When Catherine Kurn went out on her hen night, she had no idea she was to meet her soulmate. The journalist had been dating fiance Keith for years and she was looking forward to getting married the following week.
But then on the nightclub dance floor she bumped into Kristian and there was an immediate attraction between the two of them. They chatted and Catherine even went back to Kristian’s nearby flat for a coffee – but although nothing happened, she couldn’t get him out of her mind.
The next day she woke up thinking of Kristian but despite this, she went ahead with her wedding. After all, how could she cancel marrying a man she’d been with for years for someone she’d only just met for a few hours one night?
However, even on honeymoon in Barbados she still couldn’t stop thinking about Kristian and when she came home the reality of married life with Keith didn’t live up to her expectations. The pair often found themselves bickering.
It was after one row that Catherine decided to ring Kristian. She left a message asking if he wanted to meet her the next day in a nearby cafe. She didn’t honestly think Kristian would turn up – but she was wrong. And when she saw him, once again her heart melted. It was to be the beginning of an extraordinary relationship that lasted the next five years. For a long time the pair just emailed – Catherine wanted to make a proper go of her marriage. And occasionally they would bump into one another at a nightclub – then they’d always realise how strong he attraction was between them but because Catherine was married, never did anything.
Yet when Kristian eventually met someone else, it was like a knife going through Catherine and the pair hardly met. By now she and Keith had separated.
But true love did win through in the end. Kristian also found he could not get over his attraction to Catherine. It was simply too strong to deny and in the end he finished his relationship with his girlfriend. Finally he and Catherine could get together properly.
In April 2009 they married – but both of them often find themselves recounting the somewhat bizarre way they met – on Catherine’s hen night…
Did you meet your partner in an amazing way? Did love simmer beneath the surface for the two of you for years until you finally got together? Wonderful love stories are always particularly sought after for women’s magazine and national newspapers. See if your story is one I could sell for you by dropping me an email here.
Featureworld gained a double deal this week for one couple with a double page in the DAILY MIRROR newspaper and BELLA magazine.
Steve Shelton emailed me through the Sell My Story contact form because he wanted to raise the issue of gambling by telling his real-life story.
From the age of 19, Steve had enjoyed a flutter on the horses, the football and later roulette. Throughout his twenties he’d had a few times when he’d let his gambling get the better of him. But when he met Michelle he believed he had his gambling habit under control. And in fact, although she knew he did gamble, she believed it was just a few pounds while out with his mates at the weekend.
In fact, it was more than that – something for a long time Steve, who worked in recruitment, even denied to himself. Although Steve made little bets, just a few pounds at a time, they really added up and it wasn’t very long before Michelle began to notice they were overdrawn and also money went missing in the house. Despite this Michelle believed Steve when he said he wouldn’t gamble. The couple married and have two adorable children. Life should have been perfect. But unbeknown to Michelle Steve was continuing to gamble and finding other ways to raise the cash. He raided the children’s money boxes and cancelled their insurance policies.
The crunch came when he was made redundant. The children were small but Michelle went back to work and as their mortgage was covered by loss of job insurance, at least she was reassured that would be paid for a year.
But when a pipe burst in their home, she found out Steve had not only cancelled the insurance policy but had also gambled payments meant for the mortgage.
Shockingly he’d also run up £50K in debt and they were made bankrupt, losing their home. Michelle tried to forgive Steve – who said he would get counselling – but when she discovered he’d been gambling again, she decided to leave. She has now filed for divorce.
Steve and I discussed telling his story with Michelle – it felt only right that the whole family should be involved. Both Michelle and Steve told their stories in diaries in the Daily Mirror while for the women’s magazine, the story was told from Michelle’s point of view.
Steve, who is now in counselling with Gamblers Anonymous and who has stopped gambling, said: “I wanted to raise the whole issue of gambling – I only hope my story will help others seek help before it’s too late.”
