Welcome to Literally!
Helping hundreds of authors over the past decade to achieve their long-term goals through PR, marketing & branding. Contact: email@example.com
We're lucky enough to be able to work with some incredibly talented and genuinely lovely writers along their journey. Many become friends over time and we stay in touch with all previous clients, offering help whenever we can. Here's a selection of some of our current and previous authors who selected Literally PR to boost awareness of their book(s) and build their author brand and profile.
Clients are listed chronologically.
Albert Kemp was born in Shoreditch in 1927 to a family of politically aware Eastenders. Kemp worked in the Admiralty for eleven years before joining the Home Office in 1961, where he entered the Immigration Service. He learned Turkish and was occasionally used as an interpreter and interviewer for political asylum claims. After he left the immigration service in 1971, he worked in the Statistical Department and the Drugs Branch. Shortly after retiring from the civil service, Kemp obtained a TEFL qualification and enjoyed teaching English to young foreign students. Once a keen sportsman, his main hobbies now are philately – particularly Turkish philately – and bowling.
Category: Memoir, Politics, History
Alastair Gamble was born in Essen, Germany and graduated with a BSc in Architecture at University of Dundee in 1996. Having worked in an architectural office in Glasgow between 1996 and 1997, he then graduated with a BArch (Hons) in Architecture at University of Dundee in 2000. And further, graduated with a PG Diploma in Architectural Practice & Management at Westminster University in 2008 and worked as an Architect for the University of Warwick for 5 years up until 2014. Since 2017, Alastair has been working as an artist painting in oils.
From 1992 to 2015, since he started at University, he had been affiliated to the Triratna Buddhist Community or formerly known as the FWBO. Alastair taught meditation every week at the Birmingham Buddhist Centre from 2011 to 2014. His first psychotic episode occurred during his second year of University while studying his first degree. After another partial psychotic episode, while working in the architectural practice in Glasgow, he went on to successfully achieve his second degree in architecture in 2000. Alastair always kept his condition secret with employers. They never suspected that he had a mental condition.
His passion for spiritual matters took a hiatus from 1997 to 2003, when he thought that it contributed to his mental breakdowns and he felt that for his own wellbeing, he should sever all contact and interest with Buddhism and meditation. When he resumed his spiritual practice in 2003, he trod very tentatively and cautiously, not pushing his meditation or study, together with his work, to extreme levels but contained it within more healthy limits.
Since his episode in 2014, he wrote and published an autofiction book. He has also been working as a painter artist in Leamington Spa. The three themes he adopts are architecture, nature in all its guises and interiors, which have a strong connection with the external environment. He has exhibited at a couple of galleries in Leamington Spa, had a solo exhibition in a coffee house and a pop-up exhibition in Buckinghamshire.
Category: Memoir, Mental Health, Self Help, Buddhism
Margaret is an award-winning entrepreneur, author of several books, single mother and a golden age dater! She wrote this book so you don't have to kiss frogs (she's done that for you). It offers a heartfelt, candid and often humorous look at the dating game through the eyes of a single mother and golden age dater. Filled with tips, guidance and advice gained from her experience and drawing upon cutting edge research.
Many readers will identify with the emotional turmoil of being a single mother, caring for young children, earning money and trying to date on top of that! This book is essential reading for those ready to dip their toe back into dating.
"When you know your value as a single mother/woman, you will know who adds or subtracts value to you."
"When you know who you are, you will know the relationships to maintain and relationships to walk away from."
Category: Dating, Relationships, Parenting, Self Help
Annette Byford grew up in Germany where she taught at a secondary school before going on to study psychology and train as a psychodynamic psychotherapist in the UK. For the past 27 years, she has worked as a psychologist and psychotherapist in private practice and as a lecturer and supervisor in various settings (university, NHS and the voluntary sector).
She is a chartered counselling psychologist and a senior practitioner on the Register of Psychologists specialising in Psychotherapy.
Category: Parenting, Women's Non-Fiction, Self-Help, Families, Relationships
Toni Glickman is a former retail executive, who spent twenty years in the cashmere and silk-studded front lines in the luxury space of the piranha infested industry. She now enjoys life as a real estate professional, where she sets her own schedule and no longer needs to contend with maneuvering 'bitchy' retail colleagues. She's also a Francophile, plays classical piano, loves the cinema, travel, her children, family, friends, and Teacup Pomeranian - her very bold, spirited, and loveable pet dog. And, of course, her passion for fashion.
Category: Women's Fiction, Series, Humour
Although he has written extensively on political and economic topics, this is Anthony Coombs' first foray into books. He was encouraged to do so by Bobby and Bubba themselves. Whilst relying on the "daddy" Alexander for their everyday needs, they insisted that "grandpa" Anthony use his dwindling literary skills to share with the world their "irresistible charm" and the adventures it gets them into. In any spare time Anthony gets from dog walking, he combines a career as chairman of a FTSE finance company with building houses and overseeing a charitable trust which supports children and young people with physical and mental disability challenges. Following his earlier incarnation as a Member of Parliament, Anthony also likes to write about current affairs.
He loves both football where, despite his father once owning Birmingham City, he is an avid Aston Villa fan, as well as the fancy footwork required in ballet where he sits on the board of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Anthony likes to torture himself at golf, more gently in the gym and to take equal care of his soul as a practising Christian and trustee of Premier Christian Media. Most important of all, he is the proud husband of thirty-eight years to Andrea, and of course the father of B and B's daddy, Alexander.
Category: Children's Fiction, Family Fiction, Short Stories, Dogs, Pets
Dr Allswell E. Eno is a practising doctor in family medicince, and author of African heritage, from London, England. Born in Greenwich, south-east London, he grew up in the boroughs of Southwark and Lewisham and went to comprehensive secondary school in Brockley. On completion of his O-levels, he chose four A-levels - biology, chemistry, maths and French - but was persuaded by his teachers not to take French as he was the only pupil who had chosen it.
He trained in medicine at St. Thomas’ Hospital Medical School (United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals), University of London, from 1984-1989, where in 1986 he was joined by Oxford and Cambridge students for the Clinical Course, the latter three years of the degree.
In February 1990, Dr Eno acquired the American medical exam FMGEMS (Foreign Medical Graduate Examination one the Medical Sciences) and in 1994 he became a Member of the three Royal Colleges of Physicians in the UK (London, Edinburgh and Glasgow) after passing the MRCP(UK).
Having practised hospital medicine to registrar level in a range of specialties including cardiology, renal medicine, diabetes, haematology, chest medicine and HIV, Dr Eno switched to general practice training in 1997 and in 1998 he qualified as a GP Principal and took and passed the MRCGP (Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners) the same year. He has been a busy partner in general practice in south London for the NHS since 1999 and during that time has also done some part-time work for BUPA over a 3-year period.
After 25 years in general practice, the latter three as Managing Partner, Dr Eno now practises family medicine on a freelance basis in both the NHS and private sector.
Since 2001, Dr Eno has been keen to become fluent in French, both as a frequent traveller to France and as a doctor finding he had a noticeable number of French patients in his caseload. After exploring various options he set about teaching himself from 2003 onwards through listening to French radio initially on long wave then on the internet, watching French TV and DVDs and reading French novels with a lot of dialogue, French newspapers, and, when he could, attending a French-English discussion group. Where he learned something new in terms of expressing something in French, he would make translation notes from memory. He collated these and re-wrote them as neatly as possible in A4-size folios right up until 2017, by which he had accumulated 12 of these and decided this was enough. Later that year it occurred to him to transcribe these from his hand-written folios into type-written notes. Almost simultaneously, it occurred to him that if was going to do that, he may as well turn it into an educational book for others to benefit from these labours, given that he had over the 14 years or so developed several themes and covered numerous minutiae and quirks of French that was hard to find in any single textbook. After four and a half years of English and French editing, proofreading and graphic design, his labour of love (not to mention hard graft and moments of exasperation), The Anglo-French Exchange was born, as a publication for English and French speakers alike who wish to become fluent in the other language and find it an uphill struggle.
Aside from medicine, Dr Eno is a vigorous campaigner on the subject of racial terminology and equality in relation to people of African heritage around the world - the African diaspora. The contrast between how this population is referred to collectively and other populations is a moral discrepancy that he is determined to redress and has been campaigning on for over ten years in the form of The bLack of Respect Campaign.
Category: Education, Language, Professional Advancement
Philip Eley is the Wellbeing Lead of a schoolswork charity, and has been working in the Youthwork and Emotional Health field for many years. He works with individual students as well as running small groups, and delivers Emotional First Aid training for schools and adults.
Philip is a trainer in emotional health for school staff, CICs and charity workers, as well as community training. He is a creative communicator at all levels and a public speaker, small group leader and one-to-one mentor. He is also a qualified teacher with an MA.
He is the author of six books around wellbeing, the first of which was published in 2012, and has written for several publications and blogs. This is his first title for Free Association Books.
When not working, he enjoys painting, writing and acting, all forms of culture: books, theatre, film, dance and performance. He can often be found outdoors sea swimming or walking, tending to his allotment or walking his dog in his home county of Devon.
Category: Self Help, Mental Health, Wellbeing, Men
Ragh Bir’s family arrived in the UK in the early 1960s. Born in the Summer of Love, in Slough, Berkshire, she found growing up in a family with a strict Indian father challenging to her free-spirited nature. Her Indian upbringing was neither traditional, nor, contemporary, and she found herself caught up in the middle of two very different cultures. She embraced the opportunity and left Slough in 1990 to attend the University of Portsmouth, where she completed a Post Graduate in management studies. After graduating, and fully enjoying the freedom that came with living away from home, she decided to travel to France with her Irish boyfriend. Her dreams of living in the South of France, came crashing down when their car broke down on the roundabout at Champs-Elysees. Her adventure was plagued with disasters, and when money soon ran out by the time they reached Bordeaux, it was time to say good bye to France. A move to the Republic of Ireland, saw her experience the Irish way of life, and a year later she returned to the UK, and her career as airline cabin crew began. Living in Bagshot, Surrey, she enjoyed her life of travel, and was fortunate to experience the many different cultures of the countries that she visited. Her debut novel, 39 Plus One, was born in 2007, and writing the first three chapters came easily. Life took an unexpected turn, and her desire for writing vanished. She moved back to Slough just before lockdown, and it was when she came across her black writing folder, that she found that she couldn’t put her pen down, writing at lightning speed, the words flying onto the page; that within a year the story of Rachel’s quest was complete.
Category: Rom-Com, Fiction, Adult Fiction, Romance, Comedy, Chick-Lit
Rebecca Ronane coaches women to reinvent their mindset around ageing to create an empowered life after 50. She runs a successful networking group, Network Provence, coaching business, Forward after Fifty, and two podcast shows, Forward After Fifty, and Network Provence. Author of How To Be a Super-Powered Woman Over 50, Rebecca lives in the sunny south of France with her French Dutchman and dog Myrtle. She also describes herself as having an endless curiosity for life, being a perpetual learner and explorer, of both places and things. She says, “Everything I've ever done has been a new adventure. I thrive on a challenge.”
Rebecca worked in travel, and became a coach and a writer, she founded and runs a successful networking organisation, and coaching business Forward After Fifty.
Three of those major changes in her life happened over the age of fifty. “Like everyone, I’ve had trials and tribulations, I choose to focus on the latter. I know that anything is possible for women who want to move forward after fifty.”
Women over fifty are a force to be reckoned with. Rebecca's mission is to convince the rest of the world of this fact so that opportunities are plentiful for women as they reinvent their lives and gain their superpowers.
Category: Self-Help, Women, Mindset, Ageing
Martin Treanor loves to read and he loves to write, enjoying all things historical, archaeological, metaphysical, and has developed a strong interest in quantum physics which he likes to introduce into his books and stories. He has a fondness for the dark and macabre.
Over the years Martin has worked as a university technician, trade union representative, engineering tutor, lift installer, labourer, bar manager, bookseller, and a writer.
Previous works include his illustrated, political satire series, The Tales of Trumplethinskin, his urban fantasy novel, Hellmaw: Dark Creed, released as part of DnD Forgotten Realms creator Ed Greenwood’s Hellmaw series, and his Amazon bestselling in metaphysical fiction, debut novel, The Silver Mist.
He lives in Lisbon, Portugal with his wife Lynsey and their overdramatic cat.
Category: Fiction, Mystery, Conspiracy, Thriller, Metaphysical
Wendy Sheffield is a new spiritual author who has a lot to say about spiritual matters, in particular, spiritual unfoldment or awakening which she has personally experienced - and she appreciates first-hand how difficult it can be. Wendy's messages are inspired by Spirit, which can come through day or night. She shares regular spiritual blogs on her website and YouTube videos to help her readers understand the basics of spirituality, so they can decide whether or not it is for them.
Her first book, Spirit Writer, covers the many and varied occurrences that have taken place throughout Wendy's life which helped her understand her connection with spirit and her own spiritual unfoldment. Wendy hopes that her readers will discover and understand their journey by considering her own.
Spirit Writer is the kind of book that Wendy wished had been available when she was going through her own spiritual unfoldment. Wendy went through difficult times when she first learned she was communicating with the Spirit World as she did not know whom to turn to help her understand what was happening. Experiences beyond the five senses can be scary at times!
Wendy's thirst for knowledge led her in the direction of her local spiritual church and Arthur Findlay College. As her knowledge grew, she gained many friends with similar interests which gave her the confidence to stand up for what she believes – the Love and the Power of Spirit!
Her aim is to give readers food for thought about both day-to-day and spiritual matters to help stand up and be counted.
Category: Spiritual, Non Fiction, Biography, Self Help
SS (Sean) O’Connor spent 20-plus years as an advertising executive before becoming a serial entrepreneur, assembler of private equity projects, investor and corporate strategist.
He has been chairman / director of numerous public and private companies. His acclaimed novel, The Prisoner’s Dilemma, published in 2013. Sean lives in London and Somerset.
Category: Popular Science, Evolutionary Theory, Anthropology, Game Theory, Social Science
John Constable has been writing for a while. In fact, it’s been a long while as he completed his first novel when he was around 20 years of age. John says he doesn’t remember much about it now, except that it was set in the UK and concerned a plot to extort money from the Government. Some of his research though evidently caused a chilly breeze to blow in establishment circles which resulted, one sunny afternoon, in police officers paying him a courtesy visit. Having let them have sight of his partially completed manuscript they quickly departed, satisfied he wasn’t a reincarnation of Guy Fawkes or whoever was trending on the terrorist watch lists in those days!
Since those early times, John has written on and off over the years. In truth, he admits there have been long gaps between books because he was doing other things. The one that occupied him most was as a serial entrepreneur in the recruitment industry. If you know anything about the sector, you don’t need John to explain about long hours and hard work, particularly in times of recession. He survived two of them before quitting for good; after all you can have too much of a good thing.
The character of Sol Nemo grew out of John’s various trips to South Africa in recent years. His wife hails from Port Elizabeth, where Sol is based, and gradually as he absorbed something of the place and its people, his creative brain began to distil a character and a plot. Not much in the way of crime fiction is set in the RSA so it was his feeling that the market was about ready for something different.
His interests include voluntary work with a particular focus on housing and money issues; collecting modern first editions; reading anything and everything, the welfare of Gerry the gerbil; and occasional golf which he plays with an "embarrassing level of ineptitude despite years of patient coaching".
Category: Fiction, Crime, Thriller
Shani-Lee grew up in Newcastle, England with childhood secrets that manifested into a battle with Bulimia. She emigrated to Arizona, where she started to unpeel the complex layers of emotions that her secrets had inflicted. As she incorporated life changing habits into her lifestyle, she was able to heal and overcome her turbulent and dangerous relationship with her eating disorder.
Writing was always just a therapeutic outlet until she realised she had something valuable to share. Turning her own journey of self-help into a path to help others is how War with Myself was born.
Category: Memoir, Self Help, Mental Health, Health, Recovery, Healing
John Uttley was born in Lancashire just as the war was ending. Grammar school educated there, he read Physics at Oxford before embarking on a long career with the CEGB and National Grid Group. He was Finance Director at the time of the miners’ strike, the Sizewell Inquiry and privatisation, receiving on OBE in 1991.Shortly afterwards, he suffered his fifteen minutes of fame when he publicly gave a dividend to charity in the middle of the fat cat furore. Following this, he took an external London degree in Divinity while acting as chairman of numerous smaller companies, both UK and US based. He is married to Janet, living just north of London. This is the third and last novel in his series which has seen Where’s Sailor Jack? and No Precedent follow the lives of the Swarbrick and Shackleton families from the end of the Second World War until the present. John is now calling this trilogy The Unholy Trinity. Both sacred and profane, this novel puts a mirror to the social history of three generations in unforgettably honest and poignant terms.
Category: Adult Fiction, Family Saga
Natalia Pastukhova was born in Saint Petersburg on the day it reacquired that name. She read English and Italian at university before joining the Russian security services and working abroad.
She enjoys archery, writing, playing the violin badly and spending most of her time in England. This is her second book, co-authored with Peter Morris. Her first, The East German Police Girl, released in early 2022 to many 4 and 5 star reviews.
Category: General Fiction (Adult), Adventure, Contemporary Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
The author, former professional marathon runner, Rev. Ryan “Mango" Althaus, is an ordained Presbyterian Minister in Santa Cruz, California, with dual master’s degrees in Divinity and Communications and a passion for de-stigmatizing mental illness. He was awarded the Presbyterian Presidential Award for Homiletics in 2010 and has been a published and sought after voice on mental illness awareness in the church for years to follow. He speaks regularly to congregations throughout the San Francisco Bay area through his role as the Regional Inclusion Advocate for the National Presbyterian Church (USA) and is the Minister of Interfaith Relations for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Santa Cruz. Ryan is also the founder of a recreational and art-based nonprofit organization whose mission lies in dismantling social, faith and economic stigmas through intentional art and recreation. In addition to his work in the nonprofit and church world.
Ryan is also a licensed sailboat captain and as part of his personal mission to be a resource in recovery and mental health awareness, he launched a nonprofit program called ‘Worries to the Wind,’ which provides free therapeutic sailing retreats to therapists, therapy groups, families and individuals working through any mental or physical health challenge/ disability.
In the 15 years between inpatient eating disorder treatment, Ryan spent several years on the professional marathon and Ironman triathlon circuits before finally hanging up his shoes, trading in his bike for a surfboard and relocating from Kentucky to Santa Cruz, CA. His decade-long role as a triathlon coach and personal trainer, coupled with his own athletic accolades, make him a trusted and relevant voice in the field of exercise addiction — and his lighthearted approach to otherwise heavy subject matter make for an entertaining, almost poetic, read that is infused with allegory, alliteration and irony.
Category: Memoir, Mental Health, Self-Help, Recovery
Asher Feltman is “so OCD”. For 12 years, Asher lived a normal life. In 2006, something changed and he, and his family, struggled to figure out what it was. Shortly after, Asher was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Over the next eight years, Asher went to seven hospitals in four cities, desperately trying to find help for a disease with no cure. This is Asher’s story of his battle with OCD, and how he managed to come out of it with a life worth living.
Born in Dallas, Texas, he moved to the nearby suburb of Plano at an early age, where lived most of his life, with my brief stops in Denton, Texas for college, and Frisco, Texas for college and his first two years of teaching and coaching.
In 2022, Asher moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to hit the figurative reset button on his life. It’s an adventure he’s long had interest in taking, and with his career now on firm footing, he is making the journey to the desert.
After studying sports journalism in his delayed college career, Asher pivoted to the world of education in 2020. Since then, he has been a middle school teacher and coach.
Today, Asher is a teacher and coach at the middle school and high school levels. He teaches social studies and coach baseball and basketball.
Hobbies outside of the job he truly loves are watching movies, especially comic book films of the 2000s, and playing sports, particularly softball, which is a lot harder than he thought it’d be.
After reading I’m So OCD, Asher hopes you come away having enjoyed the ride, learned about OCD, mental illness, and mental health, and perhaps appreciated at least some of the wit and charm he tried presenting this complex topic as well as his long, long journey in.
Category: Memoir, Mental Health, Self-Help, Non-Fiction
Claire Ellis is a poet and writer residing in southeast England. From an early age, she found comfort and joy in creative writing, letting her imagination run wild through stories and poetry. She is the author of “Words for the Restless,” an inspiring and poignant collection of poetry about anxiety. Passionate about the healing power of writing words down on the page, when she’s not writing, Claire loves spending time with family, friends and animals, travelling, and fitness.
Claudia de Llano is a Marriage and Family Therapist, speaker, yoga and meditation guide. She facilitates peoples’ paths toward awakening of inner harmony and conscious being.
A healer of the heart, she helps people transcend from stories of pain and challenge to lives of love and fulfilment. She is interested in helping people to clearly define who they are and help them set foot on the paths they want to live.
Well versed in systemic and strength-based psychological theories, she has helped individuals in clinical and business settings move through life challenges of growth, including partnership, career and personal development.
Claudia’s expertise is embedded in deep multicultural understanding and mind-body-spirit integration through a synthesis of psychological and alternative therapies. Believing that each individual is capable of tapping into their true nature, her passion inspires people to discover their own psychology and their unique life path.
