Stuart, who left the Free Press in 2009 to pursue his lifelong ambition, has described the novel as being about a father-daughter relationship set after the death of the child’s mother.
He had harboured dreams of writing a book since he began working as a trainee reporter in 2000 on the Accrington Observer, where he would go on to become deputy editor prior to taking on the Free Press role.
Stuart, 39, said: “I was spending a lot of time with my daughter, who was about the same age as the girl in the book at the time, so I wrote about the relationship between a father and daughter.
“Obviously it’s a lot more dramatic, I’m told it’s made a lot of people cry, which wasn’t my intention.
“It’s a heart-rending story that explores what a parent would say to a child in the face of death.”
The book will be published by HarperCollins imprint Avon on 11 February.