An East Lancashire entrepreneur has become a best-selling author with a new book about reclaiming her strength after being bullied at high school and marrying a Muslim.

In the book, which is a collaboration with 17 other women, Laura Nazir, from Nelson, tells how events in her life, including marrying into a different culture and having to adjust to its norms, affected her confidence, but through making informed and positive choices she was able to rise-up and follow her dreams.

Laura Nazir and her new book

Laura Nazir and her new book

She said: "In my chapter I tell of how my confidence was knocked by bullies whilst in high school and how the impact of being bullied gave me anxiety which controlled my life.

"After graduating from university I got married and had children, I was living with my husband's family, within a different culture to my own and the anxiety was crippling due to the cultural expectations which I faced.

"I was losing my character and it was at this point in my life I had to make a decision to either let my lack of self-confidence and anxiety consume me and risk losing myself completely or rise-up and re-claim my self worth.

"I chose the latter. I trained to be a makeup artist, built a client base and opened a studio.

"I quickly realised from working with other women that there was a need to help others build and develop their self worth.

"I also trained to be a therapy lecturer so that I could help others find their confidence and build businesses."

Laura Nazir and her new book

Laura Nazir and her new book

The 34-year-old said she's over the moon with the new book, entitled, 'It Starts With Me: An Anthology Of The Magic That Happens When Women Reclaim Their Strength and Their Stories’, after it went straight in at number one on the Amazon bestseller charts in nine categories, overtaking Robin Sharma’s book ‘The 5am Club’.

She added: “It's a dream come true to become an author and I am so happy that this book has become a bestseller.

"I wanted to tell my story in the hope that it will inspire other women, who just like me, want more.

"Being part of this collaboration alongside hugely inspiring women has created magic and a platform to help others with our stories of hope and success."

It Starts With Me is a collection of 18 inspirational stories, and Ms Nazir said it is now her mission to help women so they can confidently and un-apologetically lead the way in high-end services.

She added: "We learn how confidence is a choice - you can either hide away and lose yourself in the process, or reach up high and grab what is meant for you, be unstoppable in reaching your full potential.

"When women embrace their stories, they embrace their strengths and when they embrace their strengths, they can move mountains."

The book is available to purchase as a hardback/paperback through, Waterstones and Barnes and Noble for £12.99, and is also available as a Kindle edition.