Finola Austin, also known as the Secret Victorianist on her award-winning blog, is a Kent-born, Northern Ireland-raised, Brooklyn-based historical novelist and lover of the nineteenth century. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society NA and active in the New York Chapter.
Her first novel, Bronte’s Mistress, about Lydia Robinson, the older woman who had an affair with Branwell Bronte, the Bronte sisters’ brother, will be released in Aug 2020 (just before the HNS Conference). She sold the novel under preempt to Atria Books, part of Simon & Schuster, just four days after going on submission and will still be in her 20s (just!) on publication day.
Historical novelist and former HNS speaker Jeanne Mackin says, “Finola Austin’s debut novel is a stunner. Anyone who has ever thrilled to a Bronte novel needs to read this glorious historical novel about the Bronte sisters and their brother, Branwell, and his affair with the outrageous, scandalous woman who broke all conventions. Atmospheric and beautifully imagined, this is a must-read for lovers of great historical fiction.”
Finola has two degrees from the University of Oxford, including a Master’s (with Distinction) in nineteenth-century literature, and Bronte’s Mistress is the result of her meticulous research into the time Anne and Branwell Bronte spent at Thorp Green Hall in Yorkshire.
Finola’s day job is in advertising and she currently works for Facebook/Instagram in the company’s Creative Shop, advising some of the world’s biggest financial services brands on their social media advertising.
Finola is an accomplished public speaker. As part of her advertising career she has spoken at multiple industry conferences, including the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference; Digital Summit NYC, Chicago, LA, Boston and DC; PR Week; Publishing Insider Summit and more, addressing crowds of up to 800. She will be speaking at multiple US venues to promote the launch of her novel, including two planned events with the New York chapter of the Historical Novel Society.