Bella is a fiction and non-fiction writer. Her journalism has appeared in a variety of major publications, including the Guardian and the Observer. Her first book, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, was The Lighthouse Stevensons (1999), an account of the construction of the Scottish lighthouses by the ancestors of Robert Louis Stevenson. It was also named one of List Magazine‘s ‘100 Best Scottish Books of All Time’. She is the author of three more books, the most recent of which is The Bicycle Book, shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2010.