M C Beaton
M.C. Beaton is the best-known pen name for the hugely prolific author Marion Chesney. She was born in Glasgow in 1936 and has worked as a bookseller, journalist, theatre critic and editor before becoming a full time writer. As a journalist she has written for the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and The Star. After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons she moved to the USA, where she first started writing her Regency romances under the name Marion Chesney.
It was on a holiday to Sutherland that Chesney was first inspired to write the Hamish Macbeth stories, and the family moved to Scotland where her husband became a sheep farmer. Later they moved to the Cotswolds to be closer to her son in London, and she started the Agetha Raisin mystery novels.
Although she is now best known as M.C. Beaton, Marion Chesney has written under a variety of pen names including Sarah Chester, Helen Crampton, Ann Fairfax, Marion Gibbons, Jennie Tremaine and Charlotte Ward.
Many of her novels have appeared on TV and Radio, including a BBC TV series based on Hamish Macbeth starring Robert Carlisle, and a BBC Radio production based on Agatha Raisin starring Penelope Keith. Marion Chesney was not happy with the Hamish MacBeth series, and has said:
“No I was not happy about the show. Hamish was nothing like the Hamish Macbeth I had in mind; nothing like the books. But fortunately the books were established by then and you leave people to make up their own minds.”
Marion Chesney now lives in a cottage in the Cotswolds with her husband Harry Scott, and also keeps a holiday home in Paris. Her most recent novels include There Goes The Bride, an Agatha Raisin mystery, and the Travelling Matchmaker series was republished in 2011.