The life story of Gunnedah woman Leila James has been captured in a new biography, which will be launched on Saturday.
Hedgehopper - the Leila James story was written by Penny McCowen and will go on sale at the Gunnedah Uniting Church hall at 10am.
The author lives near Tenterfield and met Ms James through a mutual friend a few years ago.
“Robin Capp knew both Leila and I and she knew I wrote, and she rang me and asked if I would write Leila’s story because it’s so amazing and it deserves to be written,” Ms McCowen said.
“I drove down to meet her when i decided to take on the project and I went and visited her in her flat and sat at her feet and listened to her talk and I recorded it on my phone,” she said.
“She sent me more tapes about her life after I left. She had written a lot of it down on paper.
“I basically just wrote as she told it to me.”
Ms McCowen said she was glad that she took on the project.
“It’s the most incredible story,” she said.
“Abuse and neglect and courage and triumph and victory; it really has all the elements.
“It’s a very inspiring story and it’s been a real journey for me as I’ve written it; I’ve been so moved and affected by it as I’ve written it.”
The author said the book had been “four years in the making”.
“I finished the book about November last year and then we self-published,” she said.
Ms McCowen said she had the books sent to Ms James’ apartment.
“Leah was completely overwhelmed,” she said.
“She phoned me when she received the box of books.
“She was almost in tears talking on the phone. I’m so thankful that she’s got to hold her book in her hands finally.”
The book is $20 and will be available for purchase on Saturday and also at Second Edition Book Store and online.
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