Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sad News

I have just had a phone call from Michelle Reid giving me the sad news that one of Mills & Boons' long serving and popular Modern/Presents novelists - Diana Hamilton - died in May.

When I first started writing seriously for Mills & Boon I always looked out for a Diana Hamilton title. And I was lucky enough to meet her a couple of times at Author days and other events. She was a tiny woman with an infectious, live-wire personality. With typical professionalism she turned in her last book just a couple of months before she died.

She will be missed by her fellow authors and by her readers too.

Here is a bit more about Diana - taken from Fantastic Fiction

Diana Hamilton was born in a English town. Wanting to be a country child, her imagination came into play at an early age, transforming a neighbour's tree into a forest, a hole in a stone wall into a gingerbread house, a gas puddle into a fairyland, complete with mountains, lakes, and flower meadows. She loathed housework but made to do her share, to lessen the boredom, she told herself stories, in a very loud voice, featuring princesses and flower gardens, discovering that telling herself stories was almost as good as reading them in a book. She loathed school with an equal passion and got through it by pretending to be somewhere else. Even so she left grammar school with respectable grades.... And was sent to art college when she wanted to study to be a vet. This was nowhere as bad as it had seemed because it was there, at age 18, she first saw Peter.

He had returned from two years' active service in Korea to resume his studies, and Diana immediately fell in love with him. Gaining a degree in Advertising Copywriting, Diana worked as a copywriter and married Peter. They moved to a remote part of Wales after the birth of their second child, Paul, when their daughter, Rebecca, was three years old. There, Diana enjoyed pony trekking and walking in the mountains; and her third child, Andrew, was born. Itchy feet brought them back to England to the beautiful county of Shropshire four years later and they have been there ever since, gradually restoring the rambling Elizabethan manor that Diana gave her heart to on sight, creating a garden out of a wilderness of nettles, brambles, and old bedsteads.

In the mid-70s Diana took up her pen again to write stories to read to her three children at bedtime. These were never offered for publication but the bug had bitten. Over the next 10 years she combined writing over 30 novels, published by Robert Hale of London, with bringing up her children, gardening, and cooking for the restaurant of a local inn -- a wonderful excuse to avoid the dreaded housework! In 1987 Diana realised her dearest ambition -- the publication of her first Mills & Boon romance, Song in a Strange Land. She had come home.

And that feeling persists to this day as, around 30 Mills & Boon romantic novels later, she is still in love with the genre. She loves setting her novels in Europa, specially in England, because she was born here and love it, and in Spain, because it's fabulous and so romantic. She says: "I've visited the most romantic place in the word, Cadiz. Perhaps my next book..."

And you can read her bography and interview on her author pages on the Mills & Boon web site


Anonymous said...

Hi Kate

How sad, a romance writing legend gone! How sad! What I always liked about her writing was her honesty in her stories. We'll all miss her terribly, it won't be the same without her name appearing on the front blurb of our beloved M&B's.

I don't know how to send my condolences to her family. I'm not sure if you could perhaps pass my thoughts on?

xx Karen

Trenda Plunkett said...


Such sad news...the romance genre has lost a unique and gorgeous voice. I loved her books and could never pass one up when I saw her name on the cover.


Anne McAllister said...

Diana Hamilton was a class act -- a delightful witty woman and a powerful unforgettable writer. She had the most infectious grin, one that invited you to share the laughter of the moment. She will be deeply missed. My sympathies to her family on their loss.

Liz Fielding said...

What sad news, Kate. I, too, met her a couple of times. She was one of my "early" reads and an inspiration.

Lacey Devlin said...

Such devastating news Kate!

I’m still in the process of collecting her books and I dearly love them all. It’s so very sad to know that one of the great inspirations in my life has passed on. My condolences to her family she will be forever remembered for the fabulous stories she brought to us.


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