Michelle said: “As soon as I got the paper and magazine I could see it was written exactly as it had been read back to me. Doing this has brought closure to what was a terrible time.”
Meanwhile, Gamcare, a charity that helps families affected by gambling, has contacted me to say they were pleased to see this issue raised. They add anyone can contact them in complete confidence. Contact Gamcare here: Gamcare help.
If you have an issue you would like to see raised in a newspaper and magazine, please contact me directly for a confidential chat: My Story
Two Featureworld interviewees, whose stories were both sold to national newspapers, this week also appeared in magazines!
Laura Hymas’s emotional real life story about how she is living with a brain tumour was previously printed in the Daily Mirror newspaper. Until last Christmas, Laura felt she was the luckiest woman alive. With a wonderful partner, Ben and an adorable son, Jacob, she couldn’t have asked for more. But then, after suffering from strange symptoms such as being clumsy and tired, she received some devastating news – she has a brain tumour.
Doctors in the UK say they can’t do anymore for Laura so Ben launched the Hope For Laura Fund to raise enough money to have potentially life saving treatment in the US.
Laura is currently in the US receiving treatment and we are all hoping it is successful. For the latest updates follow Laura on Twitter.
Meanwhile, I have arranged for Laura’s story to appear in another bestselling women’s mag. Watch this space!
WOMAN’S OWN MAGAZINE
And yet another Featureworld interviewee stars in another magazine this week!
Interestingly Amanda’s story also appeared in a newspaper and a magazine when her sister Sam offered to be a surrogate and had baby Esme for her. Then Amanda had spent £30,000 and on IVF that hadn’t worked.
But when against all the odds Amanda recently gave birth herself to baby Thea she wanted to tell her story again. And as this was a new update, I was able to place it. And Esme really is a little miracle. When the clinic wrote to Amanda asking what to do with embryos left over from before, she and husband Darren decided to have one last go at IVF. That was paid for by sister Ellen – and incredibly it worked.
Amanda now has lots of beautiful newspaper and magazine cuttings to show both her daughters when they are older.
Amanda says: “We are all thrilled with the story in Woman’s Own. Thank you very much!”
Do you want to sell your story to a magazine? Contact me here: Sell my story to a magazine.
Emotional real-life story of two sisters who both suffered from cystic fibrosis – and how one lived, while the other died – in BELLA magazine this week.
Sarah Bithell and younger sister Lisa shared everything together – including cystic fibrosis. This is an inherited condition that clogs the lungs with mucus making it hard to breathe. Sadly many sufferers spend their lives in and out of hospital and die before the age of 30.
And as the girls reached their mid-twenties, the cystic fibrosis began to take its toll on both of them. It was then Sarah made the life-changing decision to have a lung transplant. This in itself was very risky and Sarah spent a year recovering after her operation.
But while Sarah hoped Lisa would make the same decision, she decided she couldn’t go through with it. Sarah believes seeing her go through such a big operation put Lisa off. Despite asking her sister if she might reconsider, Lisa refused.
As Sarah got better, Lisa began to deteriorate. Sarah felt angry at her sister for not going through with it and as Lisa became too ill to cope with an op, she knew she would lose her sister for good.
Lisa was 30 when she died and naturally Sarah took it very hard. In the months after her death she felt grief and guilt that she was here while Lisa was not.
However, it was then she found Lisa’s diary and it was words about how Lisa believed in Sarah and her artwork that spurred Sarah on. Today she is about to do an MA in art therapy. She is aged 35, healthy and has a boyfriend.
Sarah says: “Not a day goes by when I don’t miss Lisa. But I am now living my life to the full for both of us.”
Following the Bella article this week, Sarah now has another deal gained by Featureworld and her incredible true-life story is now due to appear in a glossy upmarket monthly magazine.
Do you have a moving and inspiring story you would like to see printed in a magazine. Do contact me here: Sell My Story to a magazine.