1992 saw the first success of many for local author Martina Cole, when she received a record breaking advance of £150,000 for her first novel “Dangerous lady”. Martina is Essex through and through – born and brought up in the East End, she had a house in the Benfleet Road, before moving to Kent to be near her son’s family.
18 years later with 16 crime novels under her belt, she has confounded one critic who called her a one book wonder. However it wasn’t all plain sailing…by the age of 19 Martina was a single mother living in a carpet-less council flat in Tilbury with her son Christopher. A situation that was deemed more shocking then than now and with her friends pouring scorn on her writing ambitions, life wasn’t exactly rosy.
Maybe the gritty realism of her books would not have come about without such an unpromising background. It is a tribute to her perseverance and talent that she triumphed in such a spectacular fashion.
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