Gill Paul was born in Glasgow and grew up there apart from an eventful year in the US between the ages of 9 and 10. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. Selling that company in her late 30s meant she could take time off to write her first novel, and since then she has earned a living writing a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.
Most of Gill’s novels are set in the early twentieth century, and some are timeslip. Her bestselling novel about the Romanovs, The Secret Wife, has sold over half a million copies in the UK and US and made number one in the American kindle chart as well as number four in the USA Today bestseller list. A sister novel, The Lost Daughter, is being published by Headline in October 2018.
Other fiction titles include Women and Children First, set on board the Titanic, which was shortlisted for a RoNA award; The Affair, set in Rome in 1962 when Burton and Taylor were making Cleopatra; No Place for a Lady, set during the Crimean War; and Another Woman’s Husband, about Wallis Simpson’s friendship with Mary Kirk, and about the mass mourning and conspiracy theories sparked by the death of Princess Diana.
Her non-fiction includes A History of Medicine in 50 Objects, published in 2016, and a series of wartime and royal love stories, including World War I, World War II and Civil War love stories collected from the protagonists’ descendants and university and museum archives.
Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – “It’s good for you so long as it doesn’t kill you”– and has a sideline in attempting to match-make for friends.