Novelist Joan Lingard who was born on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile dies aged 90

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Award-winning author Joan Lingard has died at the age of 90.

Ms Lingard wrote about 60 novels for children and adults throughout her life with many of them set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

She was born in the back of a taxi on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in 1932 and moved to Belfast when she was two years old where she lived until she was 18.

Belfast and Northern Ireland had a strong influence on her later writing.

A keen reader, Ms Lingard exhausted most of the books in her local library and used birthdays and Christmas to ask for new ones to read.

Her mother encouraged her to write her own book, exasperated with the speed at which she finished reading.

Her first published novel, Liam’s Daughter, was published in 1963 and she published her first children’s novel, The Twelfth Day of July, in 1970.

That novel was the first in the bestselling series of Kevin and Sadie novels set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

She visited schools regularly having trained as a teacher at Moray House in Edinburgh.

Tug of War and Between Two Worlds was inspired by her husband’s family having to flee Latvia during the Second World War.

Her last novel, Trouble on Cable Street, was published in 2014.

She is survived by her husband Martin Birkhans; her three daughters; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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