Claudia began her career in entertainment publicity and corporate communications. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology with specialisation in multicultural training. She held faculty positions at Phillips Graduate University and National University. Claudia is a certified yoga, meditation and reiki practitioner. Her recent corporate engagements include topics of Resilience, Well-Being, Stress Reduction, Mindfulness and Mental health in the workplace.
Claudia has lived in 6 countries and continues to travel the world with her husband and daughter.
Category: Psychology, Spirituality, Self-Help
After completing her GMus at the Royal Northern College of Music, Clare went on to do a Masters by Research at Keele University. It was there that she discovered an interest in psychology. Whilst still researching for her MA, Clare started tutoring at Keele and later at Salford University. Clare devised and has run the Master's course 'Psychology of Performance' at Salford for over 20 years.
Clare is an expert in classical and operatic technique and has a keen interest in helping those suffering from anxiety and/or stage-fright. Her latest book, Performance and Purpose in Death and Dying, was written over three years in response to the growing need for a sense of purpose in the wake of so much destruction and devastation, with the aim of communicating the message that there is no death as we commonly perceive it, and there is nothing to fear. It developed and grew from the courses, classes and the Death Cafes that Clare has delivered and facilitated.
The Alchemy of Performance Anxiety: Transformation for Artists was published in 2018, also by Free Association Books.
Category: Non-Fiction, Spiritual Psychology
Jo Simpson was born in Essex but was raised primarily in the West Country, enjoying a childhood in Devon and Cornwall, never far from a rugged coastline, sandy beach, or harbour.
Further education in the west country had limited choices, so she bucked the trend of going to secretarial college and opted for a course further away at Exeter college: building & civil engineering. Jo was the only female on her course.
Jo obtained a degree in Building Surveying from the University of Greenwich and then went on to specialise in research in construction and development, gaining her PhD in 2001. Jo still runs a successful research consultancy and writes her novels in every spare moment she has.
She lives in Kent, with her two (occasionally stroppy) teenage daughters, her extremely long suffering husband and her two writing partners Max (who features as Brock in the series) and Merlin, both rescue Border Collies.
Jo’s debut novels are the Castleby series, comprising of five books set in a coastal community and largely inspired by the time she's spent in and around the UK’s coastline, and the never-ending visits to RNLI shops that her children insisted on regularly! Sea Shaken is the third in the series, following on from the success of Sea State and Sea Change.
Jo is also working on a new series set in the Scottish highlands, the first of which will publish in early 2023.
In what little spare time Jo has, she spends writing, walking by the ocean, being an armchair movie critic, and drinking copious amounts of wine in her most favourite pub with friends.
Category: Thriller, Suspense, Romantic Suspense, Fiction
Sherene López Monzon is a member of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman. Her debut book, The Redemptive Life of Caymanian Woman, is due out at the end of 2022. Sherene received the Truman Bodden Award for Best Performance in Vocational Paralegal Studies. She sits on the Board of Prison Fellowship Cayman Islands and attends prison ministry regularly. She is the overall Angel Tree Coordinator for the Cayman Islands. Sherene was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder and has overcome many obstacles during her life: from pitfalls such as divorce and prison, to her redemption story of how God saved her. She is the proud mother of two young adults, Ashley and Matthew Crowe, and the wife of Ruben López Monzon. Together they own and operate a property maintenance and renovations company in the Cayman Islands.
Category: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Michael Burton was educated at Bedford School and Magdalen College, Oxford, and began his diplomatic life in 1960, when he was then sent to the Foreign Office’s so-called ‘Spy School’ in Shemlan, Lebanon, to learn Arabic. Thereafter Sir Michael’s career spanned a number of important postings in the Middle East and in Europe. He served in Germany as the Minister and Head of the British Mission in Berlin during the crucial period covering both the collapse of The Wall and of the German Democratic Republic. He was then appointed British Ambassador to Prague.
Category: Memoir, Historical Biography
JG Nolan has been employed as an English teacher for the last decade, working exclusively in challenging and specialist educational settings. He prides himself in engaging initially reluctant readers and writers of all ages. Prior to teaching, he was for many years the front man, vocalist, lead guitarist and sole songwriter for the cult indie band The Poet Dogs. From 2000 to 2010 they toured live, supporting bands including The Levellers, Shed7, Athlete and The Alarm. As a songwriter, JG Nolan likes to pursue a wide array of subjects for his songs, refusing to be shackled to traditional themes.
JG Nolan sees it as a natural extension to now delve into the world of fiction, initially for children and young adults. Jump! is his first book and initial reviews have been hugely positive.
JG Nolan currently lives in Shrewsbury, Shropshire with his young family. When he's not working, singing or writing, he can be found supporting Manchester United or playing squash at county level.
Category: Middle Grade, Children's, Sport
Sana Rasoul was born in Slemani (Iraq) and lived in Baghdad until she was seven. She is a writer and teacher of Politics. She graduated with an MSc in International Relations from SOAS university (2012) and currently lives in London. Sana has been teaching and tutoring since 2013 and has contributed to magazines such as Politics Review. She developed a passion for writing after her father gifted her with the Narnia collection.
They would take weekly trips to Waterstones and it became a tradition to scour through the many titles. Her true calling, however, has been writing books that scare and thrill. She grew up reading anything by R.L Stine, Stephen King and Agatha Christie and continues to navigate towards the supernatural/horror genre.
Sana is a Formula One enthusiast and a passionate supporter of the Red Bull team. Sana also enjoys gaming in her spare time and spending countless hours writing in cafes. When she isn't reading or writing, you can find her at the gym.
Sana is represented by Chloe Seager at the Madeleine Milburn Agency.
Category: Middle Grade, Children's, Fantasy, Diverse, Spooky
Sally Arnold has lived an incredible life, from being a Norland Nanny to the Jagger family, to then becoming tour manager for The Rolling Stones (the first female to take up such a role in the rock business). Sally then went on to work with The Who, Peter Gabriel and Lynard Skynard.
In October, her memoir 'Rock'n'Roll Nanny' will be published, sharing exclusive behind-the-scenes stories in the music industry, and packed with stories and anecdotes about household names Sally has worked with over the years including Princess Diana and other members of State.
Sally is a breast cancer survivor and was the first woman to get a tattoo over her mastectomy scar. A true trailblazer with so many amazing stories to share! Having travelled the world, Sally now lives in Devon.
Category: Memoir, Celebrity, Music Industry
Mark Piesing is a successful freelance technology and aviation journalist and author. He writes for brands such as BBC Future, The Guardian, Wired, and The Economist. N-4 DOWN: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia, was published by Custom House/William Morrow Books in August 2021. The Italian edition is due to be published in spring 2023 by Corbaccio, an imprint of one of Italy’s largest publishers.
Piesing is passionate about aviation, history, innovation, and exploration. His passion has led him to search for lost World War II airfields in the New Forest, find the last surviving Nazi helicopter, fly drones inside a fusion reactor (a world first), and tread carefully around Bosnian minefields. He has been driven by an autonomous car, flown in Britain’s flying laboratory, gone underground at CERN, and dug up the skeletons of gladiators in a lost Roman city in Spain. For Piesing’s first book, N-4 DOWN: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia, he travelled to frozen Svalbard and the Arctic Circle, discovered forgotten manuscripts in an overlooked archive in Tromsø, and tracked down one of the last people alive who knew Umberto Nobile, the protagonist, to a Copenhagen suburb.
Mark Piesing lives in Oxford, UK, with his wife, two children, and dog.
Category: History, History of Arctic and Antarctica, History of Exploration, Aviation History
Katie Kinsella is a SEND Teacher, supporting children with complex needs in a mainstream primary school in the UK. She is a qualified Children’s Yoga Teacher, and she is passionate about supporting children’s mental health. Previously working for a charity, she supported a wide range of children and young people with emotional wellbeing and mental health needs.
She enjoys adventures with her husband Rob and two children in rural Norfolk. An avid fan of being outdoors and active, she can be found on a paddle board in the river; a hockey pitch; the beach or the depths of the forest.
I Can’t Have That, I Have Allergies is Katie’s debut book, being inspired to write it after her journey with her daughter who has life-threatening allergies. Her daughter first had a severe allergic reaction as a baby and navigating through childhood with anaphylaxis has been a learning curve for them all.
Category: Children's Picture Book, Illustrated Fiction, Health, Allergies
Dr. Tony Ortega’s passion for helping others began at a very early age. He always knew that no matter what he did, he wanted to be of service to others. Once he knew that such a profession existed, he had a goal for his life path.
In August 1992, Dr. Ortega began his first job as a mental health professional in a residential women’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. Since then, he has worked in many settings and with so many clients from all walks of life. Dr. Ortega has worked for inpatient, outpatient, residential, managed care, and private practices, which included working with patients with substance abuse issues, mood disorders, severe and persistent mental illnesses, traumas, and LGBTQI+ issues. He currently serves the LGBTQI+ community from his private practice in Brooklyn, New York, combining cognitive behavioural techniques with active coaching and metaphysical principles in his work with clients.
Dr. Ortega takes a very cognitive/behavioural/coaching approach. He likes to look at the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours contributing to people coming to therapy and he comes up with active plans to improve the quality of life for his patients. Homework assignments between sessions is a staple in his work with each individual.
Dr. Ortega’s basic premise with clients is that his patients are not sick, nor do they need “fixing.” He also doesn’t work with diagnoses, per se. His job is to help people remove the obstacles preventing them from accessing their power, which is their inherent birth right. Processing of past issues is certainly part of the work, but not the only part. Knowing the “why” behind issues, while valuable, isn’t enough to create change. He focuses on the “why” AND the “what now” (i.e., choices we can make for ourselves today). The only thing we ever have 100% control over are the choices we make.
The foundation of Dr. Ortega’s work is: Rewrite your story, find your voice, and live authentically.
He is the author of #IsHeHereYet: Being the Person You Want to Be With - an extremely raw (and funny) look at the perceived epidemic of being single in our quest for love.
His second book, #AreYouHereYet: How to STFU and Show Up For Yourself (Free Association Books) is a call for readers to wake up and stop being so addicted to the current personal development trends. The book challenges the reader to look within for answers and show up for themselves.
He is also the creator of the Be The One Movement: Inspiring People to Show Up, Take Charge, Live Free, and Be the One (www.betheonelife.com). Be the One’s mission is to help people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations to show up, have real conversations, liberate themselves, and create the life they’ve wanted (podcast episodes available on iTunes). Be the One inspires people to express what matters most, and embody their truth with love, courage, and integrity.
Most recently, Dr. Ortega achieved his lifelong dream of creating his own comic book series, The Accords (www.theaccordscomicbook.com). The Accords features a team of seven heroes who are in and allies of the LGBTQI+ population, making it a truly inclusive comic book. It is based in modern-day America and incorporates spiritual themes into the super-heroics.
Category: Self-Help, Spiritual, Metaphysics
Georgia Brask was born in 1994 and spent the first ten years of her life in London before relocating to Denmark with her family in 2005. Having a Danish father and Scottish mother resulted in her and her younger brother being bilingual and growing up happily immersed in both cultures.
After suffering a catastrophic breakdown in 2011, Georgia was hospitalised for seven months and eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. During the slow process of recovery, she created her blog (initially in Danish, later in English). What began as a ‘safe’ way to express herself and share her personal perspective of the illness grew into something that has helped many people in the same situation. Her writing was picked up by a Danish publisher and resulted in her book, ‘Georgias Stemme(r)’ being released in 2018. The book has had great success in Denmark and received widespread praise from the media, sufferers, carers and professionals in the psychiatric field.
Georgia’s new English-language book, ‘Voices Off’, is the result of her wish to reach a wider audience and to continue her open and helpful dialogue about schizophrenia. Moving away from her original blog format, she has now written a more comprehensive account of her struggles with this terrible illness (through breakdown, diagnosis and ongoing recovery) which she hopes will benefit those with mental illness and the people who care for them. It is a candid, moving, funny and educational read.
Having had her life smashed to pieces by psychosis, she’s learned to pick up the shards and carefully put them back together again. Had it not been for the unconditional love of her family and friends, combined with modern medicine and psychiatric support, she would not have come so far in her recovery. When Georgia is not writing, she enjoys drawing, painting and doing ceramics with her wonderful Danish grandfather.
Georgia is so grateful to have the privilege of sharing her story and hopes you will enjoy reading it as much as she has enjoyed writing it.
Category: Memoir, Mental Health, Non-Fiction
Iain Lauchlan has been involved in the entertainment business for 44 years during which time he has had extensive experience as an actor, director, writer and producer.
As an actor he worked on many dramas and TV series such as Plays for Today, The Camerons, Kings Royal, Hannay, and Taggart but also presented on BBC Playschool for 8 years, the very successful Fingermouse series for BBC, BBC Playdays, Storytime and Fun Song Factory.
His writing partnership with Will Brenton spanned 17 years and produced a number of successful programmes, the most successful of these being Playdays for BBC, Fun Song Factory for Universal and ITV, the Tweenies, Boo and BB3B for BBC. Iain and Will ran the very successful Tell-Tale productions and Wish Films and are Bafta TV award winners and TV Society award winners.
Iain was series producer and script editor on the very successful Bafta winning children’s series Tweenies, Producer on Boo and BB3B, Fun Song Factory and Jim Jam and Sunny for ITV and was responsible for delivering top quality programmes such as Wibbly Pig.
Iain also directed all of the live theatre and arena shows that the partnership wrote. These included Playdays live, Tweenies Live, Thomas the Tank engine, Noddy, Bob the Builder, Cbeebies Live. Also, Bratz and Zig Zag Live for Portugal.
Iain still performs on stage and has written directed and played Dame in the Coventry Belgrade panto for the last 30 years. He has also written and directed six years of Santa shows at the Belgrade Theatre to introduce the pre-schoolers to live theatre.
Iain continues to create, develop and write for new ideas and projects but on a freelance basis.
Over the last few years he has set up his own Internet TV platform for children called Cheeky Chimps TV, which offers a range of high quality programmes for the preschool age range. They include Read me a Story, Make-it, Fun Songs to Sing, Silly Science and Magic in the Jungle. Iain also runs his own TV studio called Sugarswell Studios in which he creates internet and TV programmes for own channel and third parties.
Category: Children's Fiction, Mental Health, Change, Loneliness
Sam Emony is a jazz promoter who has longed to write novels for 40+ years. He studied English and Drama and began writing in his teens. Sam built and managed his own software business and ran a live music venue in South Manchester for almost 20 years.
When opening LPs as a child, he always read the lyrics first, and it is this love of words and phrases that power his work. The Old Familiar Places is his debut novel - inspired by a line in a song called ‘I’ll be seeing you’ (https://vimeo.com/378848590). Each chapter is a song title and Sam's love of jazz runs throughout the novel.
Born in Bristol, Sam now lives in Ramsbottom, Lancashire and is the proud father of four. He has run dementia & Parkinson’s-friendly choirs in recent years and also founded and led a huge private community centre for 17 years called The Cinnamon Club in Altrincham, which attracted 1,000 visitors every week, and which he sold in 2020 in order to become a writer.
Category: Fiction, Coming Of Age, Romance
John Brackenbury is a retired university teacher who lives in Cambridge. He spent more than 40 years teaching and doing research, primarily in the University of Cambridge after obtaining his doctorate there in 1974. His subject was pre-clinical Veterinary Science and was originally educated as a zoologist. Over the last 35 or so years John also acquired professional qualifications in photography. Photography became an important tool in his research and eventually took on a life of its own, especially after he had retired from university life. His qualifications include: B.Sc., Ph.D. University Teacher, 1977-2015; Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge; Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (FRPS); Fellow of the British Institute of Professional Photography (FBIPP); Accredited Senior Imaging Scientist of the Royal Photographic Society (ASIS).
Category: Nature, Photography, Non Fiction
Dr James Espey OBE has spent more than 50 years in business and marketing, mostly in the liquor industry. He was personally responsible for the launch of Malibu, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Chivas Regal 18, as well as for the building of Baileys in its formative years. In June 2013 he was awarded an OBE for Services to the Whisky Industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He published his first book, Make Your Mark in the Workplace, in 2014.
Category: Business, Self-Help, Personal Development, Careers, Leadership, Small Business, Start-Up, Entrepreneurship, Branding, Marketing
Caryn Jeanne Carruthers is a food lover and artist of many mediums. Her passion for healthy eating and her love of cooking started young and flourished when faced with food allergies and sensitivities. She believes food is love and shares her recipes and creations in that spirit. Caryn authors the blog tastynfree.com where she shares her photography, recipes and thoughts on gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free food. Smorgasbowl is Caryn’s first book where she has enjoyed the challenge of creating the book in its entirety, including the photography, cooking, styling, recipe creation, book design and writing. She was born and raised in Colorado and currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, two kids and two dogs.
Category: Cookbook, Health, Non-Fiction
Jim Chambers is originally from Derby in the East Midlands, the eldest of three born to Dick and Barbara Chambers. His working-class roots have been a source of pride, his father an enduring point of reference, the person he has most admired in life. But the life of a butcher was not for him! Instead, he followed a developing interest in business, subsequently enjoying a career in and around the education market. Now with more time on his hands he follows his twin passions of walking and writing, self-publishing a novel, Paradigm Shift, in 2013 which foretold the Brexit outcome years before any referendum. The Hope Affair was published in April 2021 and his latest novel, Urban Scarecrows, published in May 2022.
He is a family man having been married to Barbara for forty-five years. He has four grown up children: Nicola, Andrew, Christopher, and Elizabeth and, at last count, four grandchildren.
Category: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers, Politics
Elisabeth Krauel was born in 2001 as the youngest of four children in a bicultural Anglo-German family. She grew up in a village near Munich where she completed her A-Levels (Abitur) at the local grammar school in 2018. From a young age she expressed an interest in reading, which was further inspired by her German grandmother who was a collector of antiquarian children's books, and her English grandfather who ran a bookshop in London. One of her early memories is sitting surrounded by shelves of books in her grandfather’s tiny shop in a Harry Potter-esque Arcade near Trafalgar Square.
As a teenager, she was a part of the local youth group of the voluntary fire brigade. After school she spent a year working in local hospitals as a nursing intern, assisting in the ambulance service on emergency call-outs, and working as an English teacher for 3 months in Bolivia. In 2019, she enrolled at the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, to study medicine and is now in her sixth semester of her studies.
Having first expressed an interest in creative writing in sixth form, where she participated in poetry slams, she then completed her debut novel, Forgive or Forget, at the age of 20 during the height of the Corona lockdown. Forgive or Forget reached the Finalist stage of the 2021 Page Turner Awards.
Elisabeth loves languages and travel. Several summers were spent in France with school exchange partners and she taught herself Spanish on an App so that she could find a temporary job after school in South America.
Her hobbies include dance (ballet/modern), Taekwondo, and playing the piano. She also works as a volunteer for the international children’s charity Mary’s Meals. This school-feeding charity works in 20 of the poorest countries of the world and Elisabeth helps as a translator and at fundraising events. Above all she enjoys spending her free time with friends and family.
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction, Crossover YA
Abi Oliver has spent much of her life in the Thames Valley. She studied at Oxford and London Universities, has worked for a charity, on Indian Railways, as a nurse and as a writer. She has also raised four children and lives in Purley-on-Thames. This is her second novel - her first, A New Map Of Love, released in 2018.
Category: Women's Fiction
Having graduated at Bath Academy of Art, Graeme Puckett worked at Butlin's for a season as a portrait artist, where an estimated one in ten customers asked for a refund when their money ran low by the end of the week. He subsequently worked as a freelance illustrator and corporate caricaturist for 25 years. Graeme's work frequently appeared in TV Times, Woman's Realm, Knave, Fiesta and the like, and frequently had to be altered because of art directors who knew better.
In the 1990s, Graeme changed course, when he and his partner Ann started swing dancing and discovered they were good at it. After 18 months they became UK champions and went on to win many more national swing dance awards. As Hoppin' Mad, they've continued teaching and performing Lindy Hop all over the world, and run regular weekly classes in Bath and Bristol. They were the dance consultants for the film 'Chicken Run', which they watch every Christmas to see their names in the closing credits. Graeme and Ann have appeared swing dancing on numerous television shows, most recently the Netflix award-winning series Sex Education.
During the pandemic lockdown, when partner dancing ground to a halt, Graeme kept in touch with his friends by writing to them. By the third or fourth letters, reading between the lines he wasn't receiving, he started to suspect his friends were getting irritated by the obligation to reply. To salvage what friendships he had left, he just started writing for himself.
Which Would You Rather? is the result...
Graeme lives in Bath with his partner Ann and their two children, Badger and Little Bear, who, like Graeme, are both short-haired domestics. If ever you are in Bath or Bristol, Graeme and Ann would love to see you at their swing dance classes.
Category: Adult Fiction, Comedy
Previously a falconer, consultant and writer-presenter of CITV's Wild World, JC Clarke is now loving the writer's life and is also a script consultant and copywriter. She's been involved in falconry and conservation industries for over twenty years and is passionate about protecting wildlife. An alumna of the Curtis Brown Creative Writing for Children Course, Jo was shortlisted for Best Opening Chapter for Spellboda at the 2019 Jericho Writers Festival of Writing. She lives in Ashford, Kent with her family - and a large number of animals!
