Sarah Ferguson has enjoyed writing her first book for Mills and Boon (Picture: Rex Features)
Sarah Ferguson has revealed her new career as a novelist has given her an unexpected confidence boost.
The 62-year-old is releasing the paperback version of her first book, Her Heart for a Compass, which she wrote for publishing giants Mills and Boon.
When the debut novel was first released, it charted incredibly well, making the elusive Sunday Times Bestsellers List.
Having started the novel as a lockdown passion project, the Duchess of York has admitted she found the process ‘exhilarating’.
‘I wrote my novel during the pandemic and that was my go-to place,’ she explained. ‘When the box arrived with the first copies of the book, I had to smell it, touch it and re-read it. It was exhilarating.
‘My English teachers thought I’d amount to nothing, but this has taught me, at my age, to believe in myself.’
Sarah, or ‘Fergie’ as she was dubbed by the press, has not always been brimming with self-belief. The Duchess, who faced widespread derision when she and former husband, Prince Andrew, divorced in 1996, has previously spoken candidly about struggling with her body image.
Sarah Ferguson has not always been confident in her looks or her abilities (Picture: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images)
‘I was teased for years,’ she said. ‘I’ve always been labelled “fat frumpy Fergie” and a redhead as well.
‘I’ve always felt judged, which is why I support the LGBTQ+ community. I know what it’s like to be segregated. I’m 62 now and it still hurts, even now, when someone has a pop at me.’
Sarah’s weight is also still a battleground for her: ‘It’s always going to be my trigger point and where I go to first when I want to self-sabotage,’ she said. ‘But completing my book has bought me a new-found confidence.’
Speaking about her writing venture, Sarah explained her novel has been something in the works for quite some time.
‘The whole story started 15 years ago, when I wanted to research redheads in my DNA, maybe to find other people in the past who were just like me,’ she said. ‘As I did my research, I found this incredible lady, my great great aunt Lady Margaret Montagu Scott. I used to tell my daughters stories about her, so she’s been in my head for years.
Sarah Ferguson said she looked into her family history for inspiration (Picture: John Parra/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
‘I went to Mills and Boon, because they’ve historically supported women and they’re such an institution, and I asked them if I could write a book.’
Sarah worked closely with Marguerite Kaye, who is the co-author of Her Heart for a Compass.
‘She’s become a really great friend who has taught me so much and we’re writing our second novel together,’ she said. ‘The fact that she agreed to do the book with me, and shown me how to be a novelist has totally give me confidence that I have got it and I can do it. It feels fantastic to be 62 and a first time novelist.’
As well writing a second novel with another strong female protagonist, Sarah is enjoying being a grandmother. Her daughter Princess Eugenie, 32, welcomed son August, 15 months, shortly after her wedding to Jack Brooksbank in 2018. Meanwhile, Beatrice, 33, had baby Sienna with husband Edoardo Mozzi in September 2021.
‘I read them bedtime stories,’ Sarah said. ‘August is such a little chap, and I’m playing trucks with him – but if he prefers to play with Barbie dolls in future, that’s fine.’
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.