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Weekly Edition - Published  18 April 2016


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Local Author - Ruth Hamilton - Obituary

WE have been informed the sad news, by Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency, that the bestselling writer Ruth Hamilton (also known as Linda Thorber) has died, aged 76. She was born in a snowstorm on 28 January 1940, behind the Theatre Royal, in Bolton, which was to be the setting of many of her novels and her life was spent in Merseyside and Lancashire. Her mother believed passionately in education and the talented young Ruth went to the Grammar School. Subsequently she studied for a brief time at the Sorbonne and then worked as a teacher. Her 1st steps in her writing career were for television; she wrote 'The Ballyskillen Opera House', a 6 part series for Granada, and also worked on scripts for comedians, Alphabet Zoo and Tickle on the Tum. She wrote her 1st novel in the late 1980's and sent the package around a number of publishers until it fortuitously fell upon the desk of Diane Pearson at Corgi Books, the doyenne of commercial fiction editors. Diane could spot a great storyteller and she quickly summoned Ruth and her young sons to London where a contract was hammered out for Ruth's 1st book was called:- 'A whisper to the living' (1989). The start of her book publishing career transformed Ruth Hamilton's life from what had at times previously been quite terrible circumstances. Ruth went to write over 30 books, 18 published by Corgi / Transworld and 10 published by Pan Macmillan, where she developed a close relationship with her editor Wayne Brooks. Ruth had a rare ability as a story teller and to involve the reader in the lives of her characters. There was nothing soft about her books which were set against a harsh industrial background with the characters battling against all that the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune could throw at them. Ruth Hamilton went on to be a bestselling author selling over 2 million books and among her most successful titles were:- 'With Love From MA Maguire' (1990), 'Billy London's Girls' (1992) and 'The Bells Of Scotland Road' (1997). Her latest novel was called:- 'Midnight On Lime Street' is due be published in paperback, by Pan Macmillan, on 16 June 2016. She was also an accomplished poet and a passionate lover of animals. She rescued many from animal centres or in other circumstances and at the time of her death she was looking after Blazer and Ella. A long time sufferer from diabetes she died, on Thursday, 14 April 2016, just after 9am, in Aintree University Hospital. She is survived by her sons David Thornber and Michael Thornber and by her grandchildren Christopher and Libby. On her death her family send a big thank you to everyone who read and enjoyed her books. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends.


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