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Wildlife
Kathryn Pana is a single mum of two boys, originally from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, but now lives in a small town in Lancashire. As well as writing, Kathryn loves everything creative, especially cross stitching; she owns a small arts and crafts business which she runs from the local indoor market. She loves to watch sports, including Formula One and football. She also loves to travel and explore cultural places; she lived in Greece for five years and also worked in the US for a summer season. Kathryn recently graduated from the Open University, completing her degree in Humanities. She has also had a few opportunities to teach creative writing in schools and wants to do more of these workshops in the future.
Category: Adult Fiction, Thriller
Abi Appleby was born and raised in Southampton with her parents and two sisters. Abi has struggled with Generalised Anxiety Disorder since her early teenage years and alongside this has struggled with a difficult relationship with food for a long period of time. Abi is predominantly a keen linguist and studied French and Italian at the University of Exeter from 2016. Abi’s time at university saw the blossoming of some very close friendships and remains a positive experience which Abi remembers fondly. Nonetheless her symptoms worsened at University and she consequently spent five months receiving intensive treatment for anorexia nervosa at the Priory Hospital in Bristol. This is something Abi is very open about on social media because she wishes for nobody who struggles with an eating disorder to feel like they are going through it alone. Abi also enjoys fundraising for Beat as she feels she owes a lot to the charity, and has organised bake sales and sold art to raise money and awareness. Upon her discharge, Abi wrote Me, Myself and Ana using the harrowing journal she kept throughout her journey with her anorexia nervosa. She hopes that by sharing it, she can educate the public about what it’s like to struggle with an eating disorder, whilst offering hope to other sufferers. Since being discharged, Abi has began working as an Occupational Therapy Assistant for a Community Mental Health Team and is looking forward to studying a Masters in October 2022.
Category: Memoir, Health
Natalia Pastukhova was born in Saint Petersburg on the day it reacquired that name. She read English and Italian at university before joining the Russian security services and working abroad.
She enjoys archery, writing, playing the violin badly and spending most of her time in England.
Category: General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Rich Gough is a Primary School Teacher based in London. Teaching from Reception to Year 6 over the last 5 years, he has seen a huge increase in children suffering with mental health challenges. Having had his own challenges in the past, his aim is to help children understand and combat these feelings.
Category: Children's Fiction, Mental Health, Anxiety
Keith Naylor has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety for many years. He believes the many traumas, incidences and experiences during his life contributed to his mental illnesses. Keith describes his book as “A simple journey of self-discovery” in which he exposes his life to you the reader.
Keith was born with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip, which means the hip joint of a new-born baby is dislocated or prone to dislocation. His hip and right leg were in a plaster cast for the first two to three years of his life. Keith’s right leg is shorter and thinner than his left leg. The associated pain that comes with this deformity, that relates to his skeletal imbalance, has been with him on and off all his life. However, this has not stopped Keith from being involved in many sports and outdoor activities throughout his life. He has trophies for playing competition squash and volleyball.
He was bullied during his school years and left without formal qualifications, but as a mature student he attained an Associate Diploma in Horticulture, a Diploma in Horticulture and a Bachelors Degree in Horticultural Science.
When he left school, Keith already had two jobs delivering morning papers and working on a local farm. He went straight into fulltime work on the farm as a general farm labourer. This job was followed by an apprenticeship as a carpenter, glazier and decorator, a short stint in the Royal Air Force and then his favourite job as a zoo keeper. Keith always had a variety of pets, enjoyed horse riding and was involved with farm animals, so being a zoo keeper was an ideal job for him. This fulfilled his interest in nature.
Just before his 18th birthday, in 1971, Keith moved to Australia as part of a migration scheme known as the British Boys Movement. He went from sheep-shearing to banking. In his 20s, he spent three years working in Papua New Guinea and considers that period of time to be one of the best times of his life.
After a tumultuous few years involving 19 years of marriage, the loss of his mother, and harassment in the workplace, Keith has returned to his roots, living in the Lincolnshire fens again and enjoying his passion for nature and animals, as well as spending time with this 100-year-old father.
Category: Self Help, Mental Health, Wellbeing, Biography
Originally from Salford, Greater Manchester, William spent formative years living in the Shetland Islands where his father worked on the oil terminal. The topography inspired a passion for geology that years later, William hoped to pursue while at Cambridge University. Colour-blindness proved to be an obstacle, so he switched fields and graduated with a degree in Computer Science.
A trip to Israel in his late teens to volunteer on a kibbutz proved life-changing. There he met Holocaust survivors and heard their first-hand accounts. He settled there, married, and had two children. William was seriously injured by a car whilst standing on the pavement near his home in Israel and spent months in hospital recovering. Now at a crossroads, he interviewed with spy agency Mossad, and when asked to propose a possible undercover operation, he impressed them with his powerful storytelling and imagination. The life of a writer was more to his liking than a career in spycraft.
He returned to Europe and worked as a software engineer and consultant in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, and Mallorca. He and his second wife - a native of New York City - lived for several years in the old town centre of Heidelberg, Germany, with its haunting vestiges of its Nazi past. Following a visit to the “Nazi Castle” Wewelsburg, William was inspired to apply the computer science concept of graph theory to the idea of forming associated relationships and plot points. He left the technology sector to focus on realising his dream of writing a novel.
Whilst working on his novel, he worked as a maths tutor, taught computer coding to children, volunteered to help the elderly learn basic computer skills, and became a certified mindfulness meditation coach. He now lives in London with his New York-born wife. He speaks fluent Dutch and has a working knowledge of Hebrew and German.
Category: Alternate History, Fiction, Counterfactual Fiction, Action & Adventure
Gillian Young is a full-time writer and illustrator of children’s middle-grade fiction.
One of her earliest memories was creating a newspaper that included happy stories and fun puzzles – strictly no politics. In high school, she wrote stories about her favourite pop band, including friends as characters as was requested.
Gillian’s second passion was art. Following art college, she worked as a Graphic Artist. During this time, she settled down, got married and had two children. Becoming a mother reintroduced her to the magic of children’s fiction. Every night she’d read Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny to her kids. Eventually, she had the idea of writing stories of her own.
To be an author was still her dream - that had never gone away. Snatches of time between going to work and taking care of the children were spent bent over her laptop writing - until 2015…
A battle with cancer led Gillian to re-evaluate her life. Writing was her medicine and it was because of this that she decided to ‘go for it ’ and focus on becoming an author.
Much of Gillian’s work is inspired by her golden retrievers who have achieved some fame around the world through their Instagram page (crazy.cream.retrievers). Following her previous books, Poppy on Safari, and Tammy and Willow, Gillian has appeared on radio and magazines talking both about her books and her experiences fighting and defeating the big 'C'.
Gillian lives with her family in Worcestershire.
Category: Children's Fiction, Animals, Middle Grade
Bruno Noble was born in Beirut to British parents who moved to Holland when he was six. He was sent to Oundle School in Northamptonshire and, from there, went to Southampton University via a gap-year in Aix-en-Provence where he was lucky enough to meet a young lady who is now his wife. He studied law for a year but then switched, and graduated with combined honours in philosophy and French literature. Bruno spent a year teaching English in Toulouse before moving to London where he spent six years selling advertising space in finance magazines and another six years in institutional bond sales. His final position of formal employment was as head of European client service and marketing for a fixed income asset management for whom, amongst other things, he wrote regular financial market and investment reports for 17 years. When his youngest child finished school, Bruno did what he had long wanted to do – he began writing for himself. He attended a number of creative writing courses and joined a Camden-based writers’ collective, Collier Street Fiction Group. Bruno’s first novel – A Thing of the Moment – was published in 2018 by crowd-funding publisher, Unbound. The Colletta Cassettes, published by Indie Novella, is his second novel.
Category: Adult Fiction
Cathy Gunn was a financial journalist and editor before turning to fiction. Scottish by descent, she was born in Tanzania and grew up in Nigeria, Scotland and parts of England before settling into multicultural London. 'Felix Unbound' is her first novel, completed during the pandemic. It developed in stages during her busy career as a journalist for a variety of UK national newspapers and magazines, and writing non-fiction books about what underlay some big business scandals.
A lover of art and theatre, she always said some day she’d work in arts fundraising – and finally made that leap, via the inclusive Chickenshed theatre in North London. Next stop was an iconic site in London's Shoreditch: the rediscovered remains of the first purpose-built theatre in England since Roman times, James Burbage's long-lost 16th century ‘The Theatre’ (where Shakespeare’s career first burgeoned). The site had been bought by a modern theatre company. Cathy raised funds for a viewing walkway for its visitors to see what the archaeologists from the Museum of London were unearthing there; and wrote texts about the place’s history for the on-site exhibition.
Cathy then studied an MA in the History of Ideas, also yielding treasure for fiction-writing. She experimented with short stories, while steadily rewriting and then completing ‘Felix Unbound’. She is currently developing another idea into a novella, and experimenting with writing poetry.
She mentors an arts management student per year; has two adult children, one husband, and shared life with variety of dogs and cats - including the feisty inspirer of ‘Felix Unbound’.
Category: Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Relationships, Modern Fiction
Carolyn Hobdey is The Midlife Mistress: every woman’s best friend at a time when she wants to take back control of her life. She believes that a woman's pleasures should not be ‘guilty’.
She is author of ‘All The Twats I Met Along The Way’ and its upcoming sequel, ‘De-Twat Your Life!’ as well as the self-help book, ‘Redefining SELFISH. No Guilt. No Regrets’. She is one of the international co-authors of ‘The Everyday Girls Guide to Living in Truth, Self-Love, and Acceptance’, which became an Amazon Bestseller in numerous countries. Carolyn has weekly radio slots on WCRfm for ‘Menopause Monday’ and ‘Humpday with Hobdey’.
Having lived a life of shame and blame, Carolyn now talks about ‘Twats’ in both senses of the word. On the one hand, tackling unhelpful mindsets and behaviours - and people - to enable you to live being unapologetically you. On the other, being an advocate for women’s health, with a particular specialism in the menopause and the impact on mental wellbeing from toxic relationships.
As the quirky* Founder of the transformational change business, MayDey Ltd, under which her professional portfolio sits, Carolyn is a regular writer, speaker, trainer and media commentator on issues of toxic relationships & narcissism, self-esteem, identity & confidence, selfishness, women’s health & menopause, and other imperative, topical women’s issues.
With more than 20 years spent as an award-winning Human Resources professional in some of the world’s largest employers, Carolyn earned a seat at the boardroom table leading internationally recognised brands. Along the way - as well as meeting some Twats - she gained a Masters in Lean Operations at Cardiff University where she was the first HR specialist to undertake the course and became the winner of the inaugural Sir Julian Hodge Prize for Logistics, Operations & Manufacturing.
Carolyn has a lively life in Yorkshire, England and is a keen boxer, weight-lifter, Latin & Ballroom dancer, singer and car enthusiast.
* Whilst Carolyn frequently gets called ‘quirky’, she doesn’t actually know what this means because it’s her reality. For her, it’s ‘normal’.
Category: Self-Help, Women, Health, Relationships, Menopause, Confidence
Alex Woolf is an award-winning author writing for both adults and children. His novels include Chronosphere, a time-warping science fiction trilogy, The Shakespeare Plot, a trilogy about Tudor spies, and a steampunk series, Iron Sky. His Victorian supernatural thriller Aldo Moon was one of Lovereading4kids’ books of the year. He won Fiction Express awards for two of his children’s books and was shortlisted for the Falkirk Red Book Award for his horror novel Soul Shadows. He won the Association for Science Education Book of the Year Award 2021 for his book Think Like a Scientist. He is a co-author of a ‘novel-in-emails', Work in Progress, published by Unbound. Alex lives in North London with his wife, two children and two cats, Juno and Minerva.
Category: Psychological Thriller, Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Tom Vaughan MacAulay is a solicitor and lives and works in London. His first novel, Being Simon Haines, was published in 2017 to high critical acclaim. The novel was selected as a Best Book for Summer by Alex Wade, writing in The Times, Law, while Justin Warshaw, writing in The Times Literary Supplement, described it as “a grand narrative of a young man on the cusp of the realisation of a dream.”
Edward Fennell, writing in The Times, the Brief premium, asked whether it would become “the defining novel for [Tom’s] generation about what it means to be a driven corporate lawyer.”
Category: Literary Fiction, Epistolary, Modern Fiction, Thriller/Murder Mystery
Avrora Kepler was born in Eastern Europe and was in her teens at the time when the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union disintegrated, and has retained vivid memories of life there in the nineties and late eighties. She then went on to pursue a BA on scholarship in the USA and an MSc in the UK, before entering the world of investment banking in the early years of the first decade of the twenty-first century and experienced it during its apogee of opulence, proliferation and subsequent years of deterioration. She is a qualified management accountant and speaks several languages, albeit at various levels of fluency and, for the love of mind-broadening and exploration of different perspectives, has travelled to more than 65 countries.
Category: Biographical Fiction, Science Fiction, Alternate History
After a varied life that has included working with horses for an earl, riding racehorses, running her own riding school, owning a sheep farm and running a holiday business in France, Fil now lives on a widebeam canal boat on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
She has a long-suffering husband, five children and six grandchildren, a rescue dog from Romania and a cat she found as a kitten abandoned in a gorse bush.
Fil’s obsessions include horses and King Arthur. She writes historical romantic fiction based on Arthurian legend and has won the Dragonblade Publishing Historical Romance competition in the US.
Category: Fiction, Medieval Fiction, Historical Romance
Doctors told Brigid Sheehan that she had clinical depression when she was 18 years old; however, when looking back, she realises that the condition may have been affecting her long before she received the diagnosis. Me and My Bipolar details what it felt like to go through all of life’s stages – childhood, university, work and building a family – as someone with bipolar. She shows “the utter misery of depression and out-of-control vulnerability of mania” she has faced, but she has written about her experiences with palpable hope and, at times, a sense of humour.
She says, “I have chosen to tell the story of my lifelong experience as a bipolar sufferer because I think another person's lived experience can help access knowledge, although no two situations are the same... Bipolar has not become a friend, but I have simply got to know it better and found the means to cope.” Brigid also hopes to be a source of strength and inspiration for anyone suffering from bipolar or ill mental health.
Brigid wrote her book during a Covid lockdown and retirement from a long career in social work that coincided. She lives in a peaceful semi rural setting in Southern England with her partner. They have two young men in their twenties.
Category: Mental Health, Self-Help, Non-Fiction
Alice Tayler grew up in Minnesota and owns a small business just north of Minneapolis. More importantly, she is a proud and caring mother, grandmother, and wife. While growing up in a family that was plagued by mental illness, Alice was subjected to years of emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and later in life, sexual abuse. Alice sought love and nurturing through illness – self-inflicted illness.
As an adult, the narcissistic control of Alice’s mother continued, as did Alice’s pattern of abusive relationships.
Now, as an influential and productive member of her small community, she has hidden the secrets of her illness that have clouded her mind since childhood.
In an effort to reach out and open the door to mental health awareness that has only been open a crack for too long; to find her voice and to help others find their voice; to further break the stigmas that chain those that suffer into submission and keep them from reaching out for help; Alice has made the decision to speak up, speak out, and speak louder than words.
I am Alice Tayler. I have Munchausen Syndrome. I have Factitious Disorder. This is my story.
Category: Mental Health, Self-Help, Non-Fiction
Abiola Bello is an award-winning middle grade and YA author, and founder of The Lil’ Author Skool. She is Nigerian and was born and raised in London (Stoke Newington) where she still lives and works.
Abiola wrote her first novel at the age of eight - she fought monsters and dragons on a daily basis – and experienced her first taste of ‘being published’ after winning a school poetry competition at the age of 12. Seeing her words in print fuelled a passion for writing that remains to this day.
Abiola Bello first began writing the Emily Knight saga shortly afterwards (still only 12 years old!) with the intention of filling the gaping hole in children’s fiction for an inspirational, strong, black female, young protagonist. This gap remains in the publishing world despite continued calls for more diversity and inclusion. The three Emily Knight books have been internationally recognised through rave reviews and critical acclaim, including a CILIP Carnegie Medal nomination, The People’s Book Prize (finalist) and London’s BIG Read (winner).
Her latest book is the anthology, A Very Merry Murder Club, published by Farshore – a number one bestseller. In November 2022, her YA rom-com Love in Winter Wonderland will be released – this exciting title secured her a six-figure deal for three books with Simon & Schuster.
Category: Anthology, Young Adults, Children, Teens
“Author A” is a successful businessman, loving father and victim of parental alienation who lives in the UK. The author has worked with a ghost writer to validate his story. The characters have been anonymised to both protect their privacy and lift the veil on the inner workings of the family court, which the author believes is in the public interest of protecting children from harm.
Category: Non-Fiction, Parenting, Family, Relationships, Mental Health, Self-Help
It's not surprising that Sue's writing draws upon the nature of the sea. Her father was a sea captain. She fondly remembers him telling stories of far away places, and mysterious and unfathomable events which he witnessed at sea. These stories captured her imagination, fostering a restless spirit, and desire for adventure.
In her youth, having studied dramatic art, she joined a touring theatre group. It was based at Chester Arts Centre. It was called 'The A la Carte Theatre Group', and toured many venues across Cheshire as well as performances in the studio theatre itself. Following this she still had itchy feet and decided to explore different countries and ways of life. With her partner she trekked overland on a hazardous journey through the Middle East eventually entering India. She made her way to Badrinath in the high Himalayas where she found herself for sometime contemplating the esoteric!
On her return to the UK she felt more settled and content, ready to take on a career and marriage. She taught in Manchester for 4 years and then moved to the Isle of Man. She taught all age groups. In secondary school she taught Theatre Studies, English and English Literature. She also taught in primary schools. She also has skills in teaching a variety of Special Needs and in her final years of teaching was in charge of an Inclusive Learning Unit.
She was lured to the Isle of Man by its beauty, Celtic culture and the ever transforming landscape of the sea. It has been a perfect place to work and raise a family. Sue's passion is to spend time looking out for whales and dolphins which frequent its shores. She is a vegetarian and loves to cook exotic foods. She enjoys walking and crafts and is a member of Mannin Quilters!
The Island and Island life is the inspiration for her debut novel 'The Blue Man.'
Category: Science Fiction, Alien Contact
G. Donald Cribbs has written and published poetry and short stories since high school. Donald is a graduate of Messiah College in English and Education and holds a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He is also a licensed professional counselor.
He and his wife and four boys reside in central Pennsylvania where the author is hard at work on his next book, the sequel to his debut novel, THE PACKING HOUSE.
Having lived and traveled abroad in England, France, Belgium, Germany, China and Thailand (you can guess where he lived and where he visited), the author loves languages and how they connect us all. Coffee and Nutella are a close second.
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction
Jo Simpson was born in Essex but was raised primarily in the West Country, enjoying a childhood in Devon and Cornwall, never far from a rugged coastline, sandy beach, or harbour.
Further education in the west country had limited choices, so she bucked the trend of going to secretarial college and opted for a course further away at Exeter college: building & civil engineering. Jo was the only female on her course.
Jo obtained a degree in Building Surveying from the University of Greenwich and then went on to specialise in research in construction and development, gaining her PhD in 2001. Jo still runs a successful research consultancy and writes her novels in every spare moment she has.
She lives in Kent, with her two (occasionally stroppy) teenage daughters, her extremely long suffering husband and her two writing partners Max (who features as Brock in the series) and Merlin, both rescue Border Collies.
Jo’s debut novels are the Castleby series, comprising of five books set in a coastal community and largely inspired by the time she's spent in and around the UK’s coastline, and the never-ending visits to RNLI shops that her children insisted on regularly! The series seemed a natural progression and the fictional seaside town of Castleby grew with new people and new plotlines. The debut novel in the Castleby series is Sea State, out December 2021, the second is Sea Change, due for release in March 2022.
Jo is planning a new series set in the Scottish highlands, the first of which will hopefully publish in early 2023.
In what little spare time Jo has, she spends writing, walking by the ocean, being an armchair movie critic, and drinking copious amounts of wine in her most favourite pub with friends.
Category: Drama, Suspense, Thriller, Women's Fiction
Sarah lives in Yorkshire and used to be a Criminologist until she fell in love with writing and quickly swapped a life with crime for a life with rhyme! She is married with three awesome kids who keep her on her toes whilst she is plotting and sharing her latest stories.
Sarah has self-published two picture books. 'The King and the Cockerel' was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards in 2018 and 'Molly's Magic Brolly' picked up a Silver Award in 2019. She is currently working on a number of middle grade and children's picture books and has a couple of book club novels up her sleeve too. When she is not writing, she loves nothing more than to run, bike or swim in the hills of Holmfirth and recently entered her first Triathlon. Next New Year's Eve, she will not be making any sports related resolutions...
Sarah is an active SCBWI Member and a Volunteer Ambassador for Candlelighters Charity.
