Hannah Begbie

I was born in London and studied Art History at Cambridge University before working as a talent agent, representing writers and comedians for more than a decade. It was both fun and funny, a joy and an education to support people with such a talent and passion for story-telling, comedy, performance and writing.

When my second child was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) I was devastated, but the importance of story-telling took on a new urgency. Powerful story-telling seemed the only way of communicating the desperate need for research and funding into the medicines that would save my child’s life – so I became a trustee at the main charity for CF to advise on communications. I campaigned and told our family’s story at carol services and conferences. I wrote a short film with my husband about our experience for the British Comedy Awards. I wrote articles for Mumsnet and the Huffington Post and finally I began to write a novel on the subject (which later became ‘Mother’).

I left my job as an agent to concentrate on writing. In 2016 I took part in City University’s Novel Studio course where I developed ‘Mother’ further, and won that year’s prize for new writing. Published by HarperCollins in 2018, ‘Mother’ went on to win the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award for new writing and was made Book of the Month on Mumsnet and a pick for Fern Britton’s inaugural Book Club for Tesco. It was described as ‘simply brilliant’ by The Irish Examiner and ‘Human and true,’ by The Financial Times.

‘Mother’ has since been optioned by the BAFTA-winning Clerkenwell Films for adaptation into a television drama for the BBC by Tom Edge (Judy, The Crown, Lovesick, Strike). I hope its messages of despair and hope, confusion and delusion around subjects of cross-infection and illness will speak even more clearly to a population now all too aware of the same issues in the current global pandemic.

My second novel, BLURRED LINES, is set in the film industry in London and will be published summer 2020. It deals with issues from complicity to imposter syndrome and the cost of speaking out in a pre MeToo era.

I live in London with my husband, a screenwriter, and our two sons. Recently, the fight to secure live-saving medicine for my son was won, in large part due to the bravery of people with CF and their carers who told their stories.

I’m writing my next book, due for publication in 2022.

Buy Blurred Lines from your local Bookseller:

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