AN author whose life was touched by tragedy after her childhood sweetheart died in a helicopter crash has launched her latest book.

Prescot’s Shelley Parker was five weeks into chemotherapy for a very rare form of cancer when she had a premonition that Steven Lewis, aged 38, was going to be killed.

The next day the helicopter pilot crashed and died.

He helped her to write Return to Allaptria, and his death, two years ago, inspired her to finish Malok, the second in a series of four books.

Former teacher Shelley, aged 40, said: “Steven was the most positive person I ever knew. If I had given up it would have been a huge insult to him.”

Teenagers listened to her talk about her life and work on Saturday.

Steven’s brother, Adrian, who illustrated the first book, came along and answered questions, bringing along previously unseen sketches.

Return to Allapatria followed Daniel Green, a 12-year-old boy, who is looking forward to spending his entire school holidays playing computer games, before being forced to fight for his life in a totally different world.

Malok looks at his adventures since the last one went on sale in 2005, winning worldwide acclaim from teenagers and critics.

Ryan Burns, aged 17, a student at St Helens College, said: “It is not often a bestselling author comes to your area to chat and answer questions. It gave me an insight into the world of writing.”

The budding writer videoed the event which included a question and answer section for Youtube to use in a workshop.

Shelley is training to be a psychotherapist at St Helens College.