Category: Middle Grade, Children's, Fantasy
Garry Mansell is a graduate in Applied Chemistry from the University of Hertfordshire. But following a number of research roles in the fields of pharmaceuticals, water quality and food analysis he joined Mars, Incorporated where his career switched to procurement and supply chain management. This resulted in 1992 to him leading the European buying teams of Mars for transportation and warehousing. During this period, he led the development of online purchasing in Mars which resulted in him, in 1999, becoming the Unit General Manager of the start-up business Freight Traders. After its successful growth to become one of the largest online freight exchanges in Europe, in 2006 he left to become a significant shareholder, a de facto founder, and CEO of Trade Extensions, a Swedish start-up that was creating the market for sourcing optimisation.
Under his guidance Trade Extensions led the way in developing the market for advanced sourcing software. Providing software to the world’s largest companies including P&G, IKEA, Walmart, Unilever, Mars, Diageo and BP amongst many others. In 2017 he initiated and led the sale of Trade Extensions to Coupa Software, a Silicon Valley ‘unicorn’ in a multi- million dollar deal.
Since, he has been working as a non-executive director, board advisor, public speaker, author and investor in several start-up and medium sized businesses in fields as diverse as animal food supplements, digital marketing, health and artificial intelligence.
His first book, ‘Simplify to Succeed’ is due to be published in March 2022 by Brown Dog Publishing. It is a distillation of his forty years’ experience in industry and is aimed at fellow entrepreneurs and early-stage growth companies.
He now focuses on entrepreneurship and helping others build and grow their own businesses. He is especially interested in developing younger entrepreneurs and helping them become successful using rapid decision making and problem-solving techniques.
A Chartered Fellow and Global Board member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), he is also the former President of both the British and the European Shippers councils.
Category: Business, Leadership, Start-Up, SME, Entrepreneurship
Tor Eigeland is an internationally recognised photojournalist. Norwegian born, Tor has had a long and distinguished career contributing to such prestigious publications as Time, Newsweek, Fortune, The New York Times, Rutas del Mundo, Aftenposten, Aramco World Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, as well as ten projects for the National Geographic Society’s Special Publications. He is both a photographer and a writer.
Educated at Oslo’s prestigious School of Commerce, at McGill University in Montreal and the University of the Americas in Mexico, Tor then studied at the University of Miami’s School of Photojournalism under Wilson Hicks, renowned former Picture and then Executive Editor of LIFE Magazine – the magazine of the day, along with National Geographic. Tor has lived in many countries including Mexico, Spain and the Middle East, and speaks several languages, including some Arabic. He feels particularly at home in the Middle East and Hispanic worlds.
Modest about his achievements, and having been frequently away on assignments, Tor has rarely exhibited his work. However, in 2013 he was invited by the Kon Tiki Museum in Oslo to show his photos from his time spend with the Marsh Arabs of Iraq, having visited shortly after the British explorer Wilfred Thesiger. Tor’s unique photos of a lost civilisation, taken for a Time-Life book half a century before the marshes were destroyed by Saddam Hussein, were published in 2014 in his photo essay ‘When all the Lands were Sea’.
Tor is also known for his photos of Fidel Castro, triumphant in Cuba, after the revolution in 1959.
Tor now lives in southwest England where he has been working on his memoirs, a lookback at his very full life. Titled ‘Stuff Happens – The Far from Humdrum Life of a Photojournalist’ it is illustrated with over 250 photos from across the world and will be published in spring 2022.
Category: Memoir, Photography, History, Journalism, Travel
Ross Patrick was born in the Scottish enclave of Corby in the English East Midlands. When the Steel Works started shedding jobs he moved with his family to rural Leicestershire. Introverted, Ross drifted through a grey school of tired buildings and lingering temporary classrooms to provincial universities at Leicester and then Norwich, the University of East Anglia, where he studied Literature, having previously studied History. He then “lost a decade” working in wine retail and education before a breakdown and suicide attempt in 2014. Ross learnt that people’s sympathy for mental illness is often more generous in theory than in deed. During a housebound recovery from depression and PTSD, initially as catharsis, he began writing more seriously.
Ross lives quietly in a house by a stream back in the English East Midlands with his cat, Graham. He admits to disliking numbers, though this could be a reaction to his dad’s work in accounting: Life isn’t to be measured but to be experienced, though he says he’s mostly experienced his vicariously. He finds distraction in long walks, studying the philosophy of consciousness and the hope that we are all one dream experiencing itself subjectively from infinite disassociated perspectives. Otherwise, Ross says he suffers persistent disappointments of following Nottingham Forest, and the joyous feelgood escapism of following Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild. He enjoys both cooking and eating Italian food, an inheritance from his mother’s family. He is also vegetarian; Graham the cat is not. Ross believes in the collective whilst Graham is frustratingly individualistic – these differences continue to bring some small amount of tension to their otherwise companionable existence.
Category: Speculative, Dystopian Fiction
Amy Clennell is 41 years old. She was born with the condition cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user with additional hidden disabilities including dysarthria, dyscalculia, perseveration and severe dyspraxia with its associated anxiety problems. Amy is also partially sighted (visual atrophy). As a result, Amy cannot see to read and is unable to use her hands for Braille, typing or writing. She often needs other people to act as her eyes and hands. “Although I am obviously somewhat restricted by my condition it does not define who I am,” says Amy. In 2007, after graduating from Coventry University with a BA Hons in Theatre and Professional Practice, she undertook voluntary employment with Anjali Dance Co. delivering drama workshops for their members who were adults with learning difficulties. Then spent two years volunteerting for Warwickshire County Council with adults with learning difficulties. Amy has produced, written and directed shows that have been on tour, and funded by the likes of Warwickshire Social Services Arts Fund.
In 2013 Amy enrolled on a creative writing course and self-published her first book the following year. Since then, a number of her poems and a short story have been published. Her hobbies and interests include singing as a member of two singing/music groups, listening to plays and books and music, visiting the theatre and cinema, dining out, visiting historical properties and gardens and collecting anything Cinderella-related. Amy lives with her parents in a small Warwickshire village.
Morven-May MacCallum is the debut author of Finding Joy, a novel about a family's fight against Lyme disease, this insightful and powerful novel is inspired by Morven-May's own 16 year battle with Lyme disease.
After undergoing over a decade of treatment, Morven-May continues to battle her symptoms whilst trying to raise awareness for Lyme disease.
Her awareness work has taken her across the country to give talks about her work in schools, literary events, universities, on Tv, radio and the Scottish Parliament. With the sequel to Finding Joy in the process of publication... we can't wait to see where her Morven-May and her character's story take us next.
Category: Fiction, Health
Jason Wegner is currently a university student at the University of Lethbridge, working towards becoming an English Language Arts Teacher. His writing experience includes participating in 14 major writing courses at the University of Lethbridge and producing dozens of undergraduate essays.
Jason was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder in late August of 2017. After a year and a half of recovering from his manic episode, he began writing his memoir about the experience, which he has called Manic Man: How to Live Successfully with a Severe Mental Illness. Jason also launched his speaking career in 2019 and has been a keynote speaker on five separate occasions, one of which was to a crowd of 250 people.
Jason’s psychologist and co-author, Dr. Kerry Bernes, has a Bachelor of Education degree, a Master of Science, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology from the University of Calgary. Dr. Bernes is a registered psychologist, member of various associations in the field of psychology, and has experience as a Teacher, Sessional Instructor, Associate Professor, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in Education, Assistant Professor and has been a Full Professor at the University of Lethbridge since July 2012.
Category: Non-Fiction, Mental Health, Psychology, Self-Help
Dr Tim Howard is a doctor, a fourth generation GP. His whole life has been about caring for patients. Tim trained at one of the best London hospitals, and worked in an academic department there, doing clever high-tech medicine, but realised that his real calling was in the homes and lives of patients in the community, providing long term care.
It was only when he realised that some – lots – of medicine wasn’t as good as he thought it was that he became involved in standards and regulation, trying to improve the system. Tim spent the latter part of his career as chariman of the tribunal service that judges doctors who are accused of failing, thereby setting the standards for all UK doctors.
It is this that has led him to question some of the standards of present day medicine, and to explore how and why the NHS is in the state that it now is.
Category: Medical Fiction, Medical Thriller, Adult Fiction
Sasha Greene has always been a writer; when she was a small child she wrote and illustrated stories with characters such as witches and talking houses. At the age of fifteen she completed a historical murder mystery romance but as it wasn’t very good she became discouraged and turned herself to other hobbies. It took her another fifteen years to take up her pen again, spurred into action by reading a really badly-written book and thinking surely she could do better than that.
Sasha now specialises in writing fiction about difficult topics in an accessible and uplifting way. Something Like Happy is a heart-warming novel of friendship and found family that also touches on mental health and suicide. Trust is a romantic novel that takes a look at the issues surrounding workplace harassment and PTSD.
Sasha now lives in Glasgow and works as a programmer writing code. She spends her free time crafting novels, going walking in the hills and teaching adaptive snowboarding, which involves passing on her love of snow and going fast down a hill to people with physical and mental challenges. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Category: Romance, Fiction
Graham Whitlock is a writer and local instigator who is hopelessly in love with London. He edited the Dev and Olli children’s books by Shweta Aggarwal and his critically acclaimed writing for the stage includes adapting the Shane Meadows film 24/7 and the Ealing Studios comedy Passport to Pimlico, the UKs first immersive musical.
Graham is proud to have helped found and run award-winning charity DreamArts transforming young lives fusing arts and therapy and feels lucky to work with thousands of young people living in some of the most deprived parts of London, helping them share their stories, express themselves and achieve their potential.
Category: Teen, Action & Adventure, History
Alex Fisher grew up in Cambridgeshire with his parents and two sisters, and still lives there today. Alex says, "Despite the obvious beauty of the flat fields and ongoing horizon there is not much to do, and you need to be able to drive to get anywhere. My active imagination extended beyond childhood, although now I exchange action figures for blank sheets of paper and a keyboard."
Alex started writing when he was 11, continuing throughout secondary school and developing his creativity so that by the time he was 18 he already had a trilogy under his belt. After finishing secondary school with good grades, Alex went to sixth form to study History, Religious Studies, Classical Civilisation and English Literature. These academic studies were not to his taste however, there were far too many essays for his liking so, once he’d completed sixth form with good grades, he got an apprenticeship in bricklaying and qualified two years later.
Alex has learned many things whilst on the trowel and honed his skills these past few years so that he can build houses of a quality standard. He also has some experience in other trades too such as plastering, tiling, groundworks and drainage, but bricklaying is his main area of expertise. This, as well as creative writing. After an idea had been planted, he began writing Seadogs and Criminals when he was 18, making sure to at least write for an hour a night after work. Toward the end of the book though, this turned into three and a half hours a night and became an obsession. It was a thrill to write, absorbing him into the story so much so that he became lost in the pages with the characters. It was a mixture of sadness and exaltation to finish the book and now, after years of proof-reading and editing, he managed to self-publish Seadogs and Criminals into a series of two books, the second of which was published in August. Even though this is the end of a chapter, he somehow feels that this is not the end of the book. There is more to come, and he is excited to discover where his journey leads next.
Category: Historical Fiction, Action, Adventure
Jane was born in Zambia, South-Central Africa in 1968 and has been writing fiction and poetry since the age of ten. Most of her secondary and tertiary education years were spent in the United Kingdom in the 1980s to ’90s where Jane formed many of her foundational values.
She returned to Zambia in the mid ’90s with a degree in Politics, Economics & Law and Masters in International & Commercial Law, excited to be able to participate in the development of a new Zambia that was coming to the fore, after its first multi-party elections in decades.
Before choosing to become an entrepreneur, over several years Jane worked in developmental organisations in Zambia which also gave her the opportunity to travel to various parts of the world; and her attitudes and approaches were now also influenced by these new experiences.
It was during those years that Jane became all too aware of the challenge that she now faced - of bringing together the influences from her African heritage and environment on the one hand, and the influences from her exposure to many different people and cultures of the world; and in between to find a place of balance.
Much of Jane’s non-published work has focused on discussing ways of achieving that balance and trying to influence the reform of African mindsets and indeed how others view modern-day Africans in the work place, in social interactions and in communities in general.
Jane now considers herself to be a Strategic Social Activist and felt compelled to share this particular story of the Night Flyers, her first self-published novel, with others that are as hopeful as she is of a brighter future for Africa and indeed for the entire world.
Category: Fiction, African Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Coming of Age, Young Adult
Alice Chambers has always loved little ones and went to Teacher’s Training college, after which she ran a kindergarten and taught six year olds in West London. Alice started writing children’s stories over 43 years ago, including a book called Scratch McPatch and Sniff McWhiff.
Bob the Bear's Adventures is dedicated to Alice’s husband, Bob, who wore glasses and loved wearing his waistcoats. Now Alice is a Nonna and loves being with her grandchildren Elliot and Zara. Bob the Bear was created after Alice knitted a large bear with a waistcoat and glasses for the children to play with. Bob the Bear tries to hide in Alice’s garden but is always discovered and seems to love climbing more than hiding.
Please join Bob the Bear on his hiding expeditions and see if you can find him! Maybe you can think of some fun places for Bob to hide so he doesn’t get found when playing hide and seek? He is sure to bring a smile and a giggle for both little ones and big ones when playing hide and seek.
Category: Children, Pre-School, Picture Book, Early Years
Henry Slator lives in north Cornwall with his wife of 40+ years Margaret. A part-time writer for 35+ years and more recently finding himself enjoying life as a pensioner, Henry is fascinated by nature and can be regularly found out and about with his most treasured possession - his binoculars. Getting lost in his imagination and looking for the bright side in life are hugely important to Henry, particularly since 2020 when he was diagnosed with colon cancer and had to undergo surgery and chemotherapy. Prior to that, Henry was fit and healthy. At that time, Henry had no idea that his garden pond would take centre stage in his story until walking the 130 paces to the bench on its island became a major part of his coping-with-chemo fight. Three months after his final chemo, the first draft of Conversations at the Pond was complete. The chemo nurses of The Royal Cornwall Hospital will be given copies from the first print run. As Henry writes, 'I would not have written this story, and felt mentally better because of it, if it hadn't been for their encouragement.'
Category: Fiction, Humour
Daniel Snowman is a social and cultural historian. Born in London in 1938, he was educated at Cambridge and Cornell and at 24 appointed Lecturer at the new University of Sussex. He went on to work at the BBC where, as Chief Producer (Features), he was responsible for a wide variety of radio broadcasts on cultural and historical subjects, specialising in ambitious, multi-programme projects.
A long-time member of the London Philharmonic Choir, Daniel has always had a strong and informed interest in music and musicians, his books on the Amadeus Quartet and Plácido Domingo combining close-up portraiture of the artists concerned with the broader brush of the social historian. His most recent books include a study of the cultural impact of the ‘Hitler Emigrés’, a collection of critical essays on the life and work of today's leading historians and a brief biography of Verdi. Daniel's 2009 book The Gilded Stage: A Social History of Opera has been published throughout the English-speaking world and is also available in several other languages.
Daniel has long been a regular lecturer at arts festivals, academic and cultural institutions, and since 1999 has delivered over 650 illustrated lectures for The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS). He has also led more than 50 music tours to major international venues across Europe and in the USA. In 2017 he presented a three-month course on the history of opera at the Victoria and Albert Museum to accompany their major exhibition on the subject, and has continued to lecture for the V&A on a variety of subjects over the years since.
Since 2004 Daniel has held a Senior Research Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research (University of London) where he has given lectures, organised and chaired academic and public seminars and recorded a succession of interviews with leading historians. In 2019, he was appointed a member of the Committee of the Friends of the IHR.
Category: Memoir, History
Richard Sayce, the man behind Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen, has many years of experience in the world of Indian food. To date his two Gourmand award-winning books, Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volumes 1 & 2 have sold 50,000 physical copies.
Richard lives in Cheshire, England and devotes his time to the world of Indian cuisine: cooking, learning, experimenting, and sharing knowledge. His forthcoming new book (the eagerly anticipated Curry Compendium) will be published in September 2021. To relax, Richard enjoys swimming, real ale, music, eating out, and cooking with friends.
Category: Cookbook, Recipes, British Indian Restaurant Food, Curry
Sylvie Boulay was born in Paris, France in 1951 and moved to London in 1970. She studied economics at University College London and worked for Solihull Council for 16 years. Sylvie started a counselling diploma to help a friend who was suffering from mental health problems. After she achieved her person-centred counselling diploma in 2000, Sylvie made a career change and started working with people affected by alcohol, drugs and gambling problems.
She first worked for a charity (Aquarius Action Projects) setting up a gambling service, then for the Swanswell Trust in Coventry setting up a drug and alcohol service before moving to an NHS addiction clinic where she worked as the manager.
While working, Sylvie did a second degree in addiction studies at the Leeds Addiction Unit. Sylvie also completed a diploma in counselling children and young people.
Sylvie has experience of bereavement work with adults as well as working with children who were bereaved or affected by substance misuse. She has also been in private practice.
Sylvie has been a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) since 2004.
Happily retired now for the past decade, Sylvie helps to care for her granddaughter and has dedicate the time to writing Take Charge of Your Diet.
Category: Self-Help, Mental Health, Counselling
“Business is the ultimate romantic journey, after all."
Inspired by her own upbringing on the haunting, rugged coast of Delaware, Sharon Sutila wrote The Stealing during the isolating lockdowns of 2020, creating a modern reincarnation of the classic gothic romance and a heroine fighting serious issues all too relevant today.
Much like the protagonist, Sutila fought against a gender-role bias and graduated from the University of South Florida in Engineering Technology, she became a licensed private investigator and CEO of her own successful firm, Cluso Investigation. Sutila is an industry expert in global identity fraud, a private pilot, a conference speaker, and a dedicated breaker of barriers for women. Expected to write a business book (for Forbes Books) Sharon continues to push the boundaries in this incredible novel.
Category: Modern Gothic Romance, Paranormal, Coming of Age Romance
Angela Cobbin’s parents wanted a different life for their daughter—after an unpredictable lifestyle as dancers and performers themselves—encouraging a career in hairdressing instead of the ‘business of show’. But the creative gene cannot be quelled, and Angela soon became intrigued by the art of wig-making and the history of hairstyling. After swapping scissors for antiques, fate played its part, when Angela discovered a dusty, old book of wigs and hairstyles from the 18th century. After years of uncertainty, she was certain of her purpose in life. Angela secured a job in a London theatre, taking her on a new and exciting path to becoming the go-to wig designer in theatreland and Broadway; creating wigs for Spitting Image, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, The Graduate, Witches of Eastwick, Jesus Christ Superstar, La Boheme and Mary Poppins to name a few; at institutions such as Madame Tussauds in London and Amsterdam, The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and The Royal National Theatre on more than 100 shows; touring the world; and working alongside many of the biggest names in acting including Joan Collins, Celia Imrie, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.
Category: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Theatre, Drama, Hairdressing, Fashion, Celebrity
Eleanor Dixon’s school life was spent in a girls’ boarding-school specialising in classical ballet and on leaving she danced professionally, touring Europe, for four years. After that she ran her own ballet school in Athens, Greece and simultaneously volunteered as a veterinary nurse, as her love of animals is the driving force in her life. Eleanor returned to England with her horse and cat, and now lives on a smallholding in Shropshire with various farm animals and a constant stream of pets.
Eleanor started writing while in Greece and completed a Creative Writing Course with the Writers’ Bureau. The same year, she won an annual competition in the Writing Magazine for an adult Fairy Story.
On her return to England, she wrote two children’s books, but her new life, caring for Highland Cattle, sheep, hens and pets, coupled with extensive global travel, meant that writing for publication took a back seat. She continued her love of writing with a daily journal and amusing travel blogs of each trip.
She is now writing full time and Tally and the Angel, Book One India, is the first of a planned series. Their next adventure takes place in Canada, in North Yukon and the third in Japan. Eleanor intends them to have adventures in Greece, Egypt, Peru, Africa – anywhere she has been, really.
Her first published novel, The Graceful Ghost, draws on my own experiences in ballet-boarding-school and her early teenage life and is a story that has lived with her for many years. It was shortlisted for the UK Selfies Award 2021.
Category: Travel Fiction, Children's, Middle Grade, Fantasy Fiction
Cyril Tomkins is Emeritus Professor of Business Finance at the University of Bath where he was Head of the School of Management for six years and afterwards a Pro-Vice-Chancellor for three years.
During his career his research led to over 120 publications, including 12 books, several Government reports, and numerous refereed journal articles on accounting and financial management. Apart from his own personal writing and research, he has undertaken research for H.M. Treasury, H.M. Customs & Excise, The Welsh Council, The Confederation of British Industry, The Royal Commission for the Distribution of Income and Wealth, The Equipment Leasing Association, The Society of British Aerospace Companies, several leading accounting Institutes and conducted work sponsored by a Regional Health Authority, local authority, S.S.R.C., E.S.R.C. and EPSRC.
Cyril lives in Wiltshire.
Category: Philosophy, Non-Fiction
FJ Campbell was born in Lytham and moved around a lot when she was younger, from the north to Kent and then the West Country. After school she was an au pair in Paris and that was the only job she was ever sacked from. FJ went to Manchester University and afterwards lived in London for nine years, Munich for 11 years, Zurich for two years and has now settled in St Albans – no more moving. She is married with two children and still plays hockey in exactly the same way she always has – badly and for fun.
