Diana was born in the small town of Selkirk in the Scottish borders. Asthmatic and much the youngest in her family, she escaped into the world of books at a very early age. Historical novels were high on her teenage reading list. She started with D K Broster and Elizabeth Gouge then moved on to Georgette Heyer.
Diana has been passionate about Shakespeare’s plays since she fell in love with The Winter’s Tale at a grim girls’ boarding school in the 1960s. She read English Literature at Exeter University then taught English and drama in schools and colleges for many years. The Shakespeare obsession was refuelled by a part-time Master’s degree in Shakespeare and Theatre at The Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, completed in 2006. She wrote a stage history of Cymbeline as her dissertation and has intended, ever since, to write a novel set in the world of Jacobean theatre. Retiring from teaching enabled this idea finally to come to fruition.
I studied the Writer’s & Artist’s Yearbook and made a list of possibilities. I then looked up the websites of the agencies I’d identified to narrow my search further. I was looking for a small but experienced agency that was actively recruiting new fiction writers. Andrew Lownie seemed to fit the bill perfectly.