About Iona


Before I was a writer I was a reader, and the kind of books I devoured as a child became the kind of books I have ended up writing. I loved fairy tales, of course (all those echoing castles and deep, dark forests) but it was stories where the past and the present somehow collided that really sent a shiver up my spine: Alison Uttley’s A Traveller in Time, Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer, Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden (with its unbearably poignant present day framing device) and Nina Beachcroft’s Cold Christmas, which remains one of my Desert Island books.

​I studied English Literature at Manchester University, and around course texts I hungrily consumed Rosamunde Pilcher and Jilly Cooper with shameless enthusiasm. Any plans I may have had to write anything myself were put on hold when I met my husband the night before we left university for good, and rushed joyfully into marriage and babies. For several years my creative energies went into making fairy cakes (they weren’t called cupcakes in those pre-Instagram days), putting together costumes for school plays and fancy dress parties and overseeing messy finger painting sessions at the kitchen table. I’m not sure I would ever have got round to writing anything had I not had the extreme good fortune to meet bestselling novelist and fairy godmother-in-disguise, Penny Jordan, who encouraged me to write and submit to her publisher (Harlequin Mills and Boon.)

​Six hugely happy years and eleven books later I decided to make the leap and write the kind of longer, dual time frame book that had started my love affair with reading all those years ago.

Letters to the Lost was published in the UK and USA in April 2015, and in 10 other territories since. I live in Cheshire with my lovely and long-suffering husband and a selection of our three daughters (rarely all of them at once, now they’ve had the temerity to grow up, go to university and live exciting lives) and am currently working on my third book.