JOAN LINGARD was an acclaimed author of over 40 books for both children and adults. She was born in Edinburgh and brought up in Belfast, the inspiration for many of her novels, including the ground-breaking Across the Barricades. She was awarded the MBE in 1998 for Services to Children's Literature. The Kiss was the result of a long-standing personal fascination with the painter Gwen John. Joan Lingard died in July 2022.