FJ started writing in 2014 and has written three novels: No Number Nine, The Islanders and Enjoy the Silence (the latter both YA novels).
Category: Adult Fiction, Women's Fiction
Carolyn Hobdey is the author of ‘All The Twats I Met Along The Way’ and founder of the Redefining SELFISH community. She lived a life of shame and blame so is now passionate about pioneering new ways of thinking to ensure we live without guilt and regrets. As CEO of MayDey Ltd, Carolyn is a regular speaker and media commentator on issues of toxic relationships, self-esteem, women’s health (including the menopause), selfishness, narcissism and many other imperative, topical women’s issues.
With over 20 years spent as an award-winning Human Resources professional in some of the world’s largest employers, Carolyn earned a seat at the boardroom table leading internationally recognisable brands. En route, she gained a Masters in Lean Operations at Cardiff University where she was the first HR specialist to undertake the course and became the winner of the inaugural Sir Julian Hodge Prize for Logistics, Operations & Manufacturing.
Carolyn lives in Harrogate and enjoys boxing, dancing and socialising with friends.
Category: Self-Help, Women, Health, Relationships, Menopause, Confidence
Denis Shaughnessy is the author of the Awful Truth series of ground-breaking comedies that send-up bestsellers in a unique way, written by the “imbecilic Marco Ocram”. With a working-class background as one of eight kids raised by a widowed mum in Birkenhead, he was guaranteed to go far, as far as Stoke-on-Trent, where he completed a PhD in quantum mechanics. He immediately squandered his talent for physics by working in business development for multinational companies, before escaping to run his own consultancy in 2002. With an innate talent for no sports, an unmusical ear and too little hand-eye coordination for visual art, he has always turned to writing for self-expression. Owing to a series of inexplicable failures of editorial judgement, his has yet to be snapped up as writer of humorous pieces by top magazines. Fervently apolitical, he lives on a smallholding in the New Forest with his lovely wife Leona, where he devotes his time to an exhaustive study of literature, cats, craft beer and old tractors.
Category: Comedy Thriller, Satire Fiction, Crime
Arnold Dixon was born in 1962 to West Indian parents who came to England in the late 1950s. It was whilst attending a Church Youth Club that Arnold met a Christian Youth Worker who helped him with his many questions about life. A number of months later he gave his life to Jesus and became a Christian. Some 15 years later he would attend Queens Theological College and obtained his degree, met the lady who would become his wife before his first posting as a Methodist Minister in Salfold looking after four Churches. Arnold then lived and worked in Wallasey on the Wirral looking after two Churches for eight years. He is now Methodist Minister in Long Eaton Nottingham and Breaston in Derbyshire looking after three Churches. He first wrote Little Gordon Grape 20 years ago whilst doing Youth work for the Church. He believes now is the right time to bring his character to life so that it can speak to a generation of children who need hope purpose and love and, as Ella Fitzgrald sang, “Someone to watch over me.”
Category: Christian, Children's Fiction
Natalie Read has worked at the heart of mental health as a counsellor for over 14 years. Her experience includes working with adults and young adults in private practice and as a University Student Counsellor. She also has over 25 years’ experience of training and facilitation in a wide variety of topics and is especially passionate about working with self-esteem, self-acceptance, embracing peace, building resilience and running meditation workshops.
Prior to working as a counsellor, Natalie spent over a decade working in the corporate world gaining experience in organisational psychology, leadership, coaching, training and facilitation. After facing health issues which led to a disability that she still manages to this day, Natalie retrained as a counsellor, transferring her passion and skills towards helping individuals find happiness and success. This retraining included deep inner work and resulted in a healthier and happier life, as well as a new career.
Being Human was written in response to the growing levels of mental health. Natalie felt concerned about the increasing demand for counselling, earlier onset of younger children affected and the stretched resources to cope with this demand. The book draws on Natalie’s counselling experience and her passionate quest to find peace and happiness through 25 years of self and spiritual development. She offers a broader range of solutions to today’s problems, in a language intended to appeal to any belief system.
Natalie believes wholeheartedly in working towards self-acceptance and self-love for longer lasting and fundamental happiness, whilst providing support and solutions on the way. She also advocates the importance of shifting the focus from crisis to prevention of mental health difficulties, especially where mental health resources are limited and early intervention is important.
Category: Self-Help, Family, Relationships, Mental Health
After a distinguished career as a UK lawyer, formerly with the celebrated Lord Goodman and later with his own law firm, John D Bieber left full time legal work to focus on family life with his wife Joey and four young children in their farm in the heart of Sussex, England, where he could pursue his passion for writing.
Following the adage 'write about what you know' Bieber, an international divorce lawyer wrote 'If Divorce is the Only Way' ( Alma House 1995/Penguin 1997) dealing with the emotional side of divorce. By then a sought after legal consultant he was keen to ensure that his clients did not repeat the mistakes of their marriage in their divorces, as so many are prone to do.
Concentrating on the emotional and practical side of divorce, it is an invaluable book of guidance, wisdom and compassion. The work was widely endorsed with tributes from the Archbishops of Canterbury and Sydney, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, the Lord Chief Justice of England amongst many other lawyers, medical practitioners, marriage guidance experts and journalists in the UK, Australia and the USA.
The work became a resource not only for those going through a divorce but for attorneys who cite it as 'the best work on the subject of managing a divorce process.'
Bieber's perception of the human condition was shaped over decades of witnessing love end. So often the parties to those marriages had been surviving not loving and this observation enabled Bieber to construct a philosophy that has helped him to live and to love in a way all people desire.
'Am I Loved?‘ is the culmination of fifteen years of contemplation and thought to present his understanding to the world.
'Am I loved?' considers the human condition in an entirely original and logical way. We are emotional beings who function through our emotions, which we can neither understand nor control. By identifying Nature's Protections of the Life we bear the purpose of our emotions becomes apparent. Applying our emotional responses to our overwhelming need to be loved reveals an understanding of why and how we were designed to function. Now we can see how, since the very first human beings, we have got everything wrong. The consequence is nothing less than life changing.
Category: Philosophy, Personal Development, Society & Culture
On paper, Victoria Oak is like any other middle-class woman of a certain age. That is until you meet her. She refuses to fit into a mould. Born ten minutes before her twin, she was from the start several shades darker, a throwback from her Indian great grandfather, nicknamed the Aga Khan by her Godmother.
As a child, she was always in the local library, reading everything that caught her eye. Particularly myths and fairy tales from around the world. She had an illustrated Bible and found out early on when she fell in love with the sculptured, bronzed torsos of Moses and Joseph that she wasn’t in fact a lesbian. She was rather fond of Native American stories, always on the side of the Indian rather than the cowboy.
Sunday Worship was obligatory in a Catholic family but from an early age Victoria felt completely comfortable in any church. In fact, she looked forward to it. She was taught first by the Marist and then the Sacred Heart nuns.
Victoria read Drama and English at Birmingham University. She had steered clear of the careers department and threw herself into set design, fashion modelling, waitressing and painting murals. Within a few years it became clear that she had a talent for trompe l’oeil, then all the rage. She was never out of a job but when she fell off a ladder 7 months pregnant, she decided to call it a day.
She and her husband shared a passion for travelling and sport but well before the children were adult, she realised the marriage was over. She completed the Road to Santiago in May 2012, placing 2000 prayer stones along the Camino asking for her dear friend Andy's release from the Thai prison. When she returned, she asked for a divorce and a five-year battle through the courts ensued. It was during this miserable time that Andy was released from prison, came to stay in her home for 18 months and in this time, they wrote ‘Sentenced’ together.
After the divorce Victoria had what she calls her gap year. The Inca trail in Peru, Ayahuasca in the Amazon, a retreat in Sedona and New Zealand, and finally Australia.
Since then, Victoria has spent four years editing 'Sentenced'. Just before Covid reared its head, she caught Pneumonia which triggered Lyme’s disease. Hardly able to get out of bed or the bath, she determined to get ‘Sentenced' published within the year.
Category: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Simon Lowe is the non-nom de plume of the author Simon Lowe. From humble beginnings inside a Melton Mowbray pork pie, Simon spent a summer building insulation for the millennium dome (nobody ever complained about being cold, did they?) before working the daytime shift as a flair cocktail waiter in a bar next to Leicester train station, impressing commuters with his juggling skills before pouring their coffee and thanking them for their patience. He would eventually find his feet in the big smoke as a bookseller. For ten years, he passed sharpies to famous authors with an envious, often murderous smile. He later went on to take charge of a primary school library, issuing fines to four year olds with indiscriminate glee. Fearing burn out, from the heady world of books, he chose to settle down in Hertford of all places. As it stands, Simon has one partner, one son and one cat. Alongside writing fiction, he is a stay at home dad with ambitious plans to leave the house one day. His short stories have popped up in journals and magazines on three continents including Visible Ink, Storgy, Firewords, AMP, Chaleur magazine, Ponder Review, Adelaide Literary journal, The Write launch, and elsewhere. He has also written about books for the Guardian newspaper. The World is at War, Again is both a novel and a rumination on how very bad and very good the world would be without technology.
Category: Speculative Fiction, Spy Thriller, YA/NA/Adult Crossover
Douglas J Lindsay was born to the sea. His parents both came from sailor families and when his father went back to sea for the duration of the Second World War, his mother followed the ship to its new base at Scrabster on the Pentland Firth, Scotland where the author was born in 1941. His father sailed on the small coaster Drumlough, which the family owned. It ran as a supply ship for the fleet at Scapa Flow, operating up and down the east coast of the United Kingdom. Remarkably, from 1939 to 1945 it was never touched by enemy action. The family lived in a wooden shack on the Scrabster harbour wall and the author’s playground was the harbour and ships berthed there until 1945.
He has had a lifelong passion for writing. His first published piece, in 1965, was titled rather grandly Improvement of Navigation Lights and Signals published in the Journal of the Institute of Navigation. In the 1980s he attended creative writing classes run by John Fairfax and Sue Stewart, who founded the Arvon Foundation. He has written essays, short stories and poetry and many reports.
Category: War Story Fiction
Stuart Parkin was born in Yemen, the son of a flying Royal Air Force doctor. The fourth of five children, he was educated in the UK, where he began his career in oil broking and trading. He then left the UK and has lived in, amongst other places, Yokohama, Sydney and for the last 20 years, New York City.
A citizen of multiple countries, Stuart considers himself first and foremost, a global citizen, a fact he believes he can only truly justify once he's been to the 14 countries of the world he hasn't yet visited.
His entrance into the world of advertising in Sydney, and the international dimensions of his work through it, embarked him on a course of professional and personal cultural exploration.
In New York, he worked for one of the world's top advertising agencies before establishing a successful coaching and recruitment business.
A key part of his positivity, Stuart believes, is a constant desire to experience the new. To that end he's wingwalked, run 24-hour marathons, invented board games and zorbed!
Category: Self-Help, Personal Development
Helen Jane Campbell works as a life and business coach for ambitious and creative entrepreneurs. Clients seek her help to bring more joy, energy and abundance into their lives, to create space and reconnect with their self-worth and creative freedom. Prior to becoming a coach, Helen spent two decades of her career in PR and comms strategy, with a focus on building and leading effective teams and working directly with decision-makers and CEOs. She lives in the famous book town of Hay-on-Wye on the Welsh border and enjoys working with artistic clients around the world, bringing her authenticity and energy to all she does. As well as writing and coaching, she also enjoys being in nature, festivals, food, music and art.
Category: Business, Leadership, Small Business, Start-Up, Entrepreneurship, Branding, Marketing
Gillian Young is a full-time writer of children’s middle-grade fiction.
One of her earliest memories was creating a newspaper that included happy stories and fun puzzles – strictly no politics. At high school, she wrote stories about her favourite pop-band, including friends as characters.
Gillian’s second passion was art. Following art college, she worked as a Graphic Artist. During this time, she settled down, got married and had two children. Becoming a mother reintroduced her to the magic of children’s fiction. Every night she’d read Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny to her kids. Eventually, she had the idea of writing stories of her own.
To be an author was still her dream - that had never gone away. Snatches of time between going to work and taking care of the children was spent bent over her laptop writing - until 2015…
2015 made her re-evaluate everything. For Gillian, writing was her medicine. Then, she decided to ‘go for it ’ and focus on becoming an author.
Much of Gillian’s work is inspired by her golden retrievers who have achieved some fame around the world through their Instagram page.
Gillian lives with her family in Worcestershire. She is currently working on her third book, which is a sequel to her debut: Poppy On Safari.
Category: Children's Fiction, Animals
J Merrill Forrest is a Wiltshire-based author, whose deep interest in the paranormal is a major theme in her writing. For more than 30 years Jane has researched her subject, hunting down evidence with an open and questioning mind by talking to psychics and mediums. At age 40 Jane followed her dream of going to university and gained a BA (Hons) in English Literature, and returned ten years later and achieved an MA in Creative Writing. Her novels ‘Flight of the Kingfisher’ and ‘Walk in the Afterlight’ deal with the emotive and sometimes polarising subject of life after death. Her latest novel, ‘Orders From Above’, is a change of genre, moving from supernatural drama to humorous fantasy.
Category: Commercial Fiction, Fantasy, Humour
Andry Anastasis McFarlane is an experienced learning consultant, executive coach, international workshop facilitator and keynote speaker.
She has blended her career with over twenty years of researching and practising resilience-building in some of the world’s leading charities, universities and innovative start-ups. Having survived losing two jobs, setting up a business and initially losing all her clients, and juggled physical health issues with maintaining a successful career in the midst of lockdown and the global financial crisis, she is perfectly placed to guide you on your path to achieving resilience in the workplace.
When COVID-19 struck, Andry knew she had to act fast to save her business. Using her 25 years of coaching knowledge, practising resilience-building and learning from stories all over the globe, Andry moved her entire business model to online learning in just 10 days – and succeeded.
The Learning Moment offers workshops, courses, executive coaching and learning consultancy within the UK. The REALLY RESILIENT Guide is Andry's first book. When she isn’t writing, leading workshops or coaching, she spends her time gardening, walking and working hard not to be the worst mosaic artist ever.
Category: Self-Help, Self-Management, Business, Career
Rebecca Banks owns a boutique public relations agency specialising in sports and entertainment, and has 20 years of experience in PR and events. She travels around the world but calls London (and currently Oxford - during the pandemic!) her home.
She is also a freelance journalist. For over a decade she has written features from celebrity interviews and human profile pieces to motoring and travel reviews. Rebecca has worked with some very interesting people during her career including Lewis Hamilton, Rafa Nadal, Kim Kardashian, Jenson Button, Vanessa Hudgens, Karen Hauer and Oti Mabuse (Strictly Come Dancing), the Top Gear presenters (Jermey Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May), Gary Barlow and Chris Evans.
Half the World Away is her debut novel.
Category: Commercial Women's Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance
Peace E. Ani started her career in investment banking in the City after graduating with first class honours in BSc Mathematical Sciences in 2004. She is also the co-founder of Child Prodigy, a soft skills development workshop programme for children. Peace has over 16 years of professional experience within leading global institutions. She blogs for City Parents, where she has published several popular blogs. As a senior professional and full-time working mother, she has a first-hand understanding of the challenges that new parents deal with trying to balance it all, as well as key insights into the skill sets that our children will need to develop early on to be more successful.
Peace has an MBA from Imperial College Business School and is also an Oxford University scholar where she completed a postgraduate degree in Strategy and Innovation. She holds a Fellow membership of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), a chartered professional body in the UK, committed to the highest standards in management and leadership practice. Peace believes in the unlimited potential in children with the right nurturing, and has a passion for inspiring young minds to maximise their potential. She is regularly called upon to give keynote speeches and inspirational talks at seminars, school events and conferences.
Category: Non-Fiction, Child Development, Self-Help, Families, Parenting, Education
Lisa Stewart started life in leafy Bricket Wood. The village is home to the oldest naturist community in the UK where rumours of bike-riding naturists sparked great hilarity in junior school. Aged eight, she moved 410 miles to Scotland with her family (mum, dad, older brother, younger brother, younger sister, dog and guinea pig).
She attended Woodmill High School in Dunfermline - her favourite memories being of the hillwalking club, trips to the Edinburgh Fringe and school discos. She left school at five feet two, graduating from Queen Margaret University three years later and three inches taller.
Lisa has worked in NHS Lothian for many years – her best friends making a half-decent multidisciplinary team, although short of orthopaedic surgeons.
Lisa wrote her first novel ‘Soup Is The New Coffee’ in 2002, followed by ‘Being Gil’s Sister’ in 2004. Unsuccessful in getting a publishing deal – the rejection letters being used to stuff a king-size mattress – she turned her attention to non-fiction. She completed a Masters degree, also at Queen Margaret University, and published her assignments in professional journals.
A casual question from her mum, ‘What are you doing about your books?’ spurred her back to the laptop. She re-wrote ‘Being Gil’s Sister’ and published it on Kindle Direct Publishing in 2012. In 2014 she completed ‘Knitting Haggis’, followed in 2017 by a re-working of ‘Soup Is The New Coffee’.
Lisa lives in Edinburgh with her husband and son, where a quiet evening can carry the screeching and squawking of wild animals. That would be the zoo, as opposed to the Stewarts fighting over the hair gel.
Category: Women's Fiction, Humour, Feel Good Fiction
Anna Pattle is a 17-year-old student at Wycombe Abbey School. She found the inspiration for this book while being locked down in London for the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. This is her second novel, the first being Sardaron, a fantasy fiction novel which was published in 2018. Anna enjoys creative writing in her free time and this short book was the culmination of thoughts about how an isolated community might respond to the threat of illness and loss of freedom. Anna aims for this book to provoke thought about global responses to COVID-19.
Category: YA Fiction, Fiction, Society & Culture
Did you know that the smallest amount of money you need to save and invest (at a 7% return) to become a millionaire over your career is just seven dollars/pounds/euros? No, nor did the Seven Dollar Millionaire until his daughter asked him if she could become a millionaire, and what was the smallest amount she could start with. That question turned into the book Happy Ever After, his new nickname and a lifetime commitment to teaching the concepts that can help all of us achieve financial security.
Having worked in the financial sector for more than 20 years, The Seven Dollar Millionaire has managed billion-dollar deals, invested hundreds of millions of dollars for clients, and won multiple awards - but helping people make the most of their circumstances, whether they are migrant workers or his own daughter, is worth so much more.
THE SEVEN DOLLAR MILLIONAIRE is a group of financial literacy enthusiasts who make learning about money accessible and engaging. They were quoted in the Financial Times in November 2020 saying “No one thinks about being financially literate per se. But they do want to be financially secure, to not be in debt and misery”. For more information: www.sevendollarmillionaire.com.
Category: Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Teens, Parenting, Families
Michael Padraig-Acton (B.Ed., M.Ed. (Psych.) Hons., M.A. C.Psych., P.D. C.Psych., BPSsS., BACP (Accred)), MICF is a consultant, psychological therapist, counsellor, clinical supervisor, legal consultant, systemic life coach, trained scientist practitioner and author with over 30 years of clinical experience. Working globally, with his main offices in London (UK) and Fort Lauderdale (US), originally from England and Ireland, Michael specialises in helping couples, families and individuals. He has extensive training in approaches including applied clinical and counselling psychology, CBT, psychoanalysis and psychodynamic, Jungian, Gestalt, systemic and transactional analysis, as well as holistic forms of therapeutic alliance such as mindfulness and shamanism.
As mostly a single parent for his daughter’s upbringing and having no parental support as a child, Michael left home and the Catholic church behind at the age of 17 having spent months struggling to survive meningitis. He has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to helping hundreds of people through his practices. The Power Of You series of accessible self-help is Michael’s way of reaching and supporting many, many more people, families and couples. All his work is enveloped by Rogerian core values of empowerment and the importance of the therapeutic integrative relationship. Michael is a genuine, caring and thoughtful professional, dad and grandpa with scholastic and real human values.
Category: Psychology, Relationships, Narcissism, Codependency, Toxic Relationships
Sam Hunter is a full-time mum, podcast host and entrepreneur. She started writing after the birth of her son in 2017 and self-published her first book - Flamingo Fashion - at the end of 2020. Sam wrote creatively as a young girl on her weekends and during visits to her mum's office in the summer holidays. All of her writing was about animals and it is no wonder that her first book is a children's story set in an animal's world! Her first book, a middle grade novel called Freddie's Fantastic Adventures, was inspired by a children's t-shirt with a flamingo on the front and while out walking a few years later, the idea for Flamingo Fashion popped into her head! Sam is passionate about developing both children's and adult's creativity and her writing is designed to inspire imaginations in a fun and playful way. Proceeds from the book are going to the LitWorld charity. Sam lives with her son, daughter and husband in Herfordshire, England.
Category: Children's Picture Book, Early Years, Key Stage 1
Peter Morris lives in East Yorkshire. Born in Northampton, Peter read physics at Durham and medicine at Newcastle, before embarking on a forty-year-long career as an anaesthetist in England, Holland, Norway and Scotland. In Norway he married a local girl and they have a son and a daughter. They spent a ‘gap year’ in France avoiding bankruptcy.
