About the Author

I was born in Gibraltar and spent most of my childhood in South America – Peru and the Dominican Republic – where earthquakes, hurricanes and revolutions regularly disrupted or completely abolished school. So I read everything I could find and when I ran out of books, I wrote my own stories.

At 13, I couldn’t sit entrance exams for schools in England because I hadn’t studied any of the subjects (indeed hadn’t really studied anything), so Queen Anne’s Caversham asked me to write a story which ended ‘…but I never saw the house again.’ They must have liked it because I got a place.

Then I went to Bristol University, in the days of freak-outs and sit-ins, and can barely remember what degree I got. Not surprisingly, no-one wanted to employ me afterwards, so I wrote about job-hunting, submitted it to Campaign Magazine and got short-listed for both the Catherine Pakenham and Vogue Talent Contest awards, which kick-started my career.

My journalism ranged from editing trade magazines (remember Industrial Safety Magazine? No? You haven’t lived) to being assistant, associate and then managing editor on She Magazine, Harpers & Queen and finally Good Housekeeping.

Then I went freelance to be around for the school run (it involved 12 children, 9 mothers, 3 grandmothers and was as complicated as nuclear physics but our carbon footprint was admirable). I began writing novels in the gaps between South London traffic jams and commissions for a wide range of newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Telegraph, the Independent, the FT‘s How to Spend It, The Times Magazine (and lots of others). I’ve also written six radio plays for BBCs Radio 4.

We live in Kent with the sea ten minutes away, while the asparagus and strawberry fields are five minutes in the other direction. I’ve now written four novels for Sphere: The Inheritance, Sisters-in-Law, Lovers & Liars and now The Empty Nesters. My books have been translated into ten languages.

The Author, Nina Bell