S&S bags Lynda Bellingham in two-book fiction deal

Actress and “Loose Women” co-presenter Lynda Bellingham has signed a two-book deal with Simon & Schuster to write commercial women's fiction.

Publishing director Suzanne Baboneau signed the deal with Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown for UK and Commonwealth rights. The first book, as yet untitled, is due to be published in spring 2013, with the second to follow a year later. Her début is described as a multi-generational family saga with a “tightly woven web of secrets and lies”. Bellingham is not working with a co-author.

Baboneau said: “A five-decade search for a woman's true identity and her battle for acceptance within her own family, this will be a plot and character-driven story conceived with true heart and commitment. The written word comes to Lynda so naturally and instinctively; it is a joy to see, and she will be a joy to work with.”

Bellingham's memoir, Lost and Found, was published by Ebury in 2010. The actress said: “Even before writing my autobiography, anyone who knows me will know how much I enjoy telling stories. To be able to work with a publisher as respected as Simon & Schuster and an editor as talented as Suzanne Baboneau on my first two novels is something I thought I could only dream about. I'm so excited to be offered the chance to do this and I am very aware of just what an incredible opportunity it is. I can't wait to get going!”

Bellingham's acting career spans 40 years, and includes a recent appearance in the stage play of “Calendar Girls”, as a contestant on “Strictly Come Dancing”, and as the “Oxo Mum” in the 1980s.