Sharon Latham has devoted her life to caring – in her career as a nurse, as a mother of four and, more recently, as a grandmother. 

And now the mum of four who has experienced every mother’s worst nightmare, is hoping her books will help others who face the most difficult times. 

Sharon found solace in writing after the sudden and unexpected death of her eldest son, Samuel. 

The 32-year-old was living with his parents Sharon and Roger at their home in Southport after his marriage had broken down. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a 19-year-old and struggled with addictions but Sharon says there was no indication of what happened on that evening in October 2022.  

‘When he was up, he had friends and was funny and charming and lovely, but when he was down he lost his friends and would have start again to rebuild those relationships. It was a very hard time for him but we helped him as well as we could,’ Sharon said. 

One night in October 2022 I was sitting watching television and Samuel hadn’t been coming out of his room, but he came down, sat in the armchair and chatted and laughed. Then he went out. There was no sign that anything was wrong until the police came to the door to say they had found my son hanging from a bridge.’ 

And Sharon added: ‘As a young boy he was always smiley and happy. He hit all his milestones early and was just a lovely little boy. When he was 11 he asked for a guitar and he taught himself to play it in a couple of weeks. 

‘Samuel and I were very close. Everybody loved him. Since he died I’ve met so many people who knew him and have said how much they loved him and what he meant to them. He was very well known around Southport – he would play his guitar and sing around the town and we played one of the songs he had written at his funeral, ‘I’m here, you're not’. 

Great British Life: Portrait of author, Sharon Lathom. Portrait of author, Sharon Lathom. (Image: Kirsty Thompson)

‘I still can’t believe he’s gone. I keep expecting him to come through the door and give me one of his great big hugs.’ 

In the grief-filled days immediately after Samuel’s death, Sharon found inspiration for her first book from an unusual source. 

‘A day or two after he died I was sitting and daydreaming and a fly came in and I just sat there watching it buzz round and a story unfolded in my mind , like I was watching a film,’ she said. ‘I met a friend for a coffee a few days later and again, there was a fly and the film started in my mind again so when I was home I wrote it down. It’s a story about someone who dies and their consciousness is put into a fly.’ 

That book, Whispers of Eternity – which features a 32-year-old man struggling with bipolar disorder who takes his own life – was followed by five more, all written under her pen name, June Rose. 

Sharon added: ‘I’ve had that experience a few times now, where a movie starts in my mind. Writing the stories down has helped me through the most difficult time, and I hope they will help other people who are going through something similar.’