Despite this, in October 2010, the couple went ahead with their wedding and as this picture shows, it was truly a wonderful day. Since then the cancer spread further. The couple simply could not contemplate the worse and began fund-raising for treatment in the US they believed could save Claire’s life. In August she and Chris got to the States for this treatment and although they were going through such a difficult time, Chris told me it was a wonderful experience.
However, it seems this treatment came too late to help as on her return, Claire got worse and last week, on 21st September, Claire passed away.
Chris says: “Both myself and Claire were very grateful for all your help along the incredibly difficult journey that we have had.”
I am just pleased that through Featureworld, Chris has a wonderful cutting from Woman’s Own magazine to look back on.
To read more about Claire’s story, click here: Claire Faulkner’s story
If you have a bitter-sweet poignant real life story you would like to share, then please contact me here: Selling my story
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
At Featureworld I am always searching for new stories to put up to editors of national newspapers, women’s magazines and TV.
But what I am searching for varies from time to time – depending on the time of year and what is in the news. Have a look here to see if you can help with one of these stories I have been asked for over the past few days…
* Jilted brides and grooms. Following soapstar Jessie Wallace’s wedding that never was, I am searching for anyone who has a similar story. Perhaps their partner cancelled their wedding on the day or just days before the ceremony. It might have been a devastating experience but the bonus is jilted brides or grooms can always sell their story…
* Post-holiday stories – love rats from holiday, holiday romance stories, nightmare holiday stories from this year’s holiday.
* Christmas stories – yes it might only be September but incredibly I sold a story for Christmas to a magazine at the beginning of August – and many mags are already sorting out their seasonal pages.
* X-Factor stories – anything involving this popular show is sought after by showbiz on newspapers – and in fact although it is only the beginning of this series, I already placed one X Factor story in the Daily Star last week. Now I am being asked for more…
* Weight loss stories with great photos and an inspirational story behind them.
* A number of TV production companies have contacted me over the past week searching for people to star in reality TV shows. To browse the shows currently casting for new talent, click here: Get me on TV
To see more ‘asks’ from magazines and newspapers click here: Stories wanted
To find out more about the process of selling your story click here: How it works
And if you want to sell your story then contact me here: Sell 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.
A little update about two Featureworld interviewees and how their real life stories continue to be in demand by magazines…
Firstly Kerry and Mark McDougall’s story appears in BEST magazine this week.
You can read more about Kerry and Mark’s story on my website: Please don’t take my baby away.
Meanwhile you can read their other recently published stories: Sunday Mirror and New! magazine stories.
And next up is Malissa Jones. Malissa’s story about how she was Britain’s fattest teen but is now anorexic has already recently appeared in double page spreads in Closer, The Daily Mail, Daily Star, Daily Mirror and she has also been interviewed by Philip Scofield on ITV’s This Morning.But this week her incredible story appears in REAL PEOPLE magazine.
If you have a story to sell and would like to appear in multiple magazines, email me here: Magazine story to sell
Diane Miller’s real life story about how she is caring for her orphaned grandson appears in PICK ME UP magazine this week.
Sell your story blog readers might well recall the tragic story of Terri and Tom – they were the young couple killed a few weeks ago in a freak accident. As they walked back from dropping son Morgan at nursery, a lorry load of timber fell on top of them. Both of them died, leaving their beloved son Morgan an orphan.
Diane contacted me for advice on dealing with the media and her story was placed in The Sun newspaper. Her emotional story also made the front cover of Pick Me Up mag. Now Diane’s story, along with an update on how the family is coping now, is set to appear in a third magazine. Woman’s own magazine, which is out on Tuesday has bought the rights to print the story again. All the money earned from the features is being used to set up a Trust fund for Morgan.
Meanwhile, another Featureworld interviewee’s story – which was previously printed in the Sunday Mirror newspaper – appears this week in real life story weekly mag, WOMAN’S OWN.
Lucie Glenny’s fun story about how she bought her dream wedding for just £2,000 online using a Groupon discount voucher is retold to magazine readers.
Read Lucie’s story in the newspaper: Sunday Mirror
Selling a story in multiple deals for an interviewee is one of the main benefits of going through Featureworld rather than selling your story direct to a publication. Not only does it earn you, the interviewee more money – because you are paid each time a story is printed – but it often means just one interview and often just one photoshoot.
To find out more about selling your story in a multiple deal through Featureworld, click here: Sell My Story
Read other recently sold stories: Sell your Story Archives
Looking for some extra cash for a holiday or to buy some clothes for a trip away? Well, you could always sell your story to help pay for it…!
Currently I am looking for great real life stories to sell to magazines and newspapers.
Any story with a summery feel to it is welcome. Here’s some ideas…
* Holidays from hell. Been on a nightmare plane flight or boat trip? Stayed in a half-built hotel – then make sure you take some photos as they will help sell your story on your return.
* Wedding stories… getting married the same day as Kate and Wills? Had a wedding disaster? Been jilted at the altar? Then take heart, at least everyone will want to buy your story.
* Holiday romances. Met the love of your life abroad? Are you giving everything up to live in a mud hut with the new man or woman in your life?
* Suffered terrible sunburn? Want to warn others of the dangers of sunbathing or forgetting to take the malaria pills? Are you suing a holiday company …
* Saved someone’s life? Been bitten by snake or a shark – obviously you have survived…!
* Got caught up in a crisis? Don’t forget to contact me if your flight is hideously delayed for some ridiculous reason, or you get caught up in another ash cloud. You can spend your time selling your story.
* Taking your pet abroad? Perhaps you have lots of photos from a trip around the world with your dog or maybe you spend thousands flying your cat to your Spanish villa and back.
* Lost a load of weight to go on your hols? Do you have great before pics of you as a beached whale on holiday – and looking sylph like this year?
* Given birth abroad – flew to the States and back and you didn’t know you were nine months pregnant (I sold a story before like this five times for that interviewee!).
* Been a victim of crime abroad? Been jailed abroad for a crime you didn’t commit?
* Going on the holiday of a lifetime? Packing up everything in the UK to move after a holiday?
* Taking the mother-in-law away with you?
* Heading for divorce after another nightmare holiday with your spouse?
Potentially a good real life story can earn you up to thousands of pounds and pay for your holiday.
To see if your real life story is saleable, contact me here: Sell My Story