It is with great sadness that we've learned of the death of author Judy Turner, aged 82. Writing under the pseudonymns Katie Flynn and Judith Saxton, Judy was the bestselling author of over 90 historical and romantic fiction books, selling over 8 million copies.
Born in Norwich in 1936, Judy’s talent for writing flourished at an early age. Whilst at Norwich High School for Girls, she used to leave stories on her desk for her classmates to find. Spurred on by the success of having a poem published in Enid Blyton’s Sunny Stories aged eight, Judy dreamed of becoming a published author. After moving to the North West with her family, Judy would work throughout the night to write her stories.
By the 1990s, Judy had become a top ten Sunday Times bestselling author. Her first novel writing as Katie Flynn, A Liverpool Lass, was published in 1993. Judy always enjoyed researching the historical periods in which her novels were set in. Her forays into inter-war history often led her into contact with her fans: from housewives to evacuees, she interwove the experiences of her readers into her fiction, particularly in her much-acclaimed Liverpool sagas.
Despite being diagnosed with ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) in 1996, Judy continued to write. Her daughter Holly worked as her assistant for her writing for 10 years and has become increasingly involved with Judy’s work. On the latest two Katie Flynn books published by Century, Christmas at Tuppenny Corner and A Mother’s Love, Holly joined her mother in the writing.
Further Katie Flynn novels on which Holly worked with her mother lie ahead, the first being A Christmas Gift to be published in hardback in July 2019 and paperback in November 2019.
Remembering Judy, Caroline Sheldon, her literary agent, said: “I had the great pleasure of representing Judy Turner, who wrote mainly under the pseudonyms Katie Flynn and Judith Saxton, for over thirty years. Writing was her life and through her talent to tell stories she forged a remarkable career spanning nearly 50 years and selling over 8 million books to her many fans. She will be much missed by all who knew her.”
Susan Sandon, MD of Cornerstone, added: “All at Century and Arrow feel immensely proud to have been Judy’s publisher over so many years. Her story telling has provided pleasure for literally generations of readers; I feel privileged to have worked so closely with her.”
Judy was married to husband Brian, and had four children: two girls and two boys. Our heartfelt condolences are with her family.