Susanna, Polly . . . and Maisie

Posted on 22nd November, 2021

My big news that I’ve waited a long time to share with you is that as well as writing as Susanna Bavin and Polly Heron, I also write The Railway Girls saga series as Maisie Thomas.



Back in November 2018, Cassandra di Bello, who was then the commissioning editor for Arrow, Penguin's saga imprint, came up with the inspired idea of a new saga series based around the lives of the brave women and girls who worked on Britain’s railways in the Second World War. I was asked to create a series proposal. Cass liked my ideas and my vision for the series and in December 2018, she took my series proposal to Arrow's acquisitions meeting and got the go-ahead.


Why haven’t I told you this before? Well, Arrow was keen to establish the series without any other ties, so I was asked to keep quiet about my identity. Hence the pen name. And also hence the fact that I haven’t said anything to you about it before now.



I’ll be honest. It hasn’t always been easy. As Susanna, I was unable to blog about this exciting development in my writing career and I’m sure that readers who were used to me writing two books a year wondered why I had suddenly gone down to one book … whereas I was in fact writing three a year!


Being Maisie also had some unintended consequences. There was one occasion when, as Maisie, I wrote a guest blog for Jan Baynham about my experience of writing a series. The blog generated quite a few replies and questions … which I was happy to answer, except that the ‘reply’ function on Jan’s site knew full well that I was Susanna and wouldn’t let me call myself Maisie! So I had to send my replies to Jan, who then posted them, pretending that Maisie was having trouble with her internet connection.



But I don’t want to make it sound as if it’s all been difficult. A small handful of writer friends and book bloggers have been in on the secret and have given me/Maisie staunch support. I couldn’t have managed without them.


Moreover, as Maisie I have found a wide and enthusiastic readership. Some of my readers have now joined me on my new Maisie Facebook page – and I hope you’ll like and follow my page too so that you can get all the latest news about my writing as well as glimpses into my research. Now that the Maisie/Susanna/Polly link has been made public, I’ll be able to share Susanna and Polly news on the Maisie FB page as well.


So there we are – my wonderful news. It’s such a joy to share it with you at last – and if you’re here because you enjoy my Susanna and Polly books, I hope you’ll be excited at the idea of reading my Maisie books too. Do take a look at the new Maisie page on my website by clicking on the new tab at the side.


See you next time.

Susanna / Polly / Maisie xxxx






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