Lucy Diamond is the author of bestselling novels such as The Secrets of Happiness, The Beach Café and On A Beautiful Day. Her new novel, Something To Tell You, is set in York and features the Mortimer family who all have a secret to tell.
Before becoming an author she worked in publishing and at the BBC, and started her writing career in children’s books as Sue Mongredien (her real name) as well as writing many of the Rainbow Magic books (as Daisy Meadows). She also answers to ‘Mum’ to her three teenage children. Basically, she has a confusing number of names by now but if you offer her a gin and tonic you’ll almost certainly get her attention. She lives in Bath with her family and is really looking forward to visiting Crediton.
Q: Which book changed your life?
A: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Hard question! I was ten and in my final year of primary school when my mum pressed her copy of Rebecca into my hands and said, “I think you’re ready to read this now.”
Rebecca is a wonderful novel – it is thrilling, evocative and haunting, and although some of the narrative was over my head as a ten year old, I still felt completely pulled into its elegant prose, terrified by the malevolent Mrs Danvers and caught up by the secrets within Manderley. But the main reason the book had such an effect on me was that it was the first adult novel I’d ever read – and in giving it to me, my mum was effectively opening the door to a whole new world of fiction.
That was just the start of it: from Rebecca I went on to devour other du Maurier novels, and then gulped down countless Agatha Christies, and then I was working my way through all my mum’s Penguin paperbacks and there was no stopping me. I still have a huge fondness for Rebecca though – so much so that when my own eldest daughter was in her final year of primary school, I found myself pressing a copy of it into her hands. “I think you’re ready to read this now,” I said.