A BUDDING Shepherd's Bush author is not shy of tackling difficult issues with her first collection of short stories covering drug abuse and paedophilia.
Amelia Fergusson, 26, of Bloemfontein Road, will celebrate the release of her book The Story of Babalou Roy on December 20.
The London-born writer moved to live on the Caribbean island of St Vincent and the Grenadines with her parents when she was 11.
She has been regularly volunteering at homeless centres across London since returning to the capital in 2004.
And she has been touched and inspired by the troubled lives of those she has tried to help.
Her experiences have formed the storylines of some of her stories in the new book which include a tale told from a paedophiles perspective.
She said: "I enjoy studying people. I could sit on a bus or train for hours and make mental notes of their mannerisms.
"There is a moral to every story that is in this book. It certainly highlights homelessness, abuse and addictions and the need to keep our children safe.
"I want people to read the book and become more aware. I wrote it in a way that would shock people into becoming more involved with social causes.
"I wasn’t allowed a TV until I was 15 so, in my household, the focus was always on reading and writing which helped me to run wild with my imagination.
"There were times when I was writing the book that it became quite intense and I wondered how I could come up with these stories. But it is all for a good cause."
Miss Fergusson is hoping to do more than just raise awareness of some of the ills in society but is pledging to give some of the proceeds of her book to homeless charity Shelter.
She said: "I was apprehensive when I began volunteering and it was quite intimidating. But when you realise the difference you are making in people's lives it is irreplaceable.
"I absolutely love it now and that is why I hope to be able to give something back to them financially."
She is already putting pen to paper on her next collection of short stories.
The Story of Babalou Roy is available at Amazon or Waterstones or available in an e-book format at www.ameliafergusson.com .