Beginner’s Pluck: Fiona Barton

The daughter of a journalist, brought up in a house full of books, Fiona always loved writing.

Beginner’s Pluck: Fiona Barton

She was senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at The Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, winning The National Press Awards Reporter of the Year.

“I loved being at the centre of things, talking to different people.” In 2008, she gave all that up, and volunteered in Sri Lanka. Since then she has trained journalists in Burma, Africa, Eastern Europe and Tibet.

The idea for the novel came out of her journalism. “I was always fascinated by the wives of people accused of terrible crimes. What happened when the policeman knocked on the door? How much did they know?”

She wrote the first nine chapters in 2009; then put it away. Starting work on it again, she entered the Richard and Judy Best Seller competition; and was a finalist, so had to complete the manuscript in six months. She didn’t win, but soon secured an agent.

The Widow is being published in 26 countries.

Who is Fiona Barton?

Date of birth:1957. Brought up in a village near Soham, in Cambridgeshire.

Education: St Mary’s Convent in Cambridge. “The nuns were brilliant. My English teacher, Sister Ursula, turned on my light.”

Home: France. The Dordogne. “We bought a place with a fishing lake three years ago.”

Family: Husband, son, daughter, and three grandchildren.

The Day Job:“I’ve finished my contract, training journalists and am writing full-time.”

Interests: Travel; the arts; family.

Favourite Writers:All time favourites are Kazuo Ishiguro, Alan Bennett and PG Wodehouse. At the moment I’m inspired by Kate Atkinson and Hilary Mantel.

Second Novel: I have a three book contract. I’ve started the second. It’s really hard work.

Top Tip: Stop talking about it and do it.

Web: www.Fionabartonauthor.com Twitter: @FigBarton

The Debut

The Widow; Bantam Press, €17.99/Kindle, €7.20

Jean and Glen have been married for years when he’s accused of the abduction of a little girl. Is he guilty? Does Jean know? Narrated by Jean, a police officer, and a journalist, the story gradually builds to an unexpected climax.

“Kate, the journalist isn’t me, but I’ve experienced everything she has.”

The Verdict : A clever, compulsive read detailing a complicated marriage; (see review opposite).

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

ieFood pic
ieFood Logo

In the Kitchen with

 Video Series

Join Colm O'Gorman in his kitchen as he makes flatbreads in minutes and crispy air fryer chicken. Explore why he thinks chilli is the spice of life, and find out why his 50-year-old food mixer is his most important piece of kitchen equipment. Friday, September 17, 12pm

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

great irish summer

From walking and hiking, to day trips and camping, your guide to holidays at home in 2021

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up