Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction and non-fiction, who creates strong, evocative stories from periods of great drama over the last 200 years. Her novel Women and Children First (2012) explores the sinking of the Titanic from an unusual point of view and imagines the effects of the disaster on the lives of traumatised survivors. The Affair (2013) takes place on the Rome film set where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love in 1962, and where countless members of the cast and crew had their own affairs while filming dragged on, nearly bankrupting 20th Century Fox. Her new novel, as yet untitled, is set during the Crimean War, when nursing as we know it today was invented, and will be published in the summer of 2015.

Gill has also written seven books of true love stories, including Titanic Love Stories (2011), World War I Love Stories and World War II Love Stories (both 2014). Each story tells of a real-life couple – their backgrounds, how they met and fell in love, and what became of them – through quotations from their letters, contemporary photographs and personal testimonies, giving a unique glimpse into lives torn apart.

Gill lives in North London, where she is mad enough to swim year round in an outdoor pond.

Women and Children First

Women and Children First explore the turmoil of the sinking of one of the most famous ships of all time and its aftermath through the eyes of several different characters.

The Titanic was the most magnificent ship ever built, offering every possible luxury to her passengers – yet on the night on the 14th of April, 1912, she sank in the North Atlantic, leaving the lucky ones floating in wooden rowing boats, and the rest struggling for their lives in the icy water.

This novel follows the fortunes of Reg, a handsome young steward who works in the first-class dining room; Annie, a gifted Irishwoman who is travelling to America with her four children; Juliette, a titled English lady who is pregnant and unmarried; an American millionaire and his wife who are trapped in a poisoned marriage; and a mystery passenger who never shows her face in public.

The sinking of the Titanic not only steals lives but blows apart the futures of those who survive. Coming to terms with the shocking events, survivors form new attachments, make decisions with tragic consequences, and watch all their old certainties crumble. How can life ever be the same again when you have heard 1,500 people dying in the water around you?

The Affair

A passionate, tender and captivating story of glamour, infidelity and love, behind the scenes of the most iconic Hollywood movie ever made

Rome 1961. The cameras roll on the film set of Cleopatra and the explosive Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton love affair is about to capture the world’s attention.

When Diana Bailey begins work as a historical advisor, tensions are running high. The film is in financial crisis and a media storm is brewing over the Taylor-Burton relationship.

Diana adjusts to a new life away from her troubled marriage, and strikes up a close friendship with Helen, a young make-up artist, as well as seeking solace in Ernesto, a charismatic member of the film crew. But Helen is harbouring a dark secret – one that will affect Diana in more ways than she could ever imagine…

An enthralling story of love and passion, set against the stunning backdrop of one of the most iconic Hollywood movies ever made.

Titanic Love Stories

The sinking of the RMS Titantic was a terrible tragedy for all the 1,517 people who died – but the stories of the 13 brides and grooms who joined the ship to celebrate their honeymoons are especially poignant. They included multi-millionaire John Jacob Astor and his wife Madeleine, who had eloped to escape the gossip-mongers. Only Madeleine and their unborn child would make it home. Then there was Daniel Marvin, whole wedding to Mary Farquarson was the first recorded on film. The groom helped his young bride onto a life raft but refused to save himself. And there were Edward and Ethel Beane, who had saved up for six years to get married and lost everything on the Titanic. They survived, but refused ever to talk about what happened to them. These are profoundly moving stories of people thrown into life-or-death situations. Their actions are sometimes courageous, often surprising – but always memorable.

Hollywood Love Stories

From the earliest days of Hollywood, the pressures of fame led to a febrile atmosphere among its stars. The magic of the movies made audiences pulses quicken, but what was really happening in the lives of the actors up on the silver screen? Hollywood Love Stories looks at 14 real-life love affairs across the golden age of the movies, from the 1920s to the 1970s. From the swashbuckling romance between Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, and the poignant lifelong affair between Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn, to the scandalous liaison between Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, each account offers insights and surprises, accompanied by wonderful images and ephemera that bring every love affair vividly alive.

World War I Love Stories

For the soldiers who fought in it, from Europe to Gallipoli, the First World War was truly the war to end all wars. But the febrile atmosphere it generated, as couples were torn apart, or fell in love across previously impassable boundaries of distance or class, caused many lovers to declare themselves long before convention would have allowed earlier. These moving, engaging accounts range widely, from the tale of Captain Robert Digby, on the run in Occupied France, who fell in love with Claire Dessenne, a beauty whose father was ultimately to betray his trust, to the daring stories of the Lafayette Escadrille, the legendary American arm of the French air force, who conquered hearts wherever they went, and the sad account of the girl Ernest Hemingway fell in love with as he recuperated in a Milan hospital, and who was to inspire his great novel, A Farewell to Arms.

World War II Love Stories

The Second World War played havoc with millions of lives, and all over the world lovers were pulled apart, often just as their stories together were beginning. World War II Love Stories tells the tales of 14 very different couples. Some celebrate the everyday encounter like that of US Private Hudson Turner, who spotted a pretty girl looking out of an upstairs window while he was on shore leave in New Zealand, and called to her to come down and talk to him. Others are more dramatic, like the story of Violette and Etienne Szabo after he was killed at El Alamein, she became a spy in Occupied France, ultimately dying for the cause. Whatever their final outcome, every story is both atmospheric and profoundly moving, celebrating the human spirit at times of its greatest trial.

 

“I don’t think I’d have got to grips with social media if I hadn’t been guided every step of the way by someone logical and reassuring. Huge thanks to AuthorProfile for making it all make sense.”

- Gill Paul