Sophie Garner bombed out of secondary school with the worst attendance record for the year.

That was 1989 in Bury St Edmunds. Fast forward 32 years and Sophie is a professional singer, vocal coach - including for ITV's The Voice Kids - and music specialist working with those with dementia, brain injury and children with mental health issues.

The 48-year-old said she caused "absolute havoc" at King Edward VI School, but rocked up there in 2012 to make peace, which she described as "really cathartic".

Sophie, who now lives in Northampton, said her teenage years were "troubled and difficult" and found respite in writing poetry, songs and acting.

The ability to express yourself creatively is now the subject of her book 'The Creative Songwriting Journal'.

Aimed at children aged seven to 12, the book aims to "build confidence, encourage self-expression, celebrate creativity".

"It would have provided me with the safety blanket of being able to express my emotions at a time when I absolutely needed it," said Sophie, referring to if she had had the book when she was younger.

She said back then in the late 1980s there wasn't the understanding around mental health.

The book is filled with creative exercises, quotes and inspiring activities, all aimed at providing a "positive and empowering tool kit for children to process their own unique thoughts and feelings through songwriting," giving them a skill set to use for life.

Sophie has been reaching out to Bury St Edmunds schools as she is planning on "coming home" for a tour of her book to support children's mental health and wellbeing.

She hopes to visit her old primary school, Hardwick, as well as King Edward VI School and others.

She said: "It's really exciting and it's really important to me it happens in my hometown."

While Sophie says the book was a lockdown project, after she lost all her work in the space of two weeks, she said without knowing it the idea really started when she was aged 13 when she poured her issues into songwriting and poetry. And years later she used songwriting to help support a student.

She said songwriting was a "safe space" to express yourself and "there's no exam to sit".

"It's so gratifying," she said. "You have created something and it belongs to you".

Despite her record at school, Sophie has a lengthy list of achievements including being the first artist to play the London O2 Arena.

She is also a reserve vocal coach for ITV's The Voice Kids and gained a MA in vocal pedagogy even though she had no prior degree.

She has also published a second book 'If you Can’t say it Sing it’, which came out in April 2021.

For more information about the books visit the website.