Irene Northan (pen name Elizabeth Lowther), Rene (as she was known to her friends) was born on Tyneside, NE England but moved to South Devon with her parents at the age of 10. She trained as a teacher, specialising in history. Her research led to countless articles on history, travel, social customs, and short stories appearing in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines at home and abroad. After receiving over 100 rejection slips, her first novel, 'PHYLLIDA', was published in 1976. A steady stream of books followed, which she fitted in between caring for her husband and two daughters, becoming a founder member of Brixham Writers' Circle, a member of The Romantic Novelists' Association, Librarian of Brixham Museum, and Reader for the South West Arts.
Rene enjoyed meeting readers and writers in all genre, fiction and non-fiction. She gave talks at various writers' schools and clubs across the country, often acting as an awards adjudicator for competitions throughout SW England.
Until her death in June 1993 Rene had written 20 fiction titles and 1 non-fiction. These have generated 47 reprints, 28 of them being issued posthumously. Her Devon trilogy, TO DREAM AGAIN, A SAFE HAVEN and DAUGHTER OF THE RIVER, her last novels, were re-issued in paperback in 2000 by Caxton Group Publishing.