Helen Batten

Helen has always been drawn to quirky worlds and unusual narratives. She read history at Cambridge, did a journalism course at Cardiff and went into television working as a producer/director in factual programmes at the BBC. She then had three children, retrained as a psychotherapist and now works in private practice in west London.

Helen has had four non-fiction books published. After making a documentary about circuses, she wrote her first book with the circus owner Gerry Cottle, Confessions of A Showman. Next she went to a convent and wrote a book based on the lives of the nuns behind the Call the Midwife series, Sisters of the East End, which reached number two in the Sunday Times non-fiction chart. Then she wrote another bestseller, The Scarlet Sisters, the story of five feisty red headed sisters growing up between the wars and how trauma can be passed down the generations. Her latest book, The Improbable Adventures of Miss Emily Soldene, follows the life of the Victorian music hall and opera star and mother of four, who became a producer and director, finally forming her own production company and touring the world. Emily eventually published her scandalous best-selling memoirs and reinvented herself as a journalist.

Helen is currently working on a book about music, magic and murder in Renaissance Italy.