From failed comic to giant of feel-good novels
BORN in Prestwick, Ayrshire, Colgan left school at 16 to study philosophy at Edinburgh University.
She worked for six years in the health service while moonlighting as a cartoonist and a stand-up comic.
In 2000, she published her first novel, the romantic comedy Amanda’s Wedding – which has been published in 26 countries and earned her more than £1 million.
She has gone on to write 24 novels under the name Jenny Colgan, six Doctor Who books under the pseudonyms JT Colgan and Jenny T Colgan, as well as two children’s books under the pen name Jane Beaton. In 2013, her novel Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and earlier this year she won the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Comedy Novel of the Year award for The Summer Seaside Kitchen.
She describes herself as liking ‘cakes, far too much Doctor Who, wearing Converse trainers every day so my feet are now just gigantic big flat pans, baths only slightly cooler than the surface of the sun and very, very long books, the longer the better’.
Overall, her novels have sold more than three million copies.