Kerry Fisher is an internationally bestselling author of seven novels and has sold over a million books worldwide, with translations in nine languages. Take My Hand – co-written with her lifelong friend, Pat about both of their sons’ struggles with life-threatening illnesses – is an extension of her honest and forthright storytelling.
After studying French and Italian at the University of Bath, she lived in Italy and Spain for several years, eventually settling in Surrey, with her husband, two children and her much-adored Lab/Schnauzer. She has now adjusted her favourite quotation from her writing teacher: ‘This is fiction, we can skip the boring bits’ to ‘This is real life, let’s celebrate the boring bits.’
Pat Sowa is on what she calls a survivor’s mission to change the way we think about, treat and respond to mental illness, both as professionals and in our home lives. Pat campaigns for everyone to be taught the skills to spot mental distress. She is an inspirational keynote speaker and has addressed over 2000 leaders in education since 2018 as a way of honouring her love for Dom, her son who died from mental illness at the age of seventeen. She also trains Mental Health First Aid and is a member of the North Yorkshire Suicide Prevention Strategy Group – just one of the many examples of the work she does to get people talking about suicide so we can get better at keeping our loved ones safe.
She confesses to having an eye permanently on the next horizon and is working on appreciating this moment RIGHT NOW. Pat is a proud blow-in to her adopted county, North Yorkshire, where she lives with her husband, Jan and Caragh, the Chihuahua who definitely read the brief on how small dogs can rule the roost.
“As a human I just want to make a difference – make the world a kinder place to live in.”