I am a writer, researcher and tutor based in the North East of England with my curly-haired daughter and even curlier-haired dog, Brucie.

My memoir, LIFE AFTER YOU, based on my award-winning blog Wife After Death, is published by Virgin Books. A Sunday Times bestseller, it was selected as a Richard and Judy Autumn Bookclub pick 2015, and was subsequently voted to be the Reader’s Choice out of all eight Bookclub titles. It was adapted for TV by Georgia Pritchett under its original title Wife After Death and was selected as one of the top twenty scripts by British writers (Brit List: TV 2018.)

I am a Northern Writers’ Award fiction winner for 2018/19 for my novel-in-progress, The Song of Annie Chapman – see latest news for more information. I have recently completed an exciting writing commission with New Writing North for Durham Book Festival 2018. Supported by Arts Council England, the project explored women’s voices from the ‘World Above’ the pits across the Durham coalfield and was presented at a stunning event at the headquarters of Durham miners at Redhills. Click here to read the commission, and here to watch the event.

My doctorate in Creative Writing was entitled “The Grey Space: Notions of Loss in Writing Real Lives and The Sculptress, a work of creative non-fiction.” It explored the writing of real lives and creative non-fiction, specifically notions of loss therein. The Sculptress is a creative reimagining of the life of American artist Mary Callery. My research interests include life-writing and writing as a therapeutic response to loss.

I am a member of the Society of Authors and  joint founder of ‘Writing Through Grief’ with BACP counsellor Nicki Walker, a programme  which uses writing as a therapeutic tool in bereavement.

Represented by Jemima Hunt at The Writers’ Practice.

21 thoughts on “About

  1. Your book arrived on my kindle this morning. I have just finished reading. Thank you for articulating there is no right or wrong way to deal with loss – I wish you and B well x

    • Hi Lynne – wow, thanks so much. It is easy to feel like a pariah in all this – not grieving correctly or appropriately – so I’m glad the book has got that across! All the best to you too. X

  2. Hi Lucia, thank you for writing such a wonderful book. There are quite a few similarities to which I have found comforting, and safe in the knowledge that I now know that I am not going mad. Best wishes to you and your family for the future x

  3. I am about to order your book, but just wanted to say how much I felt likecheering when I read your quote that there is no right way to grieve. My husband died in March 2013 and I feel more bereft now than when he died. It suddenly smacks you in the face, just when you think you are doing so well! I probably need to do what you have done and write it all down. I haven’t had an inappropriate affair, but found myself looking at every man I knew immediately after my husband’s death to see if he would ‘do’. Now I want no-one, and think that is a view that is permanent. However, I am older than you. I also find I check out men to see their faults compared to my husband! No-one comes up to scratch! Well done on the book.

    • Can I just say I felt like cheering when I got your message! Thank you! This is what it’s all for – to gain reassurance from people who have been through it that I’m not going f**king insane! I am so grateful for your comment and for you buying the book. I hope it makes sense to you and that you get some comfort from it, even if our experiences haven’t been exactly the same. Do check in when you’ve read it and let me know what you think. And yes- WRITE! Love to you. X

  4. Not finished your beautiful piece of work yet but in two evenings, I’ve cried and laughed (sometimes simultaneously) as I connect with your humour and recognised the persistent nature of your pain, I’ve often described my own experience of losing Fran when she was just 35 (in 2001) as like being on a bloody train that won’t stop, It’s motion and speed throw me from side to side and I just can’t find equilibrium. That train still carries me, even after all these years, but its a little gentler now, Occasionally it tricks me into thinking it has stopped for good, before it jolt’s back into life again, flips me on my arse and reminds me of the journey still to come. Today I will lay flowers at her bench on a hill that looks back to where we last lived together. Your words have given me the strength to do this, they have validated and legitimised the way I still feel. Thank you. Will x

    • Hi Will. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful words, and am so pleased that the book resonates with you. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I am alongside you on that train that won’t stop. I hope you found some peace laying the flowers. I send you love and strength. Lucie. X

  5. Hi Lucie, I am only on page 64. I started reading your book while in the library with my 2 yr old daughter, I had to bring it home to read in private as I was getting teary. I absolutely love my husband, he is my world. I cannot imagine how you must feel. Strangely it’s something I worry about happening, we are in our early 30’s. But I always make sure we live life to the full, just incase! I hope you and B have a happy future x

    • Hi Laura Jayne, what a lovely message thank you so much. You do right – live life to the full – and love what you’ve got. I so appreciate your reading the book and making contact. I wish you love and happiness with your husband and your two year old! With gratitude…Lucie xxx

  6. Hi Lucie,
    I’ve not purchased ‘me after you yet’. In not sure I’m ready as I’m still in such early stages of my grief. Like you my world has been ripped apart with the grief of my husbands death (aged 39). Although in different circumstances. We had 23 years together, before cancer took him quickly from me in March this year, after only a 3 month illness. I have 2 little boys, one nearly 4 & one 6. I’m not sure even why I’m writing to you. I just heard about your blog, saw your article about Bridget Jones & felt it rang true about the void deepening already. I have started to write poems, my way of getting my pain onto paper & have thrown myself into fundraising for the hospice that cared for my Dean & looking after my beautiful boys. I think you are an exceptional women and for individuals like myself on this journey through grief at a young age and with young children to care for, help us feel less alone. Thank you

