WRITER and broadcaster Ian Clayton believes everyone has a story to tell.
“Everybody can write,” he says.
“Anybody can tell a story, and there’s not much difference between telling it and writing it down.
“Words belong to all of us.
“We may not have much else left, but we have always got our words.”
The 51-year-old, from Featherstone, will talk about how words were a source of hope and support during the darkest time of his life when he visits Huddersfield next month.
He is holding a creative writing workshop at Huddersfield Town Hall on March 5.
And among the works he will be discussing is Our Billie – a tribute to his daughter, Billie Holiday Clayton, who died in 2006.
Billie, who was nine, was involved in a canoeing accident in Powys, Wales, in which her father and twin brother, Edward, survived.
Our Billie was published last year.
Clayton said: “Everything you do after a child dies is therapeutic – going for a walk in the fresh air, having a nice meal – but writing about it was something I wanted to do.
“It’s not just about how a family recovers from the death of a child. It’s a book about life and living, it’s a celebratory book.”
He said there were three reasons for writing the book: to purge his emotions; to strengthen the bonds of his family and friends as they came to terms with Billie’s death; and to tell people whom she had never had the chance to meet, just what kind of person she was.
The book is one of dozens he has written and edited. Despite the subject matter, it was also one of the quickest.
“I knew the story I wanted to tell before I started writing it,” he said.
“I sat down over a period of about three months and wrote furiously.
“I was purging a lot of conflicting emotions and it just tumbled out. I didn’t need to do as much editing because each word meant something.
“It’s a very big story to tell and the words speak for themselves.”
The creative writing workshop, coinciding with World Book Day, is from 1-2pm on March 5. An author talk follows from 2.30-3.30pm.
Tickets are £3 for the workshop and £2 for the talk. Call Huddersfield Library on 01484 221959.