Meet the Write Romantics

Here we’ll tell you a bit more about us as individuals, strictly in alphabetical order of surname of course… Is it too late to change my penname to Zebedee?

Jo Bartlett
author pic

I’ve made up stories for as long as I can remember, but never really took it any further. Concentrating on my career and family, writing went on the back burner until a catalyst called cancer gave me a major kick up the proverbial.  I decided I was going to write that novel after all.

In 2015 my debut ‘Among A Thousand Stars’ was published by So Vain Books, which at one point appeared in the top ten of three Kindle charts on the same day.  I also had two pocket novels published by DC Thomson in 2015, which fulfilled my childhood dream of walking into WHSmiths and buying something with my name on it.  I write mainly contemporary women’s fiction, when I’m not knee deep in assignments in my day job as a university tutor.

The first of the four-book St Nicholas Bay series will be published by Accent Press in the summer of 2016. This series is set by the sea in Kent, where I live with my own family – so close to the edge of the Channel that we’re practically French. The stories in the series feature motherhood by both conventional and unconventional routes, drawing on some of my own experiences and those I’ve encountered during my career.

My ambition is to drink tea and make stuff up on a full time basis, and, if you follow me on Twitter @J_B_Writer, I might even say something interesting one of these days… although I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Sharon Booth:


I honestly do believe I have Enid Blyton to thank for my passion for reading, and my eventual progression to writing. She gave me a love of books that has never faded, and that led to a desire to tell my own stories. I write feel-good fiction with heart and a generous sprinkling of humour. I guarantee a happy-ever-after – although I may put my heroes and heroines through some awesome storms before they walk out into the sunshine! I live in East Yorkshire with my long-suffering husband and our German Shepherd dog, Tessa, and my books are based in the Yorkshire countryside – whether it’s the wild and beautiful moors, the stunning Dales, or the pretty villages on the coast. I’m on Twitter as @Sharon_Booth1 and I can also be found on Facebook here. You can keep up to date with me and my, ahem, fascinating life, at When I’m not writing, or at the day job, you’ll probably find me glued to the television, indulging my passion for Outlander, Poldark, Sherlock and more…I do love a sexy fictional hero!

Jackie Ladbury


I wish I could say I’ve been writing since I was little but I don’t think I did anything literary apart from winning a prize for an article on tea production in India and making up a story about knives and forks that danced once the kitchen light was turned off. I did write some angsty poetry about punk rockers and spotty teenagers when I was in my teens but I mostly remember my childhood as being happy: tearing around green fields on knackered bikes, making rose-petal perfume which went dishwater brown within seconds, and tending to drowsy wasps in our wasp hospital (sadly most of them were doomed once they entered my ward!) The idea of writing a novel crept up on me slowly, but now I’ve started I can’t seem to stop and whenever I have a spare moment I’m back with my sexy gypsy-boy, my sun-tanned sea diver, my lovable but hopeless wannabe rock star and my dishy Victorian doctor, Daniel. Ooh, we do have fun (Don’t tell my husband!)

Deirdre Palmer

new author picI write in my own name and also as Zara Thorne.  I am traditionally published by Crooked Cat and also independently published. Believing it’s a good idea to write what you know, I set ‘Dirty Weekend’ and its sequel, ‘Moonshine’, in the 1960s. These are fast-paced, fun reads, but with a serious side as the young characters get to grips with life’s problems. ‘Remarkable Things’ and ‘Never Coming Back’ are more thought-provoking reads, with themes such as adoption, motherhood, bereavement and guilt, but both have their lighter moments, too.
Living in Sussex, I’m inspired by the surrounding countryside, and used it as the setting for my first two Zara Thorne books, ‘Escape to Sunrise Cottage’ and ‘Christmas at Spindlewood’. As well as novels I also write short stories and am published by D C Thomson for The People’s Friend magazine.

Lynne Pardoe

LynneI’m Lynne, I live in Cirencester with hubby, youngest daughter & four mini-schnauzers. For over 20 years I was a social worker until ill-health forced me to stop full-time work so now I only do the occasional short contract when I’m well enough. I’m passionate about it because it’s just such a rewarding job, so I hope to set many of my novels in a social services department.

I’m really glad Susan Lewis’s ‘No Child of Mine’ is so popular because it shows, I hope, that social problems are be interesting.

I also like historicals and have a nearly finished pocket novel set in the 1850’s on my hard drive, which I must do something with.  As yet I’m unpublished in fiction, but have had many articles published.

Helen Phifer
helen phiferI have been reading and writing since I was very young, devouring every book in school and at home that I could get my hands on. I loved Enid Blyton and the Famous Five in my pre-teen years and spent many a Sunday afternoon whisked away to somewhere far more exciting than my small bedroom.

In my teenage years I progressed to Stephen King, James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Graham Masterton and many more.  I love to read books which are page turners and make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end, unfortunately these books seem a lot harder to find than when I was a teenager so I set about writing my own.

The Ghost House and The Secrets of the Shadows, the first two books in the Annie Graham series, have been published by Carina UK. I have the most amazing readers who take the time to Tweet and Facebook me to tell me how much they have enjoyed reading both books and it’s fabulous. They tell me how they couldn’t go to bed because they had to finish the chapter they were reading and that is exactly what I hoped for. You can find out more about me and my books at

Jessica Redland

I’d never really considered writing as a career until a manager at work handed a business report back to me and said, “Great report but it reads like a story. Can you make it a bit more business-like? And, by the way, you should write a book!” Nice idea. But what would I write about? Then something happened in my personal life and I thought, “What a great idea for a story.” My first novel was born. I started writing it in 2003 and am still fine-tuning it as I discover more about my craft and the type of writer I want to be.

