Blink Publishing, the leading commercial non-fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK, has acquired the moving and brave memoir from celebrity campaigner and endurance athlete, Ashley Cain.
Ciara Lloyd, editorial director, acquired world rights from David Riding at MBA Literary Agents with Jim Erwood and Jason Brightman at Off Limits Entertainment.
Strong is the inspirational and heartbreaking memoir from social media star Ashley Cain, charting his daughter’s birth and the fight for her life when she was diagnosed with leukemia at 7 weeks old, as well as his own struggles since her passing in 2021.
Ashley Cain is an ex-professional footballer and has also appeared on MTV’s reality TV shows such as Ex on the Beach and The Challenge, and Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins. He is currently appearing on BBC’s Go Hard or Go Home and has a hit podcast Fierce Minds, Kind Hearts.
Ashley Cain embodies strength and resilience – recently setting up The Azaylia Foundation and taking part in extreme physical challenges to raise crucial lifesaving funds and awareness for children fighting cancer – so though the book will be a moving tribute to his daughter, it will also encompass the practical and positive mindset that Ashley now embodies, tying his emotional and physical grief into his extreme challenges, in order to provide inspiration and comfort to others struggling with loss and other mental health difficulties.
Ashley Cain said: ‘Writing this book has probably been my toughest challenge yet. Not only by revisiting the heartbreak, but making sure it truly reflects the traumatic but magnificently beautiful journey of me and my incredible daughter Azaylia. It is a true story of beauty and the beast. It’s a love story with a powerful, strong and unbelievably meaningful message. My daughter taught me the true meaning of love, even through a breaking heart. She taught me how to be strong, when all I felt was weak. The power of courage, even when I was most scared. To smile and shine light, when it seemed I was surrounded with nothing but darkness and to never ever give up on that or them in which you love. In her honour, I want to pass on those values to the world in this beautiful memoir, Strong.’
Ciara Lloyd said: ‘I’ve admired Ashley for some time and shared in the heartbreak after the passing of his daughter, Azaylia in 2021. Ashley’s journey since has been inspirational to watch; his emotional and physical strength of spirit is awe-inspiring to behold, and it is an honour to be able to work with him to share his story and Azaylia’s legacy with the world.’
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book will be donated to The Azaylia Foundation, the charity that Ashley and his ex-partner Saafiya set up to raise money to fight childhood cancer, in memory of their daughter, Azaylia Diamond Cain
Strong will be published in hardback, audio and eBook on 22nd June 2023.