A BISHOPTON author has told how her day job as a careers advisor has helped her write young adult fiction.

Victoria Gemmell, 41, recently released her second novel Promise Me, which centres around a murder mystery amongst a tight-knit group of teenagers.

Her debut young adult novel Follow Me, published in 2015, won the Scottish Association of Writers’ TC Farries Award.

In addition to her writing pursuits, Victoria works with school leavers on a daily basis to support them in the search for jobs, training and other opportunities.

She told The Gazette: “Being a careers advisor helps me stay connected to young people and I can relate to the audience that I’m writing for.

“I’m talking to teenagers every day and see what issues they face and the emotions they go through in different parts of their lives.

“For many of the young people I work with, it is really the first time they’ve been exploring who they are and, with that, there can be a lot of anxiety, so a lot of my job is about reassuring them.”

Victoria, who has worked as a careers advisor for 15 years, also enjoys delivering talks and creative writing workshops to teenagers and adults across Renfrewshire.

She said: “A big part of my job is motivating young people and helping them see their potential, so when I do the writing workshops, it ties in really well with that, as it’s all about encouraging young people to never give up on their dreams.

“When I go into schools, my aim is to help young people to see the fun in using their imagination and being creative and encourage them to give storytelling a go, whether that’s in a traditional sense of writing or some other form.”

Victoria’s latest novel tells the tale of 17-year-old Darcy, who writes to teenage convict Christian, convinced that social media coverage in the run-up to his trial led to a miscarriage of justice.

When Darcy starts to uncover secrets from the night of the murder, threats are made and she doesn’t know who to trust.

Digital and paperback editions of Promise Me can be ordered online at victoriagemmell.com/books-follow-me.