TRIBUTES have been paid to a York author who has died following a battle with cancer.

Helen Cadbury, whose debut crime novel To Catch A Rabbit was published in 2013, lived in Heworth and taught creative writing at a women’s prison for more than five years.

Jamie McGarry, Helen's publisher at Valley Press, paid tribute to her in a statement released online on Friday night, and said Helen's death had come "as an enormous shock".

It read: "Helen Cadbury, an inspiring, remarkable woman and a magnificently talented novelist and poet, passed away this afternoon, surrounded by her family.

"Helen was constantly filled with life and ideas, and was speaking only yesterday about launch plans for her forthcoming books. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. The outpouring of love on social media shows how deeply she'll be missed."

Speaking to The Press in 2008, when her short story Nature's Way had just been picked up by the BBC to be read on Radio 4, Helen told how she had spent time as an actor, drama teacher and full-time mother before deciding to become a writer.

She said: "When I was younger, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to be an actor or a writer, and my dad said wait until you've got something to write about.

"Twenty years went by without me writing anything, but it was always in the back of my mind that I would do. I decided that one day I was going to sit down for long enough to write something down and when I was 40, I did."

Helen's sister Ruth Cadbury is MP for Brentford and Isleworth, and last night tweeted: "My lovely talented sister Helen Cadbury passed away today. I'm glad to have been with her & family at the end."

Writers, fans and insiders from the literary industry have paid tribute to Helen - whose second novel Bones In The Nest was published in 2015, and third novel Race To The Kill is due to be published in September - on social media.

Killer Women - a group of London-based crime writers - called Helen "a bright and brilliant part of the crime fiction family", while Paul Hirons called her "a wonderfully talented, warm and fiercely smart woman".

Writer Clare Mackintosh, whose works have appeared on the Sunday Times Bestseller List, said: "The lovely, talented, funny @helencadbury died today. I am reading her poetry and buying her crime novels, and thinking of her family.

"I was floored by this news. I can't believe it. Such a wonderful, funny, warm, intelligent lady. And what a writer!"

York Press:

Helen Cadbury in 2008

Helen was also a poet, and one of her pieces, The Dance, was included with the tribute from her publisher: 

In the dream
I am younger,
the room is huge
and I dance
over a wooden floor.
I do it often. It’s what I do.
I have a huge room,
as high as a church,
to myself and I dance across
its beautiful wooden floor
again and again.
When I wake
the dance is still in me.
It lightens my limbs
moves me to the kitchen.
The coffee brews on the hob
and I dance back and forth
from the table
to the fridge
and I am young
again and again.

Helen is survived by her husband and two sons.