Hilary, a former chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, was a Fleet Street journalist for almost 25 years before publishing her first novel, The Cruelty of Morning, in 1995.
She was showbusiness editor of four national newspapers, and an assistant editor of one, spending several weeks every year in Hollywood interviewing some of the biggest stars in the world, including Bette Davies, James Stewart, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas, Clint Eastwood, John Travolta and Lisa Minnelli, and, closer to home, major British TV names like David Jason, Rowan Atkinson, Victoria Wood, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, and Joanna Lumley. She travelled to film and TV locations all over the world, and covered 18 Cannes Film Festivals. They were heady days, and she still feels extraordinarily fortunate that, when the Fleet Street she knew began to radically change, she was given the opportunity to embark on a whole new career as a novelist.
She also ghosted a biography of Benny Hill. and autobiographies of 'Allo 'Allo star Gorden Kaye, and, later, her partner, the actress Amanda Barrie.
Her first play, Dead Lies, is scheduled to tour the UK this Autumn, opening in the North Devon town of Barnstaple where it is partly set. The nearby estuary town of Bideford, where Hilary was brought up, also features.
Her father was a butcher and ran a tea shop, Cleverdon’s, still a thriving local business, which Hilary features in her 2019 novel Dreams of Fear.
She lives in Somerset and London with Amanda, and their much loved dog Coco, a poodle-Patterdale cross.