Diane Pearson, who worked at Transworld for almost 40 years, has died, aged 85.
Pearson worked as a senior editor at Transworld from 1964 to 2002 during which time she played "a pivotal role" in the company’s fortunes, both past and present, according to Transworld.
She acquired and worked with many of the industry’s biggest-selling authors, such as Terry Pratchett, Joanna Trollope, Kate Atkinson and Jilly Cooper, the latter for over 20 years, and in 1994 was awarded the British Book Award for Editor of the Year. She was also the President of the Romantic Novelists' Association from 1986 to 2011.
Pearson was also an author in her own right. Her novels included The Marigold Field (1969, Corgi) and its sequel Sarah Whitman (1971, Corgi), Csardas (1975, Head of Zeus) and The Summer of the Barshinskeys (1984, Corgi).
In tribute, Larry Finlay, managing director at Transworld, said Pearson was "an integral part of the Transworld story" whose legacy would "burn brightly for years to come".
"Di had one of the keenest eyes in the business, right across the literary spectrum. Not only did she build a market-leading list of women’s saga writers that included Iris Gower, Elvi Rhodes, Susan Sallis and Ruth Hamilton, she also brought to Transworld Terry Pratchett with The Colour of Magic in 1984, Joanna Trollope with A Village Affair in 1990 and Kate Atkinson with her debut in 1995, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which went on to win the overall Whitbread (now Costa) Prize. Di also worked with Jilly Cooper for over 20 years.
"Diane Pearson is an integral part of the Transworld story, and hers is a legacy which will burn brightly for years to come."