Joan Hessayon was born in Louisville, Kentucky but grew up in Missouri. In 1949 she went to Paris where she met her husband, Dr David Hessayon, the creator of the bestselling Expert series of gardening books. They married in 1951 and share a love of history, plants and writing. Joan Hessayon's first novel was published in 1983, her most recent novels, Capel Bells, The Helmingham Rose, The Paradise Garden and Season of Mists, are published by Corgi. She lives in north Essex and has two daughters and four grandchildren.