Novel take on health issues

Loanhead author Hazel McHaffie with her new book.
Loanhead author Hazel McHaffie with her new book.

A retired medical worker from Loanhead has launched her latest novel, again using fiction to highlight health issues important to her.

Hazel McHaffie’s ninth novel Inside of Me, gets to the heart of mental illness issues.

The 72 year-old said: “All my novels deal with the big questions of life.

“I used to work in medical ethics and people understand these issues through fiction.

“This novel deals with mental illness, eating disorders, body issues. The other ones dealt with assisted dying, organ transplants, things that are more medical in the general medical world.

“Mental health is very high profile at the moment. Which is why the book is so topical.

“There is so much in the media about people worrying about their image and cyber bullying, which all come up in this book.

“It was reviewed by someone who was an examiner for schools in the region and she said it ought to be in every school library. I have had several doctors that have read it and they said it should be on the wish list for doctors, nurses and parents of teenagers.”

Hazel explained why she began writing novels.

She said: “I wrote medical text books and I became very aware that if you told stories about people grappling with these things then the audience better engage with the issues.

“A lot of people say they keep on thinking about the characters long after they finished the book.

“That’s the whole reason I started writing novels.

“I would like to think that people who have mental diseases are helped by having this out there for people to read.

“I would like to think that young people in particular, or anybody who is troubled by an eating disorder or their body image, is met by more understanding from people who have read this.”