is achieved by facing the mistakes of her past and talking about them on stage, in front of strangers. She is supported by a mentor who encourages her to find her own voice and be funny at the same time.

Kay said: “I would love my book to empower women to make each day the best it can be for them and, it might sound trite, but challenge themselves to mark things off that bucket list.”

Copies of the novel can be ordered from July 1 on Amazon.