I jessica-close-up-stripeswrite contemporary romance with the themes of love (obviously) and a strong emphasis on friendships and how these can change over time with circumstances. My first three novels – Searching for Steven, Getting Over Gary, and Dreaming About Daran, are a trilogy set in the fictional North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay which is inspired by Scarborough where I live.  I’ve also released a standalone novella called Raving About Rhys, also set in Whitsborough Bay. My latest release is Bear With Me. Still set in Whitsborough Bay, it features a new cast of characters.

In October 2017, I released two Christmas short novels: Charlee and the Chocolate Shop and Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes. Hmm, spot the theme! I currently partway through three different books ready for release in 2018 and 2019. My biggest writing challenge is finding the time as, unfortunately, the day job as an HR Tutor is pretty demanding, but I keep chipping away!

You can follow me on Twitter @JessicaRedland, on Facebook and on my website where you’ll also find my blog.

Helen J Rolfe
photo 1I wrote my first book when I was aged 13 and I wish I’d kept it! I’ve always been a voracious reader too, but the writing bug didn’t hit me again until I was married with children. In 2011 I wrote my first novel and in 2012 I joined the RNA. My novel was very much a first attempt and although it’s still languishing in a box somewhere, it will always be the one that kick-started me into this new career.

I write contemporary women’s fiction and so far my settings are in Australian towns and cities and I love a real Happy Ever After or at least a Happy For Now 🙂 You can find out more about me on my website, via Twitter @HjRolfe, Goodreads as Helenjrolfe, or Facebook as Helenjrolfe.

Rachael Thomasconf 2014 11

I have always made up stories and decided I wanted to be a writer when I was nine. As a teenager I fell in love with romance novels, regularly visiting my local library for my latest fix of Mills and Boon. When I did finally settle down to seriously writing about seven years ago, it was only natural I would want to write for Mills and Boon. Being a Harlequin Presents/Mills and Boon Modern author is a dream come true!

My first book, A Deal Before The Altar was published in  October 2014 after I entered Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write competition in 2013. My next release, Valdez’s Bartered Bride will be available in November 2017 and you can keep up to date with all my news at and follow me on twitter @rachaeldthomas or find my on Facebook.

Alys West
Alys West

I write steampunk and folklore inspired fantasy. My fantasy novel, Beltane, which is set in Glastonbury, is available on Amazon  by clicking here.  Beltane is the first book in The Spellworker Chronicles.  I’m currently working on the second novel in the series, Storm Witch which is set in Orkney.  My steampunk romance called The Dirigible King’s Daughter is available on Amazon by clicking here .

I’m studying for a MA in Creative Writing at York St John University which I’m doing part-time. I teach creative writing for Converge, an education project for people with mental health issues.  In my free time I can be found listening to folk music, doing yoga and drinking far too much tea.

I have my own blog at and you can find me on Twitter at @alyswestyork and on Facebook at @alyswestwrites.



14 thoughts on “Meet the Write Romantics

  1. Quite a diverse group here! It’s great to see so many writers all at different stages of their careers. I predict big things for the Write Romantics!

    Jay, I didn’t know you’d had a publishing offer! Massive congratulations on that and very well deserved. I want more information and how come you’ve kept it so quiet?? xx

    Harriet, love the new name! I’m very interested to hear about your self publishing experiences and I like that your heroines are a good mix of ages. xx

    Jackie, if your mother says your books are brilliant then they are. Mother knows best! 😉 Can I just say, I love the sound of your heroes! xx

    Lynne, I should think social work is a brilliant source of story ideas. The whole of human life is in there and I’ll bet you’ve seen things that stir up every emotion there is. xx

    Helen P, you can rest assured that you write page-turners! I read The Ghost House and I was gripped from start to finish. What a twist! I will definitely be reading The Secrets of the Shadows xx

    Jessica, I am very much looking forward to reading your trilogy and I’m glad you made the decision to go indie. It’s going to be an exciting adventure! Maybe one day our characters could meet up. They only live a few miles apart, after all! 😉 xx

    Helen R, I have to be honest and admit I’ve never read any novel set in Australia, so I promise, yours will be the first! Looking forward to it xx

    Rachael, I haven’t read Mills and Boon since I was a teenager but I will definitely be buying A Deal Before the Altar. Big congratulations on your book deal. It’s not easy to write category romances and the competition is fierce so very well done xx

    Alys, if Beltane doesn’t get snapped up by a publisher very soon there is no sense or justice in the world. Very well done on getting an agent and I can’t wait to ready your trilogy. So proud of you xx

    • Oh thanks Sharon! I write contemporary and my books aren’t too rural so probably a bit different to the books that are out there at the moment. If you’re like me, it’s a pleasure to delve into different worlds…I love reading stories set in England because it makes me closer to home if that makes sense. Stories set in Melbourne are close to my heart because I love that city, and stories in New York are just fascinating because I’d love to visit the Big Apple one day!
      Helen R 🙂

  2. Sharon, you are an absolute star and great friend of the blog, as Jay says. How lovely of you to comment on each and every entry 🙂 Absolutely loving the idea of our characters meeting up; there could be a book in that!!! xxx

  3. I’m doing my best, Helen! Having said that, my nerves are in tatters when I think about people actually reading it. It’s all very well talking about it but the reality is a scary thing! Will look to you for lots of tips about how to stay calm and not go into meltdown xx

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