Katy Colins, 30, secures three-book deal with Carina UK, part of world-renowned publisher Harper Collins
A jilted bride left at the altar quit her job, sold everything and travelled round the world.
Katy Colins, 30, sold her house and her car and booked a one-way ticket to south east Asia after her big day was called off.
And her adventure, which involved backpacking around Thailand, India and Nepal on her own, has made Miss Colins a published author.
Katy, from Formby, has secured a three-book deal with Carina UK, part of world-renowned publisher Harper Collins.
“I began to think ‘what if you were given a second chance to find yourself?'” Miss Colins
The former Manchester Airport public relations worker told how she was left confused and disillusioned with life after being jilted by her long-term boyfriend and sold “anything that wouldn’t fit into a large backpack” before jetting off to Thailand on her own.
Katy said: “Everyone did think I was a little mad, especially as I’d never travelled anywhere by myself before, but it just felt right.
“I needed the time away from everything and everyone I knew to find myself, but it wasn’t as cheesy as that.”
With a degree in English and journalism from Salford university, Katy said she always dreamed of one day writing a novel.
She kept a travel blog, mainly to keep family and friends updated during her trip, which grew and grew in readers.
Katy said: “People who weren’t related to me started reading my blog and sending me emails, telling me how brave I was to quit it all and go.
“I received messages from other newly-single men and women who said they read my blog as an inspiration – that just because you’ve been dumped it doesn’t mean you have to listen to bad power anthems and devour ice-cream!
“You can use this as a catalyst for something much bigger and better.”
“His decision, although devastating at the time, was the wake-up call I needed” Miss Colins
As she travelled around south-east Asia and India, Katy said the passion to start putting her experiences into words was hard to resist.
She said: “I started writing a few chapters, not fully aware that they would be the start of a novel, but mostly as a way to clear my head.
“Although I was experiencing things that I would never have imagined seeing, such as the Taj Mahal and trekking through the Himalayas, I was still working through the feelings that I wouldn’t be making wedding scrapbooks or be living the married life – well not just yet at least.
“I began to think ‘what if you were given a second chance to find yourself?'”
The former Southport College student has since backpacked around South America for six months and lived in France, teaching English, for the past two years.
She was living in a small fishing town in northern France when she received news about the book deal.
Katy said: “Ironically, an editor called me on what would have been our third wedding anniversary. It is poignant to think how far I’d come through hard work, being brave and wanting to live the biggest life I could.”
Katy’s journey inspired her to write the first novel in The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series, Destination Thailand, a light-hearted romantic comedy, which has been described as “Bridget Jones goes backpacking”.
With her unworn wedding dress still in her wardrobe, Katy now thinks back to her ex calling everything off as the best thing that ever happened to her.
She said: “His decision, although devastating at the time, was the wake-up call I needed. I had a good job, a lovely house and lived a comfortable lifestyle but it lacked adventure.
“That is something I hoped travelling half-way around the world on my own would give me, and luckily it paid off.
“I have climbed an active volcano in Chile, slept in a Thai jungle, got covered in Holi powder in India, skydived in France, and even taken a flight past Mount Everest.”
The Lonely Hearts Travel Club is available for pre-order now. It is released digitally on January 21.