A mum-of-two found the woo-key to success after penning a critically-acclaimed sci-fi novel – with the help of Star Wars legend Dave Prowse.
Housewife Rachael Kirby, 38, brought a galaxy far, far away a little closer to home with her debut work, ‘Black Gemini‘.
The novel – based ”loosely” on the Star Wars series – is set in a fictional world and follows the lives of General Viper and his lieutenant, Jess.
Since its re-release earlier this month, the 144-page book – the first of a planned trilogy – has won the hearts of readers and critics alike.
But that comes as no surprise given the pedigree of Rachael’s ”literary consultant” and family friend – the ‘godfather’ of science fiction.
Prowse, who played the original Darth Vader, offered ”tips, advice and general assistance” throughout the 13-YEAR writing process, free-of-charge.
According to Rachael, who lives in Solihull, Birmingham, his help was ”absolutely invaluable”.
She said: ”Dave and I have been friends for many years, so he was an obvious point of call when I began writing Black Gemini.
”I discussed all aspects of the book, from its plot to its characters, and he was absolutely invaluable thereafter.
”He did everything free-of-charge, but acted, essentially, as my literary consultant.”
Rachael began writing Black Gemini in 1997 shortly after giving birth to her first son, Daniel.
With a ”deep-rooted” love of sci-fi, she based her book on George Lucas’ 1970s hit series.
She spent the next eight years drafting the story – which is written with a female audience in mind – and the following five years putting in the ”finishing touches”.
But her efforts were made easier thanks to the experience of Prowse, a family friend since the early 1990s.
Rachael, who lives with husband Neil and their second son Ben, 11, said: ”I’ve had a team of amazing – and patient – people around me, and I’ll always be grateful for all they’ve done to help me.”
She is already penning a sequel, and has plans for the third.
”I haven’t asked Dave for his help yet – but I will,” she added.