Mandasue Heller was born in Warrington, and became heavily involved in am-dram as a child, and appeared in many plays and pantomimes. She carried her love of the stage through to adulthood, when she toured the working men’s clubs with her country & western band, Missouri Sunshine. She joined Equity during that time, and regularly appeared in Coronation Street, Brookside, Albion Market, Watching, Boys From The Blackstuff , etc. After moving to Manchester in the early 80’s, she immersed herself in the underground music scene, fronting an original rock band and session-singing for various blues, soul, and jazz bands. Forced by illness to temporarily quit singing in the 90’s, she turned her hand to writing, using the notorious Hulme Crescents, where she had spent her first 10 years in Manchester, as the backdrop. Her first written piece concerned a real-life incident, when a man had broken into her house in the early hours and attacked her as she lay sleeping with her 10 week old son in her arms. He hit her on the head with a claw-hammer, fracturing her skull and leaving a 5” gash. But it was the psychological after-effects that affected her most deeply, and she hoped that writing about it would exorcise the hold it still had over her. The finished piece was too personal for anybody else to read, but she had enjoyed the process of writing, so decided to try her hand at fiction instead – and her first book, The Front, was snapped up by Hodder & Stoughton. She has  gone on to write a further 11 books with Hodder, and is currently working on the 13th. Mother to 3 grown children, and grandmother of 3, Mandasue still lives in Manchester, and spends her time between books and family commitments locked away in the studio, writing and recording with her musician partner, Wingrove Ward. The summary of this latest, 2013, novel is as follows.  Amy’s marriage to Mark isn’t the best – he can’t resist the girls, he can’t hold down a job. But she doesn’t want to know just how bad things are until his gambling habit brings the debt collector to her door. The collector makes it brutally clear how she can pay off Mark’s debts. Amy’s troubles are only beginning, though. Someone else wants Mark for herself, and she is ready to steal Amy’s man, her self-respect and even her children. As the stakes rise, Amy will either lose everything, or she’ll have to learn how to be as hard and ruthless as her enemies …

368 pages in Hodder paperback edition

ISBN 978-0340960141

Mandasue Heller

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