    • Hi Caroline. Thank you so much for making contact and sharing your story. Thanks also for your wonderful words, although I don’t feel much like an exceptional woman – I didn’t know what else to do but write after Mark died and I’m just grateful it has helped in some way. I am so sorry for your loss – hopefully further down the line the book might help you, but I totally understand where you are at the moment. I have found that writing has been helpful in that it provides tangible evidence of how far I have come without realising it. I hope the poetry you are writing does the same for you. Focus on getting through each day – don’t look further than that. I wish you strength and courage on the road my friend. And do stay in touch. Xx

  7. Hi Lucie
    I recently purchased your book at the airport in Manchester on my first trip alone after losing my husband in very similar circumstances in August 2012. I was looking for non-fiction – I am not a big reader but attempt to read on holidays. Your book found me – I am convinced. I was 55 years old, my husband Martin was 56 years old when he died. I was awoken in the middle of the night to him sitting on the edge of the bed – he had been suffering pains in his arms – doctors saying it was wear and tear due to his job as a plasterer. Martin just fell over and died but I attempted CPR as you did. It was all so sudden and cruel. I have found this second year really hard, family have been very supportive but they all have their own lives – partners they can talk to – you feel so alone after the first anniversary as others attempt to let you ‘go it alone’. We have been together since we were 14 and 15 years old so you can imagine how life changing it has been. I found your book to be very honest and frank, so refreshing to know that what I feel is normal. The problem I find is that we have always been very ‘young’ for our age and we never had much in common with others in our age group, most of our friends being in their 40s. So reading your book I could relate to lots of your thoughts and experiences – you do find yourself comparing other men to your own husband – nothing comes close. Martin was such popular man the church was overflowing the day of the funeral – I have found lots of comfort in the things people have said to me about Martin and how much others miss him so very much. I never realised how loved he was till he died – didn’t realise how much I loved him also. I miss him so very much. I am not a writer as you can see but feel inspired to write something in the way of a diary now – to reflect on in the future. Thanks Lucie for being brave and sharing your experiences – it has been such a comfort.

    Wendy H

    • Dear Wendy. Firstly, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of Martin – and of the terrible circumstances of his death. Thanks for sharing it with me and for taking the time to make contact. I love the thought that the book ‘found’ you when you needed it (off on your first trip alone too – wow, well done indeed). I totally relate to your comment about not knowing how loved your husband was until he died. I too have found this, and get comfort from it still. This is a long old journey and you’ve got to get comfort where you can. I do hope you are finding some chinks of happiness in the darkness without Martin, and that you’ll stay in touch. Thanks again for reading and for making contact. And I can recommend the writing…X

  8. Hi Lucie, So I lost my beloved husband Ron in the March as you lost Mark in the February. Ron died of cancer – we had been together 20 years, he was my bestfriend, lover and the person that made me complete. I never expected to be a widow in my 40’s but that’s the cards I was dealt. I couldn’t have read Me After You a year ago but I can tell you that a few days ago I devoured its contents. I’ve had the breakdown, done the counselling, taken the tablets, moved house, made to new friends, gone on strange holidays Ron would have thought hysterical and learnt to live alone. I’ve also learned to love again – Ron would highly approve of Chris he’s a lovely man who cares for me. Sadly, I’ve lost friends who couldn’t understand my need to start a new relationship and return back into “normal society” again without the widow stigma following me. Your book was like reading my own grieving process over the last 2 and a half years – my mum and sister are very like yours 😉 You have taught me that now its right to move on and stop using what happened as an excuse. I owe you a huge debt of gratitude for taking the time and energy to write about your life without your beautiful husband. I posted on Facebook last week that if any of my friends want to understand my world over the last 2 years they should read Me After You.

    Thank you – sending you much love and happiness always.
    Steph x

    • Hi there Steph! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. So sorry to hear about the loss of Ron. But I am so happy that the book has normalised some things for you – I have found it astounding in this ‘journey’ how many people seem to lack empathy and acceptance that grief is an individual thing and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it. If the book has helped you to ‘permit’ yourself to return back into normal society, then for me it is job done! Sending much love and happiness back to you Steph. XX

  9. Hey Lucie – I’m a fellow WAYer and I have written to you before, as your blog was the first thing I read after my beloved Matt died of cancer (aged 37) in November 2013, which felt in any way real to me. Your words really struck a chord with me and made me feel almost human in those very early, raw days of grief. I bought your book on Saturday and finished it by Monday and I just wanted to say i think its amazing. To share your journey so honestly and openly is, I think, a brave and brilliant thing to do. And again, reading it reminded me that i’m not alone on this awful journey. I am coming up to a year without Matt and my heart screams for him every day but, like you, i’m somehow moving forward. In my case its with the help of two boys (aged 11 and 7) and a mad labradoodle. Anyway, I wish you well on your continuing journey and from one sad, not so old widow to another I think you’re fab and thank you. Kirstie xx

    • Hello lovely! So good to hear from you, thanks so much for the words on the book, I’m so glad it made sense to you and made you feel not quite so alone. I’m also glad to hear you’re managing to move forward (NOT move ‘on’ – god I hate that!). It’s incremental and before you know it, you’ve
      reached the next ‘milestone’. My feeling is that the screaming heart will never abate, but we learn ways in which to cope. Wishing you much love and luck onwards. You’re also fab. 🙂 xx

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