Now retired, he now has more time for studying languages, history, music and enjoying ‘O’ gauge toy trains. His first book, Scalpels Out, is a medical fiction novel. This, Early Dutch Poetry & Other Verse, is his second book - and a total departure from Scalpels Out, but equally as inspired by his life and interests.
Category: Poetry, Translation, History
Born in Cheshire, England, Louise Worthington studied literature at the University of Essex. As a teenager she read until the small hours, enjoying the darker worlds conjured by Stephen King and Daphne du Maurier.
Louise’s first novel, Distorted Days, was described by Kirkus Review as ‘a formidable work’. Her chilling blend of the lyrical and the dark is the most gripping in her thrillers and horrors.
When Louise isn’t reading or writing, you’ll most likely find her outside enjoying the Shropshire countryside with her husband or messing about with her daughter, and furry and feathered friends.
Category: Horror, Thriller, Suspense
Bob Landrey born in Cleethorpes and brought up in Grimsby, where he still calls home, he struggled at school and hated the academic side of learning but excelled at art. His father being an artist taught him the basics: colour mixing, perspective and how to use his imagination.
He left school as soon as he could and started work in an accounts office at 15 years of age. Progressing through several jobs he eventually found himself in the world of shipping which he loved. From shipping to warehousing, cold storage to seafood processing, finally working for himself creating and producing recipe dishes for supermarkets and catering companies. Working from home he can now divide his time between his two happy places: the kitchen and the studio.
He makes stag-handled walking sticks, creates bespoke pieces of silver jewellery, and paints, all of which he sells at country shows and fairs.
When he isn’t in his studio he's fishing or walking his dogs. Oh, and Bob is known to enjoy a pint and the occasional glass of whiskey. He now adds 'novelist' to his list of life achievements.
Category: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Magical Realism
Jessica Taylor-Bearman was born in March 1991, at Maidstone Hospital in England. She grew up in Rochester and Canterbury, Kent, where she attended Rochester Grammar School for Girls. At the age of 15, she became acutely unwell with an illness called M.E. She was continuously hospitalised from 2006 to 2010, suffering with the most severe form of the condition. This included her being bedridden, unable to move, speak, eat and more. She began to write in her mind, and when finally able to speak again, she began to write through her audio diary 'Bug'. In 2009, Jessica began to teach herself to paint through the movement of laughter. She realised that through balancing a paintbrush in her hand, laughter caused it to move, creating a new form of art that she called a 'Laugh-O-Gram'. Her first collection was exhibited in the Canterbury Art Festival 2009. All her pieces have been exhibited since then. In 2010, whilst still in hospital, she founded a charity called Share a Star, to help seriously unwell youngsters. It is now a registered charity that she continues to run. Since she left hospital, Jessica's journey with severe M.E. has continued to be very challenging. She writes a blog called The World of One Room and made a YouTube video of the same name that has reached tens of thousands of people in multiple countries. In 2017 she married her soulmate Samuel and walked down the aisle. They now live together in Essex, having recently moved from her home county of Kent. In 2019, they had a beautiful baby daughter.
Category: Young Adult, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Chronic Illness
Attiya Khan is a mother of three and works as a GP in East London. She has been part of critique groups for around five years and holds an MA in Modern Literature from Birkbeck, where she graduated with merits.
She was selected to be part of the David Higham’s Open day for underrepresented writers, and is also on the longlist for Undiscovered Voices 2020.
Ten Steps To Us is Attiya’s debut book.
Category: YA Fiction, Teenage, Romance
Annabelle Steele is a primary school teacher in Manchester. She’s been writing poetry and YA and children’s fiction since her own primary school days. Her books explore mental health, relationships and the realities of being part of a minority group living in the UK. Her writing includes Black protagonists and she recognises that there are still not enough positive Black characters in bookshops for children and teens to relate to. She’s passionate about supporting those struggling with mental health and in 2017 published an adult colouring book called Positivity Ink with all proceeds going to MIND.
Category: Young Adult, Fiction
Criminologist Dr Mark Pettigrew writes in the foreword of History of a Drowning Boy, ‘As the reader will learn from these memoirs, a confluence of factors met to form Dennis Nilsen: the social and legal disapproval of his homosexuality during his early life; the long shadow cast by his grandfather and the sexual abuse he reports to have suffered as a child; the strained relationship he had with his mother; social isolation; the lack of supportive and long-lasting relationships; and alcohol abuse, they all played their part. Yet, these memoirs do not offer a neat answer as to why a boy from a fishing town in North East Scotland, a man who served in the police and in the military, became a serial killer. In all the academic and clinical research on the topic, there is no definitive answer as to why or how a person becomes a serial killer. Indeed, it is highly unlikely that any theory can or will account for all or even the majority of serial killers. Realistically, we can only identify risk factors. What this book offers though is an insight into how those killings are comprehended and understood by the killer in retrospect. In my own conversations with Dennis Nilsen, over several years, he did not try to excuse what he did, nor trivialise the devastating effect his actions had upon the families and loved ones of his victims. Instead, he sought to understand his actions in light of his particular circumstances. I cannot honestly say that he ever found a definitive answer as to why he became one of Britain’s most infamous serial killers, but if the answer is ever to be found it will be found within these pages.’
Category: Autobiography, True Crime, Criminology
Despite 20 years spent building a successful corporate career working for some of the world’s largest employers, Carolyn Hobdey’s personal life has been a mess.
So she began to write about it.
Carolyn’s progressively more senior roles had earned her a seat at the boardroom table leading internationally recognisable brands where, whilst specialising in Human Resources (HR), she was required to be able to operate across all business disciplines.
She supported her practical experience with a post-graduate qualification in HR at Leeds Metropolitan University, where she won the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (West Yorkshire) Student Award. Later followed a Masters Degree in Lean Operations gained at Cardiff University where she was the first HR specialist in the 13 years of the course and became the winner of the inaugural Sir Julian Hodge Prize for Logistics, Operations & Manufacturing.
With an enviable knowledge of change management, Carolyn led a number of transformations of cultures and working practices in the organisations she worked within, building a reputation for her mortal compass, good humour and unflinching challenge of the unacceptable.
Alongside her professional and academic achievements, however, Carolyn was managing huge turbulence outside of work driven by a lifetime of low self-esteem. Poor health and perpetual heartbreak peppered her personal life whilst she tried to hide her shame.
In 2018, Carolyn’s life imploded.
She had to pick herself up and reassemble the disparate parts not only of her shattered life but, more challengingly, her identity.
Having carefully put back in place all the accepted tenets of ‘success’, Carolyn realised she no longer wanted the life she’d once had. It was the catalyst that led to her becoming the Founder and CEO of MayDey Limited. Taking everything she’d learnt about change professionally and personally, Carolyn built a business dedicated to helping those that want to make change in their lives.
Carolyn believes that the world is full of amazing, kind people. She also knows firsthand that there is a considerable number of tw*ts. Her mission is to no longer stay silent. Instead, she intends to shine the light that she struggled to keep dimmed, despite the best efforts of some, and to help others do the same.
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, Women's, Memoir
Judy Bartkowiak is an International NLP and EFT Trainer for Parents, Teachers and existing Practitioners/Coaches/ Therapists. She shares her passion and skills in working with children and teens through training and by writing books and blog posts.
You can find ‘Be a happier parent with NLP’, ‘NLP Workbook’, ‘Self-esteem workbook’ and ‘Secrets of the NLP Masters’ on Amazon and all good bookshops. Her current book ‘Understanding children and teens’ will be followed shortly by ‘NLP and EFT for Parents’.
As we often learn best by engaging in the process and taking responsibility for change ourselves, Judy has written a series of workbooks called Engaging NLP, published by MX publishing who also publish her children’s stories.
She owns and runs NLP & EFT Kids which is a family coaching practice in Berkshire, England. Clients include mostly children aged 4-18 years, their parents and sometimes the whole family.
Before embarking on her NLP and EFT training, Judy worked in children’s market research, conducting qualitative research projects on baby products, children’s TV programmes, toys and books. Her clients included LEGO, Mattel, Aardman Animations, Cow and Gate, Clarks and Hasbro. She worked on the development of Noddy, Peppa Pig, Basil Brush, Fireman Sam, Shaun the sheep and lots of other great shows.
She has always been fascinated by children’s minds and how their thoughts and feelings influence behaviour. Through her years in Market Research she had developed ways of gaining insight through activities such as art and LEGO, games etc rather than straight questioning and parents frequently commented on how much their children had enjoyed attending her focus groups. It was quite an easy transition to move into children’s coaching and therapy. The gain for Judy was in knowing that this insight would make a difference to the child and the family rather than big companies.
Judy is married with four grown-up kids, five hens and a beautiful retriever called Zebedee. She is a regular club tennis player, runs an off-road cycling group and loves to go out walking, dancing and chatting with friends.
Category: Parenting, Family, Non-Fiction, Popular Psychology
Born and raised in Blarney, County Cork in Ireland, now living in South Wales, Colum Sanson-Regan's first experience of storytelling was to tourists visiting the castle, improvising local legends to coax a bit of change from their pockets. Colum lived there until he was 17, when he moved to Dublin. He should have been repeating his A levels, but instead of going into the classes, he left the house with the guitar then changed my uniform and busked on the Grafton Street. It was there, on a grim February day, that he was approached by an English couple who ran an Irish Bar in Fuerteventura in the Canaries. They asked if he wanted a job singing in their bar. Two weeks later he was there, and this was his home for nearly three years. He met the woman who would become his wife and they moved to the UK and played music together. His work as a musician has included work with Grammy Award winners K-Klass and twice Grammy nominated Dan Myers, Charlotte Church, as well as a host of other musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. He has written, recorded and released two solo albums and two band albums and performed, and continues to perform, consistently as a singer and guitarist in this time.
He was also David Tennant’s body double in Dr Who.
When his first child was born he went to University to study writing and that started him on this trajectory. He's now living near Cardiff with his wife and two children and teaching and writing and singing.
Category: Literary Fiction, Short Story Collection
Kevin Landt lives under a roof in a sun-drenched city. He devotes one third of his life to lying horizontally in an unconscious state. The remaining time is spent obeying his publicist, who insists that every contemporary author must send out a newsletter. Kevin has a dog and a cat.
Category: Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Suspense
Hannah Velten is a grief healer, writer and speaker. This wasn’t a path she ever envisaged for herself, but when her brother, Christian, went missing in Africa in 2003, nothing was ever the same again. For the past 20 years, Hannah has been an agricultural journalist (with Farmers’ Weekly), award-winning non-fiction author of three books (‘Beastly London’ winning The Londonist’s ‘London Book of the Year 2013’) and ghostwriter of private memoirs, but 'Lost & Found' is her first foray into the genre of mind/body/spirit. Based on her own healing journey, this self-published book, channelled with Christian (in-Spirit), won the “Best Spirit Guides and Afterlife Book” in the 2020 Soul & Spirit magazine’s Spiritual Book Awards. Hannah has a shamanic, nature-based experience of this world, largely based on indigenous cultural beliefs. She lives with her family in East Sussex, England.
Category: Self-help, grief, bereavement, loss
Valerie A. Campbell is an enhanced relationship coach and a best-selling author. She speaks to millions worldwide via her weekly radio show - The Secret Vibe; effecting spiritual growth, particularly in the arena of dating.
Her spiritual teachings are based on ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself, which she explains led to her study of the bible, law of attraction, spiritual psychotherapy (A course in Miracles) and the works of Byron Katie (Loving What Is) .
Her coaching business primarily started due to insights gained in her role as the only female managing in excess of 100 men over 10 years. It was there she learnt the influence of her feminine energy to compel her ‘boys’, unlike her fellow male counterparts to go over and beyond their line of duty.
Today she now teaches her secret vibe via various platforms to effect positive change in all areas of life. V.I.B.E is an acronym for vision/intention/beliefs/expectation.
Valerie is of west-Indian parentage; she loves keeping fit, has a passion for dresses and resides as a mother and grandmother in London.
Category: Religion & Spiritual, Self-Help, Relationships, Mindset
How We Got To Today is Ben Ellis's third book. The first two, dystopian fiction, were self published, and this new contemporary romance secured a traditional publishing deal with Headline Accent. Ben lives with his wife, son and step-son on the South Coast in Worthing (about 10 miles west of Brighton).
Category: Contemporary Romance
Born in London, Jude spent the first 40 years of her life growing up in a north London suburb, studying and working in the capital (a year also spent in Oxford) before moving to Winchester in 1994. A teacher of English and Drama, Jude has also always written and had her first professional writing published in a national magazine at the age of 19. That was followed by articles in The Lady and she then switched to fiction and was published by Woman’s Realm, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Bella, Fiction Feast for many years, also selling stories to South Africa, Australia and Scandinavia.
Jude turned to full length fiction after completing an M.A. in Creative Writing, continuing to teach and expanding into tutoring creative writing classes and workshops.
A long-time lover of Crete, a dream was realised in 2011 when, with her sister and brother-in-law, she bought a house in the North West part of the island and now spends as much time there as she can. She has one son, George, who is 25.
Category: Contemporary Fiction, OA Fiction, Women's Fiction
Dr Karen Gaye Graham lives in Australia and has over two decades of experience as an Adult and Child Psychiatrist. She has a medical degree (MBBS), is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP), and member of the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (FCAP).
Dr Graham decided to write a self-help book that offered an approach for directly dealing with negative thoughts and feelings. Being medically trained and interested in nontraditional self-healing has meant that she believes anyone can overcome adversity, heal and become stronger. Her expertise has involved working with individuals, identifying their core difficulties and helping them to manage them. And what Dr Graham also finds very rewarding as a psychiatrist, is the educational aspect that offers someone tools for life, more independence and greater resilience. So people can continue to help themselves and really move forward in their lives.
The world around us seems to be in trouble, however, it is the way we think and feel, and our ability to manage negative reactions, that determine how troubled we feel as well as how much we can genuinely help others. Now is an important time to learn more about good mental and emotional management.
Category: Self-Help, Psychology, Mental Health, Emotions, Feelings
Jane Teverson has worked as a counsellor for over twenty years. Her initial training was in Person Centred Counselling but, because of an interest in unconscious processes, she gained her accreditation in Psychodynamic Counselling. Both disciplines informed her work. Jane lives in Suffolk.
Category: Parenting, Personal Growth
Wyn Bramley has 50 years experience as a psychotherapist. She was senior Psychiatric Sister at the Cassel Therapeutic Community in the late 1960s. Afterwards, she headed the counselling service at the University of Westminster, before moving to the same position at University College London.
In 1976 she qualified at what was then the Institute of Group Analysis and Family and Marital Therapy. Over a 15 year period she set up in-service training programmes with colleagues which eventually became the National Association for Student Counselling. In 1986 she moved to Oxford and worked as a freelance trainer and clinician for the NHS, including working in GP practices. From 1996 she designed and directed the four years Master’s Programme in Psychodynamic Studies at Oxford University, which still runs under new leadership.
She has written several books for therapists, including two for Free Association Books. Her paperback “Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered: How Couples Really Work” is for the lay public and was published by Karnac in 2008. She is now semi retired and runs a small private practice in rural Oxfordshire.
Category: Psychology, Mental Health
Clara Loveman was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and identifies as Kenyan and British with dual citizenship. She's an avid reader, keen walker and is at her happiest when she's writing a novel. She enjoys romance, drama and fantasy works at home or the cinema.
At university, while Clara majored in pharmaceutical sciences and public health, she loves the arts equally and could have easily chosen to study fine arts, specialising in creative writing. Clara is proud of her science background, though, and thinks it has enabled her to write more confidently in science fiction.
Clara Loveman graduated from Liverpool John Moores University and has a Master of Public Health Degree from the University of Sheffield. She lives in Maidenhead, UK, a riverside town not far from Windsor.
She loves connecting with readers and can be found on Instagram (@lovemanauthor) and on Twitter (@claraloveman).
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Esther Ramsay-Jones lectures on ‘Death, Dying and Bereavement’ at the Open University. She has presented her work at various locations around the world and her papers have been published in academic journals and anthologies. She practises as a specialist psychotherapist in palliative care, working with people with long-term conditions and their families. Esther also works in a counselling service for older adults, presenting with a range of difficulties and does some tutoring on London-based counselling courses.
She has worked at the coal-face of frontline care for older people, and those with dementia, and has direct experience of the impact of dementia and terminal illness.
Beyond her work and home life, Esther loves to travel, to write, to swim, run, do yoga and enjoy time with family and good friends. She is the mother to two young children.
Category: Psychology, Family, Death, Bereavement, Grief, Cancer
The Tears of Monterini is Amanda Weinberg's first novel inspired by an Italian village with which she has a deep connection. Amanda has a degree in modern languages from the University of East Anglia and a PGCE from King’s College, London. She taught languages for several years (French, German and Italian) in a London comprehensive and then moved into advertising, sales and marketing working for publishing companies. In 1988, she launched a small company with a business partner called A- Z International Sales.
After 20 years organising sales and exhibitions for telecommunications magazines worldwide, Amanda decided to return to tutoring foreign languages in order to write this novel. Her dream is to devote most, if not all of her time to completing and perfecting her novels. She is currently writing a memoir of her personal experiences in the real Monterini - Pitigliano.
Amanda has attended several writing courses at the City Lit in London. In 2004, she was short listed for the London Writer’s competition for her short story The Rose and again in 2005 for her short story It’s My Turn. In 2014, Amanda attended a nine month UEA/Guardian course: How to Finish a Work of Fiction, under the supervision of Gillian Slovo. She is reprsented by Curtis Brown and lives in London, and spends a lot of time in Italy. She is married with two grown up children and an active member of the New North London synagogue.
Category: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction, Romance, Family
After Alex Churchill qualified as a barrister she joined one of London’s leading criminal chambers. She has been regularly instructed in cases of serious crime, including rape and other serious sexual offences, drug trafficking, arson and manslaughter. She inherited her love for Russia and the Baltic States from her Russian mother. She is married with two grown up children and lives in London with her husband. She wishes to remain anonymous to protect her identity following decades of working on serious crime cases.
Category: Legal thriller, Crime thriller
Peter Morris is sixty-nine and now lives in East Yorkshire. Born in Northampton, Peter read physics at Durham and medicine at Newcastle, before embarking on a forty-year-long career as an anaesthetist in England, Holland, Norway and Scotland. In Norway he married a local girl and they have a son and a daughter. They spent a ‘gap year’ in France avoiding bankruptcy.
Recently retired, he now has more time for studying languages, history, music and enjoying ‘O’ gauge toy trains.
His new book ‘Scalpels Out’ – about three young doctors unfairly dismissed and their spirited fight-back – is full of human subterfuge, original anecdote and subtle humour, all gathered from his years spent in medicine.
Category: Medical Fiction, Medical Suspense, Modern Literature
Carly Chamberlain has 15 years’ experience in holistic health, integrated therapy, and training. She is founder of the I AM WELLness community, online self-care course, and women’s wellness clinic. Carly consults and educates for learning and development companies, wellness brands, and studied human psychology at The University of Oxford.
She is a mother of two and hopes to inspire others to find their voice in life. From the therapists who spend hours in the treatment room, to the women seeking support, purpose and growth. To achieve this, Carly has shared parts of her personal story, some real truths about life as a working mother, her anxiety and PTSD, her thyroid condition after pregnancy, her work in the spa and wellness industry where she has had profound experiences with hundreds of people.
Category: Self-Help, Personal Development, MBS, Motherhood, Health & Wellbeing, Yoga
Serge Beddington-Behrens M.A. (Oxon.), Ph.D. K.O.M.L. is a transpersonal psychotherapist, business consultant and spiritual teacher, who, for over 40 years, has been giving lectures, teaching workshops and spiritual retreats around the world.
Born into wealth and privilege—his mother a Russian Princess, his father Sir Edward Beddington-Behrens—Serge was educated at Harrow and Christ Church Oxford, and was a member of the Bullingdon Club. Serge gradually learned to separate himself from that life, which grew to feel narrow and artificial, and has dedicated the past four decades to counselling and helping people live a more content life as a transpersonal psychotherapist, spiritual educator and social critic.
He divides his time between his private practices in London and Mallorca and is well-known for his ‘individualised retreats’. While he lived in California in the 1970s and 80s, he did a Ph.D in psychology and was one of the co-founders of the Institute for the Study of Conscious Evolution, which pioneered many of the new ideas gaining ground today. He was awarded an Italian Knighthood for services to humanity.
Category: Self-Help, Personal Development
A. Bello was born and raised in London. She first began writing the Emily Knight saga shortly afterwards (only 12 years old!) with the intention of filling the gaping hole in children’s fiction for an inspirational, strong, black female, young protagonist. This gap remains in the publishing world.
A. Bello received rave reviews for her debut book, ‘Emily Knight I am...’, as well as outstanding success with her Emily Knight Warriors pop-up book, which went viral in 2015 when it was gradually released online throughout the month of August.
'Emily Knight I am...Awakened' was released on September 2017 and was in the top 100 Coming of Age YA books, winner of London’s Big Read 2019, finalist for Best Children’s book for the People’s Book Prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2019.
