STARS of stage and screen have signed up for a magical literary cause.
Fifteen years ago, doctors told Suzanne Maguire she had just five years to live when she was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
But the defiant author has battled against the odds and is now writing the third book in her Spellbound Chronicles trilogy, the closing chapter in a children’s fantasy saga which she started as a way to leave a lasting legacy for her boys Aron and Lance.
A percentage of the money made from the book sales goes to Motor Neurone Disease charities.
A few months ago, Suzanne, from Thurgoland but now living in Doncaster, came up with an idea to bring awareness to her trilogy opener, Blood Lines. She co-writes the series alongside mum Eve.
Suzanne began to petition performers, family and friends to get involved in reading a page from the first eight chapters of her book.
Her campaign has managed to get everyone from 90s’ pop star Chesney Hawkes to Norman Lovett, who played Red Dwarf’s computer Holly, Emmerdale’s Samantha Giles, Phil Davis, star of Quadrophenia and TV’s Whitechapel and Sherlock.
Julie Hesmondhalgh, who played Hayley Cropper on Coronation Street and has starred in Broadchurch and Happy Valley, is another of the celebrities who have taken the time to send Suzanne a reading.
Suzanne, 51, said: “I approached some via Twitter and many ignored me, but the odd few who did reply I am very grateful to.
“We have some amazing actors like Samantha Giles, who was in Emmerdale, Red Dwarf’s Norman Lovett, and the lovely actor Phil Davis.
“We also have actors like Sally Lindsay, from Open All Hours and we are in talks with Johnny Vegas. We are speaking to the actress who played Carrie in the Little House On The Prarie TV series and American actor David Bloch-Mandel who played the son Adam in the 60s’ TV series Bewitched.”
Actors Dan Ryan, Steve Huison, Craig Parkinson and Tony Audenshaw have all also contributed.
“It is just the first eight chapters which will be read out in the hope that it will grab people’s interest and they think ‘I wouldn’t mind knowing the rest of this story’. Then they can go on and download or order it from Amazon or Waterstones.”
She has had volunteers film themselves in locations from America to Sherwood Forest.
“One of our friends works as a ranger in Sherwood and recorded his next to the Major Oak. And there has been some young people in America who have done a reading. We have found that people in America tend to find anything British and historical very interesting, so we have sold quite a few copies there.”
Suzanne hopes the video will be completed and ready for release online next month.
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Stars spellbound by author's idea
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