WRITE about what you know, is the time-honoured advice to wannabe authors.

Miranda Winram’s first published short story is a gripping tale of a young woman from some kind of travelling community who suffers horrific burns when her abusive husband pushes her face into a frying pan.

So Miranda must be a member of a travelling community who has suffered domestic abuse and severe burns, right?

No, no and yes. She’s not from a travelling background, and her husband David certainly isn’t abusive. But the 35-year-old author did spend a night in the Wakefield burns unit six months ago. “I tried to light a bonfire with petrol: it was really stupid!”

Her untitled short story, included in a national anthology entitled 8 Rooms, opens with a young woman named Farah waking up in hospital.

The confusion and disorientation is beautifully captured – a tune jingles around in her head, words drift in and out.

Gradually, as she recovers, she realises that her face is covered with terrible burns. She doesn’t say anything: but from her tension whenever her husband Zeb is mentioned, hospital staff begin to guess Zeb caused her injuries.

The couple belong to a patriarchal circus or travelling community – Miranda deliberately isn’t specific about exactly what kind of community – in which it is difficult for women to assert their independence.

But by the end of the story, and after a series of conversations with a woman who was herself abused, Farah finds the courage to leave hospital for a women’s refuge.

None of those are her own experiences, Miranda admits. She herself was a successful management consultant with KPMG before giving up work to go to the US when her husband was transferred there. The pair have now returned to Nun Monkton, near York.

But in a previous job she worked for the National Lottery charity board. One project she dealt with involved Sheffield Women’s Refuge. “A lot of the people I met there were women who had suffered abuse themselves.” Their courage and strength inspired the story.

She’s now looking for a job while compiling a book of travel writing she did while in the US. She and her husband visited 48 of the 50 US states – all except Hawaii and Alaska.

So would she like to be a full-time writer? “I think I would view it as a very enthusiastic hobby. If at some point I write a novel, maybe… but it would have to be a couple of best-selling novels!”

l 8 Rooms is published by Legend Press, priced £7.99. It is the fourth in Legend’s Short Story Reinvented series.