A.Bello is the founder of The Lil' Author School, co-founder of Hashtag BLAK, Hashtag Press, The Diverse Book Awards, The Author School and ink! She won The London Book Fair Trailblazer Awards 2018. A. Bello is regularly called to talk at literary events and within the media, she has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Female First Magazine, The Mirror, BBC1XTRA to name a few.
As well as being a writer, A. Bello is a professional dancer and teacher. She has performed for more than a decade in prestigious venues including The Royal Opera House, The Barbican, Sadler’s Wells, Hammersmith Apollo, Stratford Theatre Royal. A. Bello has also appeared on The Apprentice, Got To Dance and Street Dance AllStars The Movie.
A. Bello is currently writing her fourth book.
Category: Middle Grade, Early Teen Fantasy Fiction
John Uttley was born in Lancashire just as the war was ending. Grammar school educated there, he read Physics at Oxford before embarking on a long career with the CEGB and National Grid Group. He was Finance Director at the time of the miners’ strike, the Sizewell Inquiry and privatisation, receiving on OBE in 1991. Shortly afterwards, he suffered his fifteen minutes of fame when he publicly gave a dividend to charity in the middle of the fat cat furore. Following this, he took an external London degree in Divinity while acting as chairman of numerous smaller companies, both UK and US based. He is married to Janet, living just north of London. This is his second novel, based on the characters of his first, the much-loved and critically acclaimed Where’s Sailor Jack?
Category: Fiction, Family Saga
Harriet Waley-Cohen is a multi award-winning speaker, experienced leadership coach and mentor. Harriet offers a range of coaching options, always tailored to clients’ specific needs and desired outcomes. From corporate wellbeing to women's leadership and private coaching, Harriet has massive experience across all fields and is renowned for her hands-on, nurturing and positive approach.
Category: Self-Esteem, Body Positivity, Coaching
Jess Impiazzi, now living back in the UK after years in LA, is a regular face on the small and big screens, having starred in The Only Way Is Essex (2012), MTV’s Ex on the Beach (series 2 and series 5) and Celebrity Big Brother (2018) among many other shows. She’s a model and an actress – her next film R.I.A. is out later this year – in which she stars as the lead female role alongside Dean Cain, Kimberly Wyatt and Luke Goss. Jess’ movie debut was as Megan in gritty British crime drama Retribution (2016).
Category: Celebrity Memoir, Non-Fiction, Health
Henry Becket was one of that curious breed, a Choral Exhibitioner at Cambridge, where he read... books. And magazines. He then spent decades nurturing what a head hunter once described as an iffy CV – as a Westminster speechwriter, lobbyist, wine merchant, copywriter, ad agency supremo (industry-speak for MD), and writer/director of innumerable eminently forgettable TV commercials in an awful lot of languages. He is lucky enough to have an impressively large family, and is also pretty obsessed with sailing, skiing, claret, churches and hillwalking, among other things. Oh, and the foibles of the world around him. Obvs.
Category: Non-Fiction, Humour
Leonie Huie is the founder of Empower Me which she started in 2019 after being inspired by her twin daughters to help empower other mothers to improve their work-life balance. After experiencing a challenging pregnancy and giving birth to twins Leonie suffered from post-natal depression and anxiety, which made it difficult for her to bond with her twins in the first weeks of their life. She returned to work when her babies were 10 months old and struggled trying to balance work and home life commitments and she knew she wasn’t alone. Leonie met so many women with the same issue, trying to manage that elusive work-life balance and still be the best mum they could be whilst providing for their family.
Leonie, who lives in London, now works part-time as a teacher whilst running Empower Me and uses her 17 years’ experience in education to coach and deliver training to mothers wanting to make positive changes in their lives to improve work-life balance for themselves and their family. She is also a female empowerment coach, public speaker and her first book, ‘The First Year is Survival,’ is written to help parents of twins and multiple children survive their first year of parenthood. Leonie’s daughters are still young so she manages her time effectively to ensure she can take them to their favourite place - the park - as well as play games and watch Mr Tumble.
Category: Parenting, Family, Non-Fiction
Coming from Sussex where Bryony Hill was also educated, after a year at Brighton College of Art, she spent four years in France after which, on returning to England, she met and eventually married the television sports presenter Jimmy Hill. Scotland to Shalimar – a Family’s Life in India is Bryony’s ninth book and follows the lives of her mother’s family, six generations of whom were born in India. Apart from writing, Bryony is a keen gardener, painter and cook and, when she came across a collection of her great-great grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s recipes, the seed was sown to dig deep into her ancestors’ history and lives.
Category: Memoir, Non-Fiction, History, Family, Food, Gardening
Emma Scullion joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 2003. For the past eleven years she has managed to escape Westminster, working in British Embassies in Beijing, Bangkok, Panama City and Montevideo in Uruguay. She is a graduate of the Faber Academy and Intruders is her first published novel. She now lives in Rome with her husband and two children.
Category: Thriller, Fiction
Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald works as a primary school teacher and crime writer. He has always been a reader; at primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure, before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. Chris is a husband and a father of two beautiful girls. He's a fan of 5-a-side football, has an eclectic music taste ranging from Damien Rice to Slayer, and dogs.
Category: Crime Thriller, Police Procedural
Educated at Exeter University and London Business School Brian Landers’ first job was assisting a former Director General of Defence Intelligence and a motley collection of ex-spooks set up a political research unit in the City of London. The Dylan series of thrillers illustrates how the world of espionage has changed since then.
As a director of Waterstone’s and later Penguin his love of books was rekindled. Brian Landers turned to thriller writing after his history of the American and Russian empires was published in the UK, USA and India. Empires Apart was described by the Midwest Book Review as a remarkable, scholarly, and educational read. Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin now perfectly illustrate the author’s thesis that delusions of imperial grandeur are the recurrent themes of US and Russian history.
The author has lived in South and North America and various parts of Europe and has worked across the world from Lebanon to El Salvador. He now lives in London. Brian was awarded an OBE in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Category: Spy, Thriller, Fiction
Suzy Rowland is an author, Autism & ADHD Specialist & Trainer, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and a poet. Suzy’s son was diagnosed with Asperger’s and ADHD aged nine. Determined to share her experience and expertise, Suzy set up the #happyinschool project, to break down the complexity of autism and ADHD behaviours in education, to parents and educators. She’s committed to raising the bar for wellbeing for children in schools, in particularly for autistic and ADHD children. She uses mindfulness, CBT, storytelling and listening as her tools. Suzy works with a range of schools, councils, charities, businesses and parent/carer groups to deliver her unique brand of influence and empowerment.
As a former corporate communications and PR professional turned entrepreneur, Suzy enjoys using her communications skills to provide advice and training to all sectors, in support of her strong belief that diverse businesses and communities thrive better than homogenous ones. She is particularly interested in supporting groups who are disadvantaged by their race, neurodiversity or their additional needs, e.g. Boys of black Caribbean heritage, a group who are statistically, most likely to be excluded from mainstream primary and secondary schools.
Her son is fast becoming an autism/ADHD advocate, he’s a successful YouTuber, a distinction-level guitarist, with a Jack Petchey Award in his clutches.
Category: Non-Fiction, Family, Parenting, Neurodivergence
Matthew Ross was born and raised in the Medway Towns in Kent, that's in the South-East of England about an hour's drive from Central London - it's not quite Country not quite Capital. He attended the Howard School for boys, then Mid-Kent College at Fort Horsted. The local team is Gillingham FC and for many years he was a season-ticket holder - parenthood put an end to that, but he still follows the Gills. And he still lives in Kent with his Kiwi wife, two young sons and one very old bad-tempered cat.
Matthew grew up in and around the building industry, and spent his school summer holidays helping out on his father's sites. After leaving school he followed his father in to the industry, and over the years he has worked on everything from small domestic repairs to billion-pound infrastructure and probably everything in between. He drew influence from his experiences and the people he's met over the years when writing his first novel, "Death Of A Painter", the first in his planned series featuring the misadventures of Mark Poynter and friends.
Several years ago he ticked off a lifelong ambition and tried his hand at stand-up comedy. He enjoyed the writing more than the performing and got approached by a leading stand-up comedian to provide material for their nationwide theatre tours, Edinburgh Fringe shows, corporate bookings and their appearances on shows such as ‘Mock The Week’, ‘Have I Got News For You’ and ‘The News Quiz’. He was also commissioned by two leading production companies to provide material for different BBC Radio 4 comedy series.
Unfortunately his writing ambitions got put on hold "temporarily", something he regrets because of the momentum gathering behind him. However a grown-up proper job, losing his father, and having his babies got in the way - what was a temporary postponement in time became a total derailment. But the itch wouldn't go away and he wanted to write again. He was less keen to return to joke/sketch writing, believing that the longer form novel was more appropriate for where he is now in life. So, he joined the Faber Academy 6-month Novel Writing course in 2016 under Richard Skinner’s tutelage and it changed his life.
Category: Crime, Thriller, Mystery, Dark Comedy
Throughout her life, Heleen Kist has been fondled, patronised and ordered to smile by random men. So she wrote 'Stay Mad, Sweetheart', a feminist tale of justice, published November 2019. Whilst her professional knowledge of technology start-ups fed the novel's setting, its theme of insidious harassment and discrimination required no research: it is familiar to all women.
Heleen was chosen as an up and coming new author at Bloody Scotland 2018. Her first novel, 'In Servitude' won the silver medal for Best European Fiction at the Independent Publishers Book Awards in the USA and was shortlisted for The Selfies awarded at London Book Fair.
A Dutch strategy consultant living in Glasgow and married to a Scotsman, she's raising their son to be a good man and their daughter to kick ass.
Category: Suspense, Thriller
Maria is a neuroscientist working on Parkinson’s disease, with degrees in Biochemistry and Neuroscience from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London. She has worked in prestigious scientific institutes throughout her scientific career, including London School of Pharmacy, Imperial College and The Royal Marsden Hospital, London.
She has been an author in many scientific publications, including a first author paper, which is recognition for her scientific research. Maria has taught many medical doctors and students scientific concepts in biology, physics and chemistry. She has supervised them, and helped them pass examinations and obtain MDs and PhDs.
Maria is a gifted third-generation spiritual psychic, incarnated angel, clairvoyant, intuitive reader, angelic reiki practitioner, Atlantean healing practitioner, qualified animal healer and communicator, crystal healer, Einstein channel, public speaker, teacher and author.
From a young age, Maria has been highly sensitive to energetic fields of places and people, and has been blessed with spiritual gifts to bridge the gap between science and spirituality, to educate others in gaining the scientific background to help them understand spirituality, and to bring them peace and balance in their everyday lives.
Category: Mind, Body, Spirit, Mental & Spiritual Healing, Alternative Medicine, Spiritualism, Science
Mary was born in Birmingham, where her father Laurence taught French and her Irish mother, Madge, had worked as a nurse. The eldest of four, she was the only girl. Mary was educated mainly by nuns at St Pauls Grammar School for Girls before reading English at Lady Margaret Hall. Later, divorced and a single mother of two daughters, she taught at Cambridge. Remarried and a stepmother, she went on teaching but research was her real passion.
In her first book, Writing by Numbers, she deciphered Trollope’s working diaries to reveal his creative process, tracking down the long-lost diary of The Last Chronicle of Barset, in a remote country house.
Signs of Cleopatra, her second, took her to Egypt, Venice and Paris, in search of what Cleopatra’s image has meant and how that has varied with time and place, tied to changing ideas about women and their lives. The project led to fellowships at Harvard, where she continues to spend time most years.
A month-long intensive actor-training with Shakespeare and Company in Massachusetts inspired her third book, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
Her groundbreaking fourth book, Incest: a new perspective, again uncovered knowledge that had been hidden away, when it examined the spectrum of psychological trauma and its causes.
Ever since Rudyard Kipling lit her imagination as a child, Mary had wanted to write about him. As a grown woman she gradually realised that the story of his sister, Trix, was just as compelling.
To explore the impact of their daunting early experience on their lives and work as adults, she set out to research the facts in libraries and archives. But it was visiting the places where they lived that brought them closer to her. For the intimate story she had to tell, she decided it had to be fiction. Kipling and Trix is her fifth book and first novel.
Category: Literary Fiction, Historic Fiction
Penny Batchelor is an alumna of the Faber Academy online ‘Writing a Novel’ course.
She is a freelance journalist, a former BBC content producer and website editor for various educational institutions, and lives in Warwickshire with her husband.
Her journalism has appeared in numerous publications including The Knitter, Vintage Life, Mollie Makes, Travel Africa, The Simple Things and Pretty Nostalgic magazines; and BBC Ouch!, money magpie.com, welovethisbook.com and The University of Warwick's Knowledge Centre websites.
She is the editor of her award-winning knitting blog A Woolly Yarn, which is now solely social-media based on Facebook and Instagram.
My Perfect Sister is her first novel and she is currently writing a second.
Category: Fiction, Domestic Noir, Thriller
Jacquie Flecknoe-Brown worked in an acute psychiatric ward where she realised that a person’s suffering and behaviour carried a meaning for that person, even when it was not fully understood. She trained in Milan school of Systemic Family Therapy, a therapy that helped to unearth this meaning in the context of family. Later, she began to explore the writings of Dr. C.G. Jung, a master psychological analyst of symbolic communication, who along with other famous contemporaries, discovered a method of dream interpretation which helped support a person’s recovery and growth.
After years of her own analysis, she sold her house and went to Switzerland, training as a Jungian Analyst at the Research and Training Centre for Depth Psychology. Jacquie is the co-founder of the Australian Guild of Depth Psychology.
She has been in private practice as a psychotherapist and a Jungian Analyst for over 20 years. She works in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, lectures in tertiary education and writes. Her household includes too many poodles and a wild magpie family.
Category: Psychology, Dreams, Therapy, Spirituality
Healthcare Engagement Specialist and writer, Burton Paul, wrote Is it Serious? after over 10 years working in the leading edge of the world’s healthcare system. Advising brands such as Nestle, Bupa and Takeda, he realised the number one priority – the patient - wasn’t being considered enough. This book aims to serve as a bible that safely bridges the gap between the concerned internet browser and the health professional.
Burton studied and worked in the US, and moved to the UK 12 years ago. After landing on British soil, Burton pursued a career in private-sector pharmaceuticals and healthcare. It was from this he discovered the desperation of both patients and health professionals to find health solutions that didn’t ignore today’s biggest health resource - the internet. He then pursued a PhD at Imperial College Faculty of Medicine within this area. Following a few years research, he had to put it on hold due to his many professional commitments and obligations. Burton is active in supporting various patient focused research projects and resides in London. Is it Serious? is Burton’s first book.
Category: Health, Medicine, Illness, Non-Fiction
Martin van Es is a Dutch entrepreneur, father and grandfather. Born in 1959, the youngest of three children, he studied clinical psychology in Groningen, but got distracted by partying and a permanent lack of money. In 1986, he became a father to his daughter, and his son joined the world in 1989, during this time he decided it was time to study again and start living more seriously.
After graduating in international marketing, Martin took a job as a purchasing director of a partnership of 28 wholesalers, enabling him to travel the world. He then became director of a packaging wholesaler in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Over 14 years he developed the company alongside his team to create a leading player in the international packaging industry.
In 2005, Martin sold the company to the largest distributor in the packaging world, and he ventured into volunteering, investing and advising companies. MooiWeer, on the beautiful island of Terschelling, is a father and son enterprise, of which Martin is particularly proud.
Between 2013 and 2017, Martin worked as MD for a large, international, family-owned group of packaging wholesale companies specialised in environmental issues. The role, and the birth of his first two grandchildren, have had a massive influence on Martin.
He started writing Call Me Joe in 2017 and hopes the book will provoke conversation, challenge the status quo, and encourage people to question more about what is happening in the world, to question their leaders, and to consider their role in the future of the planet.
Hira Ali, Chief Executive Officer of Advancing Your Potential, Managing Director of International Women Empowerment Events, Founding Director of Career Excel, and Co-Founder of The Grey Area is a multi-faceted career coach and trainer who has impacted thousands of people from myriad industries and professions across the world.
She is an Associate Certified Coach accredited by International Coach Federation and a professional member of the Association for Neuro Linguistic Programming. Her widely acclaimed leadership and coaching articles have been featured in The International Coach Federation, The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Forbes, Ellevate Network, Entrepreneur, Women Entrepreneur, Gulf News, The Female Lead and many more.
Hira is a registered coach and mentor at international organisations including American Corporate Partners, the National Health Services, Mentor2mentees, and The Cherie Blair Foundation. She is the recipient of the Top 100 Women – Lift Effects Star Award and was one of the top three finalists for the Baton Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year. She recently won Highly Commended women in media award sponsored by Microsoft at the prestigious win trade awards.
Hira has been featured as a role model in the book Girls Who Do you Want To Be alongside global influencers like Arianna Huffington, Reshma Sujani, Claire Shipman, Sallie Krawcheck and many more. She is passionate about empowering women and ethnic minorities and is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Category: Non-Fiction, Business, Gender Studies, Management, Leadership, HR, Diversity & Inclusion
Yousra S Imran is an English-Egyptian hybrid who works and lives in West Yorkshire. She has been writing from the moment she learned how to hold a pen and works full time in marketing and events in the education sector.
Yousra grew up between the UK and the Middle East and has a BA Hons in International Relations. She is passionate about women's rights and gender justice. Yousra lives with her husband in Bradford, Yorkshire.
Category: YA Fiction
Known as The Coach for High Achieving Introverted Women, Carol Stewart is an Executive, Career and Business Coach and founder of Abounding Solutions, with over 25 years' coaching and leadership experience.
She helps women (with a particular emphasis on introverted women) to be great leaders and to lead with influence and impact. She also provides workshops, training and talks to corporate gender networks and BAME (Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority) networks on career development, personal development, and leadership development, and she is a leadership team facilitator.
Carol has provided coaching, training and talks to organisations such as Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Asurion, Department of Health, NHS England, National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR), Westminster City Council, Crown Prosecution Service, Metropolitan Police Service, London Borough of Croydon, London Borough of Waltham Forest, London Borough of Lambeth and more, as well as coaching private clients.
Carol was named as one of Britain's Top 50 Business Advisers in 2015 by Enterprise Nation, a LinkedIn Top Voice UK in 2017, 2018 and 2019, a We Are The City Rising Star Champion in 2018 for her work helping women to develop in their careers, and she was listed as one of Britain's most influential Black Christian women in 2019 by Keep the Faith Magazine.
Prior to starting her coaching business, Carol worked for the Ministry of Justice. Starting in one of the most junior roles, she progressed to a senior role with responsibility for the operation of a group of magistrates' courts where she was also a member of the Local Criminal Justice Board for four London boroughs. Carol is a semi-regular columnist for the Sheffield Telegraph, a weekly newspaper established in 1855, and has also written for several other publications. She volunteers her time mentoring women business owners in developing countries for the Cherie Blair Foundation, volunteers for the Kreative Culture Club, a youth charity that provides services to help develop young people in the local community (having previously been Chair of the Board of Trustees), she is a school governor, and leads the Marketplace Ministry at her church.
Category: Business, Psychology, Women
A.Bello is an award-winning author and publishing entrepreneur, born and raised in London, where she still lives and works. In 2018, Abiola was named ‘Trailblazer of the Year’ by London Book Fair.
Abiola wrote her first novel at the age of eight – when she fought monsters and dragons on a daily basis – and experienced her first taste of ‘being published’ after winning a school poetry competition at the age of 12. Seeing her words in print fuelled a passion for writing that remains to this day.
The first incarnation of the Emily Knight story can be traced back almost 20 years; Abiola wanted to fill the gaping hole in children’s fiction for an inspirational, strong, black, female, young protagonist. This ‘gap’ in publishing remains in today’s publishing world despite continued calls for more BAME authors and diversity within characters and plotlines.
She is the founder of The Lil' Author School and co-founder of The Author School (shortlisted for The Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2016 and celebrating its fifth birthday in 2020). A. Bello is regularly asked to contribute to the media; she has been featured in About Time Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Female First, Daily Mirror, BBC1XTRA, The Bookseller, The British Blacklist, Melan Magazine, London Post, and many more. Abiola is also a regular at literary festivals and gives talks to children in primary and secondary schools, as well as to young writers and people wishing to get into the publishing business.
Category: Middle Grade, Juvenile, Fantasy Fiction
Born in Melbourne and brought up in Sydney, Alison spent over two decades studying, living and working in the UK before returning to Australia some fifteen years ago.
Her debut novel, Stillwater Creek, was Highly Commended in the 2011 ACT Book of the Year Award, and afterwards published in Reader’s Digest Select Editions in Asia and in Europe. Alison’s also written The Indigo Sky (2011), A Distant Land (2012), and A Perfect Marriage (2018). Alison wrote an article for The Guardian on domestic violence; a major theme in her last book, A Perfect Marriage.
Alison is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Australian National University.
In November 2019, Alison was made Fellow of the Econometric Society, a prestigious international society for the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics.
