About Helena

Helena Frith PowellHelena Frith Powell’s writing career began with the French Mistress column in The Sunday Times about living in France which she wrote for several years. She is also a regular contributor to the The Times, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, Tatler Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar among other publications.

Helena is the author of eleven books. The first, More France Please, we’re British, was published in November 2004 by Gibson Square Books and is about her experiences in France. Her second is a book about French women called Two Lipsticks and a Lover published in October 2005 by Gibson Square Books. The paperback was published by Penguin in the US in December 2006 under the title All You Need to be Impossibly French. The paperback in the UK was published by Arrow in February 2007. It was also published in Russia, Thailand, Poland and China during 2007. It was published in France in March 2008 under the title So Chic!

Helena is also the author of a memoir called Ciao Bella, published by Gibson Square in October 2006 and re-released in 2012. Her book about ageing called To Hell in High Heels was published by Arrow in April 2008, and has been translated into several languages.

Her diet book, The Viva Mayr Diet, was published by Harper Collins in May 2009. Her first novel is set in France about the French art of having affairs called Love in a Warm Climate, which was published in March 2011 by Gibson Square. Her second novel, The Ex-Factor, was published by Gibson Square in 2013. Her second anti-ageing book, Smart Women don’t get Wrinkles, was published in May 2016. Her third novel, a love story intertwined with an enigmatic van Eyck portrait, is called The Arnolfini Marriage came out in December 2016.
Helena was educated at Durham University. She has had a home in the Languedoc region of France for 16 years. She divides her time between France and Oxford with her husband Rupert and their three children Olivia, Bea and Leonardo.  She is working on her fourth novel. She also runs a beauty website called beautyorbeast.uk where she reviews products and treatments.

64 thoughts on “About Helena

  1. Hi Helena,

    You are such a fabulous inspiration! I’m trying to be a writer while mothering two kids under 3 (and one on the way) It is so hard. I love to read the wonderful, witty things you have written while juggling marriage and motherhood. On days when I feel like giving up and throwing my laptop in the rubbish, I like to re-read a few chapters of Two Lipsticks and a Lover to motivate myself. I just purchased Ciao Bella. I can’t wait to start reading it!

  2. Love your Two Lipsticks and a Lover book! in the US its everything I need to be impossibly french. And let me say, its a fantastic read. I feel more French with my matching under garments!! haha! but really, I am a fan. When will your next book be out? I plan on following you! Just love your writing!

    xo Angela

  3. Hi Helena, on a trip to Italy I decided to purchase a couple of books to enjoy on our holiday. When in Roma as they say, and found ciao Bella on the shelf. I loved that where you visited and walked was steps from our hotel and I must have been in your shadow years prior. I love the reflection and honesty, the family characters and your thoughts of then and the present at the time of writing. As I have children and my daughter is traveling with me I connected and fell in love with your story and writing. Thank you and I shall be seeking further of your works when I get to an English book store. We are yet to visit Venice next week however hope to go to the square. Again than you for writing. You inspire me to do further with my poetry too. Ciao Bella! Cheers Amanda (Australia)

  4. Thank you for such a lovely message! This is the sort of thing that motivates me to write, it is so lovely to hear from people who have enjoyed my books and got something from them. I hope you have a great time in Venice.

  5. Hello, dear Helena !!!!
    Thank you so much for your books full of humor and your typical style …
    I loved to read Ciao Bella like the first book from you..My country is Czech Republic , I am living in England . I also love Italy , nature, people and their optimistic way of life…I am going to read Love in a warm climate and I am looking forward so much…
    Thank you for your books….You made me smile, laugh , cry …I Love your style and approach towards life ….
    Warm regards from Lingfield, Surrey

  6. Thank you so much Jana for your lovely post, I am so happy you liked Ciao Bella and look forward to hearing what you think about Love in a Warm Climate! I hope you are enjoying life in Surrey.
    All best

  7. Helena !
    I just finished Love in a Warm Climate.
    Would it be so shallow if I say it’s the best book I ever read ?
    You are truly amazing. <3
    Every line is so full of sunshine , witty humor, it's so lovely and captivating , loved the kids' dialogues, close encounters, the scenery. It's full of truth and beauty.

    I would love to read all your books, this my first one.
    I don't know if they are translated in Macedonian , but I would gladly do it .

    And , yes, I told my friends about you.
    They will love you. 🙂

    Keep writing,


  8. Thank you Elena for your brilliant comment! You are not shallow at all! In fact you have wonderful taste in books…I will keep writing and look forward to hearing what you think of the other books.

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  11. Ciao Helena,
    After being given your book “Ciao Bella” by a friend of mine here in Italy and leaving it in a corner for several years thinking it was going to be yet another tour of Italy by yet another British ex-pat, I have devoured it in the last 24 hours.
    It has made me hoot with laughter with at the Dante racconti (for wholly personal reasons) and the bull’s testicles episodes yet bringing me to tears with the family memories of Nonna.
    Family is srange territory since there is so much core feeling but in the end usually we do see the light.
    Thouroughly enjoyed every line of it and will certainly be reading you again.
    Thank you for the walk down memory lane.
    Tantissimi saluti

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