FIRST-time author Patricia Parkes was in the limelight at Halesowen’s WH Smith store on Saturday for her inaugural book signing in the town.

The Oldbury grandmother said it was great to meet local people and chat about her autobiography – Glad to be Alive.

Mrs Parkes, aged 61, of Ascot Close, was drawn to write her life story after overcoming cancer and the pain and anger of her two daughters both losing a baby.

Daughters Tammy and Rebecca, who now have three children each, encouraged her to write and publish her life story.

The book, which helped Mrs Parkes silence her demons, takes readers back to her childhood and stories of her Black Country up-bringing as the fourth eldest of a family of 11 children.

Proud husband William, aged 62, accompanied her to Saturday’s signing, adding the store made them very welcome.

Glad to be Alive is published by Austin Macauley, of London, and is available from WH Smith and online companies, including Amazon.