By Hannah Collins
On 30 March, The Wanted singer, Tom Parker, sadly passed away at the age of thirty-three, after being diagnosed, in October 2020, with an inoperable grade four glioblastoma. Despite the tragedy, before Tom’s passing, it was announced that the musician was writing a memoir entitled Hope: My Inspirational Life, that traces a path from his working-class upbringing in Bolton, to his rise to fame with The Wanted and then onto his devastating cancer diagnosis.
Waterstones have described this memoir as, “an inspiring story of determination and courage in the face of a horribly cruel disease,” and the book has recently achieved a commendable milestone of making it to number one on The Sunday Times bestseller list. This accomplishment was announced by Parker’s wife, Kelsey, on her Instagram Stories, where she expressed her pride and delight: “My husband… a Sunday Times no.1 bestselling author. Beyond proud of my love. What I’d give to celebrate with you one more time.”
The book was first announced just a couple of weeks before the star’s passing and was acquired by Blink Publishing, an adult fiction imprint that aims to produce innovative texts that can “engage, entertain, inform and excite a wide commercial audience.” Publishing Director, Susannah Otter, said of this acquisition that, “along with millions of others, I was deeply moved by Tom’s documentary and the courage he has shown in the face of his illness. This book will be a real beacon and we are honoured to publish it.”
Tom also stated before his passing that his book, which was officially released at the end of May (two months ahead of its initial scheduled publication date in July), “is not about dying: It's a book about living. It's a book about finding hope in whatever situation you're dealt and living your best life no matter what. It will show you how having faith in hope and daring to dream means you can carry on, against all odds.”
The posthumously-released memoir was co-written with Grant Brydon, an author and skilled music journalist, who also took to Instagram to share the news of Tom’s book reaching the number one bestseller spot with The Sunday Times. He penned that, “writing this with Tom is an experience that I feel privileged to have been a part of and will forever cherish. One of his aims for the book was to spread awareness of brain tumours, so it’s great to see so many people being receptive to it and reading it.” By documenting his journey and search for a cure, through chemotherapy and various other methods, Tom has been able to raise awareness of conditions like his own. Despite losing his life in such a tragic way, he has left behind a legacy that not only makes his family and fans proud but will ultimately help to save the lives of others in similar situations. Signed copies of the text are available to purchase now.