Sally Kinsey-Miles was born on 25 July 1944 in Devon, England, UK. She graduated from Girton College, Cambridge (MA in English Literature) She married Christopher Beauman an economist. After graduating, she moved with her husband to the USA, where she lived for three years, first in Washington DC, then New York, and travelled extensively. She began her career as a journalist in America, joining the staff of the newly launched New York magazine, of which she became associate editor, and continued to write for it after her return to England. Interviewed Alan Howard for the Telegraph Magazine in 1970 in an article called 'A Fellow of Most Excellent Fancy'. (Daily Telegraph Supplement, May 29th.) Apparently a very long interview. The following year they met again, and the rest is history. After a long partnership Sally and Alan married in 2004. She has one son, James, and one grandchild.
Sally has had a distinguished career as a journalist and critic, winning the Catherine Pakenham Award for her writing, and becoming the youngest-ever editor of Queen magazine (now Harper’s & Queen). She has contributed to many leading newspapers and magazines in both the UK and the USA, including the Daily Telegraph ( from 1970-73 and 1976-8 she was Arts Editor of the Sunday Telegraph Magazine), the Sunday Times, Observer, Vogue, the New York Times and the New Yorker. She also wrote nine Mills & Boon romances under the pseudonym Vanessa James, before publishing her block-buster novel Destiny in 1987 under her real name. It was her article about Daphne du Maurier, commissioned by Tina Brown, and published in The New Yorker in November 1993, which first gave her the idea for writing Rebecca de Winter’s version of events at Manderley – an idea that subsequently became the novel, Rebecca’s Tale. In 2000 she was one of the Whitbread Prize judges for the best novel category.