Dear Reader

Catherine Alliott

Catherine Alliott explains how her successful career as a novelist came about by chance...

Dear Reader,

People often ask me if I always had a burning desire to be an author, and the honest answer is no, in fact it almost happened by accident. I was working as a copy-writer in an ad agency and tired of writing blurb for soap powder, began writing a novel under the desk. I had no thought of publication, was just doing it to relieve the boredom, but I must say it was a bit of a shock when my boss walked in one day and said we're not sure you're entirely committed and gave me the sack!

Actually I think that galvanized me and I was determined to finish it. I did, but it took a while: I was working freelance, and then pregnant with my first child so it wasn't at the forefront of my mind. When my son was born I discovered babies slept for great chunks of the day, so I revisited it, tapping it onto a computer my brother gave me. (The first draft was in long hand, I'm a complete Luddite by nature, and actually, still write my first draft into note books.)

My husband persuaded me to send it to an agent who took it - amazingly and then a few weeks later I had a publisher too. The Old-Girl Network came out about a year later and the first time I saw it in a shop, I was so startled I ran out again! I'm convinced it was easier back then to get published, these days it's far more competitive because there are so many girls doing it I'm glad I started early!

I've written a few more since then, but some things don't change: I still get a thrill when I see them around. I hope you enjoy the books, I certainly have a lot of fun writing them. 

See you soon,

Best wishes, 


Catherine x

More about the author

Wish You Were Here

Catherine Alliott

A hilarious, compulsively readable novel from the Number One bestseller

When Flora, James and their two teenage daughters are offered the holiday of a lifetime in a chateau in the South of France in return for one simple good deed, they jump at the chance to escape the confines of Clapham, the weight of the mortgage and anxieties over their future for a blissful break.

But Flora didn't anticipate a mysterious guest and a whole heap of family baggage coming along too.
And with James developing a schoolboy crush on a famous singer and Flora distracted by ghosts from her past, their dream holiday suddenly takes some very unexpected turns . . .

Praise for Wish You Were Here:

'A breezy, comic, summery romp that will appeal to fans of Jilly Cooper' Sunday Mirror

'Warm, witty, easy to read . . . a thoroughly engaging, entertaining read' Daily Mail

'While you'll probably be glad that you're not on this holiday with the Murray-Browns, make sure to take them on yours. This book will also win you points as a great Mother's Day gift' Heat

Can't get enough of Catherine Alliott? Don't miss her latest bestseller About Last Night, available now

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