Welcome – this is the official Rosie Thomas website.

Rosie Thomas was born and grew up in a small village in north Wales.

After winning a scholarship, she became a boarder at Howell’s School. The school had a strong tradition of music and games, but unfortunately Rosie had no aptitude for hockey and no enthusiasm for Gilbert and Sullivan choruses. She found the library instead … and read, and read. To feel an outsider and to be immersed in books was the ideal apprenticeship for a writer.

Rosie read English at St Hilda’s College Oxford, and for the first time in her life felt that she was in the right place at the right time. She still feels a debt to the remarkable women who taught her, and who encouraged her to think for herself.

After a few years of working in women’s magazines and for a publisher, and by now married to a literary agent, Rosie found herself at home with a new baby son and no job. To write a novel seemed the more promising of the options open to her.

Her first book was published in 1982, shortly after the birth of her daughter. She has been writing full time ever since, and that first novel has been followed by a score of others.

Rosie lives and writes in London, but she is also a keen traveller, mountaineer and skier. Among many adventures she has climbed in the Alps and the Himalayas, trekked in Pakistan, Ladakh and Bhutan, followed the Silk Route through Asia, worked on a research station in Antarctica, sailed the Atlantic, explored in Chile, and competed in a classic car rally from Peking to Paris. Most recently she has sailed the southern ocean from Falklands to South Georgia and then crossed the island in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Rosie believes now that her travelling and writing are interdependent, and that one informs and enables the other.

All along the road there are stories, waiting to be told.

Among her other interests, Rosie has been a Trustee of the London Library and of the facial reconstruction charity Saving Faces. She has chaired the Betty Trask Prize.

Her work has twice been awarded the Romantic Novel the Year, and recently The Kashmir Shawl won the epic category of the prize.

She is currently at work on a new book.

115 thoughts on “Welcome – this is the official Rosie Thomas website.

  1. Kenya is proud of you. Am reading ‘If My Father Loved Me ‘ its awesome ! Your language is beautifully intertwined. You are my mentor in writing. Kudos. God bless you.

  2. Thank you for the signed copy of your latest book Rosie, arrived in the post this morning and I will be starting it tonight. Will let you know my thoughts on it soon, Jo

  3. Just finished “The Illusionists.”Enjoyed the intrigue and some graphic theater scenes. Did you write this with a film in mind?

    • Hello – I’m so pleased you enjoyed The Illusionists. I never really write with a film-maker’s eye, because I’m so words-conscious. None of my books has made it to the screen yet – but you never know!

  4. As Federation of WI’s we are having our Literary Lunch on 17 March 2016 which you are our keynote speaker. Is there any chance we can have a photo for our County News to publicise the event. Could you send ASAP a picture our County News editor at annie.makepiece@btinternet.com
    Many thanks
    Margaret Lomax. Somerset Federation of WI’s

    • I am afraid I am overseas for the next month and don’t have access to my data. Would it be possible for you to make contact with my publicist, Louise Swannell at HarperCollins UK, who will definitely be able to provide everything you need. Best regards.

  5. I just started reading The Kashmir Shawl. I am appalled at the negative portrayal of the Israeli tourists. They are portrayed as a trio of rude young men. They are repeatedly described as Israeli. It adds nothing to the story that I can see except to show the anti- semitic bent of the author.

    It, also, strikes me as odd that 3 Israeli men traveling together would speak to each other in English rather than Hebrew. I guess the author wants to be sure that we understand how rude they are.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, and I appreciate your taking the trouble to state your views. Sad to say, this is one of those cases of life informing fiction. I had exactly Mair’s experience on one of the research trips I took out of Leh when I was putting together the background for the novel. Of the three young men who affected our day, one was certainly Israeli because I noticed his passport. They were speaking English – or rather American – at least in the context of our Anglophone tour group. I apologise, however, if you find this direct reportage out of place in a work of fiction. You may well be right, and if there is an opportunity I will look into changing it in a future edition. However, I’m not sure that it makes me anti-semitic. If the culprits had been Australian, say, or any other nationality, I would certainly have said so. Is there any difference?

  6. Hi Rosie
    I came across your book “The Kashmir Shawl”, in a market stall. I was first attracted to the cover and upon reading the first few pages, I knew I must purchase it! I haven’t been able to put it down, its very hot here in Adelaide, South Australia! so I sit in a cool spot in the house and immerse myself in the book and forget how hot it is. My Dad has been tracing our family heritage and my grandmothers grandfather was from Mumbai. Her Grandfather Muhammad Tchan travelled from Mumbai to Perth, Western Australia as a pioneer to settle there. Now I want to try to trace him back to Mumbai. your book is inspiring to keep going, the information is very scarce due to the census came very late in India.
    I will also look out for more of your books! All the best Jane Fitzgerald

    • Hello Jane, very many thanks for your interesting message. How fascinating for you and your father to be able to trace your great-great-grandfather’s history, and to know that you have Indian heritage. I am very envious!
      I am so pleased to hear that you are enjoying THE KASHMIR SHAWL. I loved my time in India, especially in the Himalayan regions.
      Enjoy your reading in the SA hot weather. It’s freezing here in London….

  7. From my perch on a peninsula north of Auckland, I salute one of the most diverse romantic writers I have ever ad the pleasure of reading, I am gradually collected all copies of your books and eagerly await each new publication. Kiwi Girl. Maree

    • Dear Maree, thank you so much for taking the trouble to write, and for your kind words about my work – it means a lot. I was in Auckland late last year, and a few years before that travelling around your part of the world. It’s such wonderful countryside, and I love to think of your peninsular perch. Enjoy your reading!

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