Sonia Oatley was born in Maesteg. Her Dad had been a coalminer since the age of 14, and her mum looked after her, her sister and her three brothers. At sixteen she left school on the Friday and started work on the Monday in a factory making Italian fine porcelain figurines. Afterwards she worked in several positions until her children were born: Rebecca in 1995, Jessica in 1997 and Jack in 2002.
Lynne Barrett-Lee was born in London and became a full time writer shortly after moving to Cardiff in 1994.
Lynne’s ghostwriting career began in 2007, when she was approached by Melanie Davies, a former patient of her Oncologist husband, to ask if she would help her write the story of her amazing life. The result was the 2009 title Never Say Die. Since then, Lynne has collaborated on a wide range of titles. As well as penning standalone memoirs as diverse as the antics of the world’s biggest dog, Giant George, and the incredible story of a girl raised by monkeys, she also currently ghosts a series for a major UK publisher, the first two titles of which are both Sunday Times bestsellers.
On Saturday, 23 October 2010, Sonia Oatley waved off her 15-year-old daughter, Becca, to meet Joshua Davies, a former boyfriend. Becca's hope was that the two of them would get back together, but it was not to be. By 3pm, oddly, she stopped answering her mobile. By 7.30 she was officially declared missing. And at 10am the following morning, while Sonia and the family were out searching, came the call that is every parent's worst nightmare. The police had found the body of a young girl in local woodland: she'd been bludgeoned to death with a rock. Bye, Mam, I Love You is the story of Rebecca Aylward's murder - a slaying that was described by an incredulous media as having been committed for 'the price of a breakfast'. But, as soon became clear, this was no crime of passion. Becca's death had apparently been many months in the planning, by a calculating, cold-blooded killer. From the immediate arrest of 16-year-old Joshua Davies, to the lengthy investigation and harrowing five week trial that convicted him, this book is both an expression of a mother's love and her pride in a daughter who had so much to live for, as well as an insight into the mind of a brutal murderer.