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Image of Donia Youssef from The Monster Series
Book Publisher

Donia Youssef

The Monster Series

"I worked in publishing for around 15 years, including working for Alan Sugar on Amscreen, giving demonstrations and selling advertising space. Then, after having a child, I decided I wanted to juggle my work life balance and work from home and take control of my own destiny rather than work for someone else. My daughter, who was only 4 months old at the time was doing baby modelling, so I got a good knowledge of how that worked and decided to set up my agency overnight, created the website myself, literally created it from scratch, we’re now one of the top leading child modelling agencies in London, with around 600 children on our books. Then I got cancer ... I was diagnosed in April 2017 and obviously had to take a step back from the agency, so I went through the chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery and took a back seat, put some managers in place to run things and over saw the business when I needed to. With the extra time I had, I decided to start writing, I’ve always enjoyed writing and used it as a therapy. I started a diary and then one day, I woke up and realised I just wanted to publish a book, I reached out and managed to get a publisher to help and I created ‘The Monster in Mummy’ in quite a short space of time. I got the illustrators and decided I wanted to retain my rights, film producers were contacting me, wanting to turn the book into a movie, so I retained my rights. As things progressed, I had other cancer patients and survivors who also wanted to share their stories. So I set up a platform to help others as well, and contribute some of the proceeds to the charities, that was where I wanted to go. Amidst the chemo and everything else, I also decided to invest in property, it was a way of leaving a legacy behind, I manage 5 properties now. I also organise events and am really trying to get the publishing moving forward, it’s all books related to cancer with peoples stories, cook books, animated films and basically giving the information to children via different messages, which maybe books or films."
‘The Monster in Mummy' is available at Waterstones and Amazon.

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About the business

After I released my first book I became more and more involved with different cancer charities and organisations. Other cancer survivors would contact me to share their own stories and experiences. I realised there is so much we, as a society, are not aware of, especially when it comes to what cancer survivors go through. Their stories are so powerful and yet we hardly hear from patients. Why is that? I am so humble and proud to be able to bring you these stories and help raise awareness that behind every cancer diagnostic is a real person.

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