About Me

fannybalke3I was brought up in Nottinghamshire, then went to Edinburgh university to study French and Spanish. I left there certain that I wanted to be a publisher’s editor. I hadn’t a clue what editors did. I loved reading: that was enough.

After a short stint in Glasgow, working in the university bookshop (the closest I could get to the world of books), I left Scotland and came to London in search of a job. I answered an advertisement from Corgi Books and was appointed as an editorial assistant. From there I went to Star Books, Granada Books and then was appointed senior fiction editor at Penguin where I stayed for fourteen years, interrupted by a three year interlude during which I was publishing director of Heinemann then editorial director of Macmillan. So I spent many happy years, acquiring, editing and publishing fiction and general non-fiction.

Eventually, I crossed to the other side of the fence. Instead of reading for my living, I began to write. After cutting my teeth with various interiors magazines, I was asked to collaborate on books that tied in with TV programmes such as Grand Designs, House Doctor and Place in the Sun. At about the same time, I was asked to be books editor of Woman & Home magazine, a job that to this day keeps me in touch with the world of books and publishing. Since then I have ghosted a number of celebrity autobiographies before turning my hand to fiction, where my heart has always lain.

Over the years, I’ve also enjoyed judging a number of literary awards, including the Betty Trask Award, the Desmond Elliott Award, the Romantic novelists’ Association Award, the Costa First Novel Award and the Costa Short Story Award.

Fanny Blake