A FORMER nurse who worked at a psychiatric hospital near Fareham has written a novel loosely based on her experiences.
Christine Lawrence, 62, from High Street in Southwick, worked at Knowle Hospital, for 13 years from 1973.
More recently she studied creative writing at the University of Portsmouth, and it was here that she began to write her novel, Caught in the Web.
The story is based around a nurse who works at a mental hospital and her friendship with one of the patients.
Christine said: ‘It’s a fictional story but I used my own experiences and what I observed in other people. Some of the things in the book have actually happened to me but it’s mainly fictional.
‘When you are working in that field sometimes you want to share what’s going on around you with other people. But you can’t because of confidentiality issues.
‘This is why I chose to write about something that happened a long time ago. It’s quite an empowering feeling to be able to write about things that happened there.
‘Some of my colleagues enjoyed reading about it. It brought back memories.
‘And a lot of people who weren’t there are quite amazed that things like that did go on.’
Much of the book is based in the Fareham and Gosport area, where Christine grew up.
And Christine, who wrote part of the book for her dissertation at university while studying for her masters degree, said she enjoyed writing it.
‘I loved it,’ she said. ‘It gives you a good buzz.
‘When I was writing it at first I was doing it as part of the degree course and we were working in groups. We gave each other feedback. It was so exciting hearing it coming alive.
‘The fact that it’s actually in print is amazing. People are reading it and saying that it’s gripping and they can’t put it down and it’s compulsive reading.
‘Most people who have read it say they have read it in a few days.’
The book, which was published earlier this year, has sold around 130 paperback copies and is also available for Kindle devices.
Christine will be signing books in Waterstones in Commercial Road on Saturday from midday until 3pm.