Category: Historical Drama, Fiction
Venessa Taylor brings two decades of experience as an inner-city primary school teacher and assistant headteacher, to the creation of the Baller Boys series. Aimed at encouraging young boys to enjoy reading, the football-themed stories are written with young readers in mind. Born and raised in London, Venessa continues her legacy as a literacy lead, through her stories. One of her proudest achievements was raising the standards of reading and literary engagement and attainment across the school with a focus of engaging boys and reluctant readers. Venessa used this valuable time to research and identify what students would respond most to in terms of content, characters and setting. Venessa soon realised that what the boys wanted to read about was not readily available, so took the challenge upon herself to inspire and encourage more young people – boys in particular - to read.
Venessa wrote the Baller Boys series to empower young readers, reflecting the diversity football brings in a community, while showcasing different families, lives and challenges. Venessa continues to be inspired by her grandsons, and the stories are dedicated to her son-in-law, ‘Coach Reece’, who passed away suddenly in 2017. With her family’s input and insight from the children she taught over the years, Venessa crafted an authentic, inclusive series that she hopes all young readers will enjoy – in and out of school!
Venessa lives in Essex and is an ambassador for various leukaemia and cancer charities. Venessa was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2016 and is in remission despite being unable to find a donor.
Category: Young Readers, Reluctant Readers, Children's Fiction
Scott Jordan is a philosopher, writer, and political scientist living in America and Malaysia. He is the Executive Assistant Director of the Centre for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies. He holds a Masters in East-West Studies from Creighton University. Scott regularly contributes to the development of Postnormal Times Theory, and helps run conferences all over the world dedicated to expanding futures literacy and empowering marginalised peoples. His major contributions to PNT Theory are seen in the Postnormal Times Reader, East-West Affairs literary journal, and his upcoming co-authored book with Ziauddin Sardar and Jordi Serra, Muslim Societies in Postnormal Times.
He is also deputy editor of Critical Muslim. He also ran a podcast, Tea Talk Asia, that emphasised bringing news from Asia to the West.
Category: Biography, History, Politics, Religion, Female Empowerment
Lisa Dart has a doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex, England. She has published poetry, book reviews, creative non-fiction and articles and has won both the Grolier Prize, USA, and the Aesthetica Prize. Her work has been published in The British Journal of Psychoanalysis and the International Journal of Psychotherapy. Her last book, This Thing of Darkness, was given an Arts Council Award in 2015.
Category: Memoir, Experimental Memoir, Psychoanalysis
Sue Telford is a Norfolk-based writer, gin blogger and cocktail photographer with a love of craft gin, cocktails and fresh flavours. In 2017, inspired by the craft gin revolution, she bought a tiny 4L air still, got herself licensed by HMRC, and effectively turned her little 9ft by 9ft kitchen into a weekend gin distillery where she set about distilling with enthusiasm. At the time, she knew nothing about distilling, although she was a keen home cook and loved experimenting with flavours. She quickly learned through a lot of trial and error and internet research. And she is still learning. Her cocktail photographs with their distinctive style have been featured by gin distillers.
Sue has two teenage children and five years ago went through treatment for breast cancer and sepsis. When she turned 50, Sue decided to hire a DSLR camera, start a blog about gin, and turn her life-long love of all things creative (and gin!), into a passion project. Fast-forward two years and How To Drink Gin is born! Sue is available for press interviews, copies of the new book can be called in, and we can share extracts for media use.
Category: Lifestyle, Food & Drink, Alcoholic Drinks, Cocktails, Hobbies
Born in Derbyshire, raised in Yorkshire, resides in London, Terry learned from a young age that he was different from his peers. He preferred the company of girls over boys, didn’t like sports and would write at every opportunity. He was bullied throughout his school life both physically and verbally and had to deal with the cruelty of others from an early age.
Terry Geo wrote and directed his first play at age eleven. At sixteen, he started work in television, writing scripts and becoming the youngest director in the country.
Terry applied for a job while taking his final exams and started work in television the week after he finished school. For the first time in his life, he found a world where he could shine and be accepted for who he was. He came out as gay to his parents the following week and never again hid his sexuality from anyone. At seventeen he became the youngest director in the country, producing a light entertainment show for Yorkshire Television.
After a short stint in a boyband, Terry went back to writing, editing two national publications. He toured the world as an actor, moved to London and in 2017, wrote and directed a musical for the London stage.
A year later, Terry married Ken, the love of his life, in London. After their honeymoon in Thailand, he returned to a book he had started some years before. In January 2019, his cat Megara sadly passed away. This hit Terry hard and in memorial to her, he wrote her into the book he was writing. She is now a part of Terry’s debut published novel, Refraction.
Category: Science Fiction, Fantasy, YA/Adult
Alex Waldron is the writer and illustrator of the Fred & Woody’s Fantastic World series of books from Ruby Tuesday Books. Inspired by his sons, and the children he supports through the nursery care company he runs with his wife in Cornwall, Alex has created a series of accessible, engaging, fun books that will help parents, carers and teachers open up dialogue on conversations that can be perceived as difficult – but important - to broach including safety and consent, body confidence and awareness, bereavement and same-sex relationships. Alex’s work is inspired by nostalgia from his childhood; think the Goonies, in the land of Grizzly Adams, with the attitude of Bill and Ted. When not working, writing, drawing or looking after his sons, Alex can be found at the beach (although he’s also known to do all those things at the beach as well as surfing and paddleboarding!).
Category: Children's, Education, Parenting
Mandy Lancaster has a professional background in sexual health, mental health and youth work. She is a consultant on the creation of the Fred & Wood's Fantastic World series, written by Alex Waldron, and published by Ruby Tuesday Books. Mandy is a relationships and sex education trainer at Public Health Cornwall. She is committed to breaking down the barriers that limit the conversations we have with our children about their emotional well-being, mental and sexual health. She passionately believes that our children and young people will have safer, healthier and happier lives if we enable them to talk about these areas of their lives with confidence and ease.
Category: Children's, Education, Parenting
Luciano Iorio was born in Rome in 1937 and moved to London in 1971. In his native country he gained a music diploma and a degree in law. He decided to become a professional musician, and has enjoyed a long and distinguished international career. Since his retirement he has taken up pottery, and has spent five years researching and writing this book.
Category: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Family, History, Heritage, Publishing
Dr Tony Ortega is a first-generation Cuban American. He is a licensed clinical psychologist, life coach, and author who has been in practice since 1992, currently serving the LGBTQ population in his private practice located in Brooklyn, New York.
Tony combines cognitive behavioural techniques along with active coaching and metaphysical principles in his work with clients. He works with his clients within these three principles: Rewrite Your Story, Find Your Voice, and Live Authentically.
Category: Self-Help, Psychology, Relationships
Growing up watching loved ones at the mercy of debilitating illnesses, Stuart became passionate about transforming people’s health, helping them attain boundless energy and maintain their fitness whatever their age. His first book, Get Strong, Get Fit, Get Healthy, targets people aged forty-plus who want to take responsibility for their health and fitness for life!
Being a Fire Fighter for thirty years Stuart was lucky to have a job that required him to keep physically fit. Early on his career he qualified as a Fire Service Physical Training Instructor and did this for 25 years, until he retired early!
Stuart studied at the highly respected Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London for three years, before qualifying as a naturopathic nutritionist in 2003 - after a further three years of study - at Plaskett College. His methods are based on the importance of making changes that are easy to implement, sustainable over the longer term and that fit into busy lives without denying people the pleasure of their favourite foods.
In 2004, Stuart built on his experience supporting Fire Fighters with their fitness and qualified as a Coach and Instructor in a completely new and revolutionary exercise program developed for athletes which could be adapted and used by anyone. He learned from mentors who changed what he thought was possible with respect to health and fitness at middle age and beyond.
Category: Self-Help, Health, Fitness, Nutrition
Abiola Bello is a 30-year-old author who was born and raised in London, where she still lives and works. She wrote her first novel at the age of eight - she fought monsters and dragons on a daily basis – and experienced her first taste of ‘being published’ after winning a school poetry competition at the age of 12. Seeing her words in print fuelled a passion for writing that remains to this day. Abiola Bello first began writing the Emily Knight saga shortly afterwards (still only 12 years old!) with the intention of filling the gaping hole in children’s fiction for an inspirational, strong, black female, young protagonist. This gap, 18 years later, remains in the publishing world despite continued calls for more BAME background authors and diversity within characters and plotlines.
Abiola Bello is regularly called to talk at literary events and within the media, she has appeared in Female First Magazine, The Mirror, BBC1XTRA to name a few. Her latest novel, Emily Knight I Am…Awakened was Carnegie nominated in 2019 and is currently a London’s BIG Read Finalist (2019).
Category: Short Stories, Anthology, Children, YA, Teens
Esther Ramsay-Jones lectures on ‘Death, Dying and Bereavement’ at the Open University. She has presented her work at various locations around the world and her papers have been published in academic journals and anthologies. She practises as a specialist psychotherapist in palliative care, working with people with long-term conditions and their families. Esther also works in a counselling service for older adults, presenting with a range of difficulties and does some tutoring on London-based counselling courses.
She is the mother to two young children, who in some ways were the catalyst for her doctoral research and subsequent writing on care and dependency. She has worked at the coal-face of frontline care for older people, and those with dementia, and has direct experience of the impact of dementia and terminal illness.
Beyond her work and home life, Esther loves to travel, to write, to swim, run, do yoga and enjoy time with family and good friends.
Category: Dementia, Caring, Health, Family, Death, Psychotherapy
Erudite, edgy and elegant, Georgia Varjas is a passionate, multi-skilled artist with a unique talent for creating provocative prose that stimulates reflection and change.
Georgia is a speaker, writer and performer.
With a lifelong passion for music and words, Georgia made the stage her professional home as a saxophonist, playwright, performance poet and speaker, touring Europe with bands and winning Poetry Slam Contests in both the UK and US.
Georgia's love of language and feisty, charismatic personality are the perfect catalysts for her writing, which unapologetically illuminates current affairs and injustice in a way that arouses a desire to step up, stand out and create transformation.
Georgia was born in North London and now lives in Murcia, Spain, but regularly returns to England.
Category: Practical/motivational, self help, mind/body/spirit, non-fiction current affairs
Nicknamed “Gym Boy” by friends when he was 19 due to his dedication to training and personal fitness development at University, Neill now has over 20 years of knowledge balancing, unbalancing and rebalancing strength, fitness and health with a demanding, challenging career and personal life.
A qualified Personal Trainer and entrepreneur at his core, Neill has built a career in new ventures, creative technology and corporate start-up, including working with major organisations including Virgin Money, Warner Bros, and Shanghai Media Group.
Through this journey Neill has had to find ways to optimise fitness and nutrition techniques to fit in progression and recovery alongside demanding (mostly sedentary) work hours and pressures. Now a founder and Director at boutique consultancy, Bigger Brother, Neill wrote The Lean Exec during his time at Virgin Money to share his fitness challenges, mistakes, learnings and solutions - to help other people with busy careers and family lives, cut to the benefits faster and find the balance they want to achieve with fitness, strength and health alongside their everyday life.
Category: Health, Fitness, Business
The pharmaceutical industry is in meltdown. We constantly hear of eye watering drug prices, shortages, litigation over damaging side effects, dodgy marketing practices, economic adulteration, consent decrees, counterfeiting, patent games, price gouging, and much, much more... How can this be right? The short answer is, it's not.
But, how did it get to this? What can be done about it? This book answers those questions. Pharma got in this state because pharmaceutical companies were seduced by science, twice. Firstly, by the myth that is penicillin, and secondly, by a battle between two stomach ulcer drugs in the 1980s. Those seductions led the industry to believe the route to riches lay in patenting molecules, and clever sales and marketing. The result is what we see today, marketing muscle-pushing brands on healthcare professionals, and patent law suits between already rich pharma behemoths arguing over their share of the spoils.
Whilst this is not the first time this has been said - there are so many books knocking the industry - none offer a solution to the problems.... Until now; and it is a very simple solution. We should stop believing medicines are different to all other products on sale in the market, because they are not. Yes, science is an important component in bringing a medicine to the world, but it takes a healthy dose of engineering skills to get them there too, and the application of those skills is sadly lacking in pharma. The system for producing and supplying a medicine to market should be no different to an aero-engine, automobile or silicon chip.
There is no sign of pharma getting this message any time soon. So, this book is for them, and anyone else with an interest in radical transformation in pharma.
Category: Non-Fiction, Medicine, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals
Sara was diagnosed with HER2 positive and oestrogen positive primary breast cancer in October 2016 at the age of forty-two. Not ever expecting to be diagnosed with breast cancer and having to deal with the impact that cancer can have on an already busy life (one involving a juggling motherhood, working and everything else that a forty-something year old woman has to fit in her life) Sara decided to use her experience to help others who were going through the same thing.
Towards the end of her treatment, Sara set up her website, www.tickingoffbreastcancer.com, and wrote this book of the same name. With the book and the website, Sara has created something that will support and encourage others throughout their breast cancer treatment and beyond.
Sara lives in Hertfordshire with her husband of fifteen years, their two children and a dog who likes to eat socks. Sara works part-time in London as an insurance lawyer but now spends a lot of her time writing. She writes for her website and for various cancer charities and organisations.
Category: Health, Illness, Non-Fiction
Allie Cashel BA is the author of Suffering the Silence: Chronic Lyme disease in an Age of Denial (North Atlantic Books) and the co-founder and president of Suffering the Silence. Since starting work with STS, Allie has been invited to speak at events around the US and beyond, ranging from private fundraisers, to medical schools, to bookstores and support groups. Highlights include: an appearance on Good Day NY (Fox5), a presentation at a United States Congressional Forum and her facilitation of workshops on disability, inclusion and storytelling around the country. Allie is a member of the Young Leaders Council of the Global Lyme Alliance.
Category: Health, Medicine, Illness, Non-Fiction
Dr Bernard Raxlen MD specialises in neuropsychiatry and neurocognitive complications. Over the past 30 years, he has successfully treated over 6500 cases of tick-borne disease and today over 90% of his practice is devoted to chronic Lyme disease (CLD) and co-infections. He was an original member and co-founder of AIMS (Academy for Integrated Medical Studies) and served for several years on the Board of Directors of the Omega Institute. He is founding member and secretary of the board of governors of ILADS (the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society) and is serving as the chairman of its Ethics Committee. He was awarded the Humanitarian Award by the Turn the Corner Foundation, and has been a featured speaker in more than 40 workshops over the years on topics ranging from psychiatry, drug abuse, psychoneuroimmunology and tick-borne diseases as well as on US national television (ABC, NBC, Fox, Discovery) discussing medical concerns pertaining to TBD and Lyme disease.
Category: Health, Medicine, Illness, Non-Fiction
Jerry Bradley started writing when his wife of 29 years, Irene, became seriously ill. Jerry became her full-time carer until she lost her battle with dementia three years later, in 2015. At first, Jerry started writing because he was determined to have a log of his memories, his experiences, his thoughts and his life stories. If he ever became ill like his wife, Jerry wanted to be able to read a book about his life, every day, to try to keep the memories alive. The Candy Man started, as most novels do, as a small idea that turned into a huge story. This is not a tale of romance or dementia, it’s a gritty, adult insight into the underbelly of drugs, addiction, crime and gangs – something that still takes some of Jerry and his late wife, Irene’s, friends by surprise!
Jerry continues to fuel his passion for writing and storytelling, and tends to write most at night, into the early hours, but he still finds time for his family and friends, martial arts, keeping fit and playing golf. Jerry lives in Lindfield, Sussex.
Category: Fiction, Crime, Gangster
Lotte Moore is the best-selling author of Lotte’s War, which reached number one in the charts after its release on Remembrance Day 2016. Lotte dedicates her time, free of charge, every week, to read her stories to children in pre-schools and primary schools, and she’s particularly busy around World Book Day and Remembrance Day. She has travelled throughout the United Kingdom and her World War Two presentation plus rationing table (showing the children how little food was allocated per person during the War) are hugely popular with children and teachers.
Lotte Moore’s other illustrated children’s stories include The Invisible Elephant, The Dinosaur Who Ate A Piano and The Teaspoon Family. As a child, Lotte lived in Kent with her parents who enjoyed entertaining, political debate and literary discussion with the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, H E Bates, W H Auden and Benjamin Britten. Lotte married her loyal husband Chris (who continues to support Lotte by typing out her hand-written stories) and has two grown-up daughters who now have their own children.
Category: Young Readers, Children's Picture Book
London born, with an Irish father and Italian mother, Barbara Angela Kealy was the fourth of seven children. Together with her sister Sandra, she attended the local dance school from an early age, loving the opportunity to perform on stage to the public. She left home as a teenager to follow the American dream – becoming an au pair for a wealthy family in New York before moving on to work for a bank in Wall Street. Years later, she returned to London and her love of performance, joining the Lissenden Players, as a performing artist and eventually becoming secretary. Barbara continues to be part of the popular Lissenden Players.
In XXXX, Barbara signed to a talent agency in London, and since then has worked as a lookalike for the iconic actress, Dame Joan Collins, travelling around the UK and Europe. She lives in London, and is married with a stepdaughter, Louise.
Category: Fiction, Showbusiness, Entertainment
Nikki Vallance is a writer and coach who works with others to unlock their writing talents. She runs coaching programs and one to one sessions to help aspiring writers achieve their goals.
She began writing ‘Pivotal’ nine years ago, whilst still working in her recruitment career, following a flash of inspiration in a session with her own coach. She has given talks and presentations on her writing process and career.
‘Pivotal’ looks at the multiple paths a life may take at the crossroads of each significant decision. Nikki is fascinated by what makes us who we are and how much control we have over our destiny, and interviewed a number of hypnotherapists in researching the book.
Nikki is married with her own blended family of five children. Although a beginner, she’s a big fan of Argentine Tango, which she hopes to dance in Buenos Aires one day.
Category: Women's Fiction, Relationships, Fiction
Vese Aghoghovbia Aladewolu, 31, was born in Lagos, Nigeria where she lived until the age of 15, when she moved to England to study her A-levels in Bristol and on to Imperial College London, where she graduated with a Master of Engineering degree. Following the birth of her daughter 18 months ago, Vese began to explore her passion for building confidence in children.
Vese loves writing and sees it as an avenue to uplift, encourage and challenge young people. Her goal is to empower the next generation to love and believe in themselves. This has led her to the launching of Philly & Friends, a contemporary children's brand with the purpose of helping underprivileged children around the world. She is a founding member of the Aghoghovbia Foundation, set up to empower the girl child and Inspiring Role Models, a social enterprise dedicated to helping others achieve their dreams.
Vese lives with her husband, 18 month old and newborn babies, in Essex.
Category: Children's, Picture Books, Self-Esteem
Whilst he started his career in advertising, today Dexter Moscow is a Keynote Speaker, Influencing Skills Coach and TV Presenter. A passion for people and a desire for results led Dexter to the role of senior trainer at QVC, where he coached business owners on how to successfully sell their products to an invisible audience.
Roles ranging from Sales Director to Equity Partner; Head of Training to Business Owner taught Dexter many valuable lessons. Leading him to understand his client’s problems enabling Dexter to help them deliver business-winning pitches, presentations and control their prospecting conversations. This and myriad training methodologies that have been put to the test over decades inform Dexter's unique approach to coaching helping others to gain the most when communicating with colleagues, teams, clients and customers.
Dexter today works with a diverse range of high-level clients and his first book, Stand Up & Sell, shows people how to become more persuasive and influential, when it really matters.
Dexter is married with two children, and grandchildren, and lives in London.
Category: Business, Sales, Entrepreneur, Personal Development, Skills
Theo Michaels was born in London but comes from a large Greek Cypriot family. After competing in BBC television’s MasterChef UK in 2014, he opened his first pop-up restaurant which was a sell-out success and he has continued to cook professionally. He has written three cookbooks, writes a weekly food column and has appeared numerous times on ITV’s This Morning, The Food Network and Sky TV. He can also occasionally be heard telling bad jokes about good food on BBC Radio.
Category: Cookery, Recipes, Greece, Cyprus
MSc, FCIPD, FISMA, MABP, MBANT, Dip ION (Distinction)
Susan is a business psychologist, a nutritional therapist, a trainer, a consultant and a coach, as well as a public speaker and the author of the best-selling books “How to have an outstanding career” and “How to Prevent Burnout”.
She has worked extensively in the Information Technology, Management Consultancy, Finance, Legal and Charity sectors and has designed and delivered major change management projects and management, leadership and wellbeing programmes for numerous private and public sector organisations across the UK, Europe, USA and Australasia. In tandem with consulting work, Susan ran a nutritional therapy clinic for executives experiencing burnout.
Susan brings a blended mind and body approach to her work. She believes passionately that everyone deserves to work in ways that foster their resilience, performance and careers.
Susan has an MSc in Organisational Behaviour from the University of London, a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy (Distinction) from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is registered with The Nutritional Therapy Council.
She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the International Stress Management Association. She is also a Principal Member of the Association for Business Psychology and a Member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy and is registered with the Nutritional Therapy Council. She is a past Chair of the Trustees of the International Stress Management Association (ISMAUK) and is the co-author of “The Manager’s Role in Stress Prevention.”
Category: Self-Help, Nutrition, Energy, Psychology, Sleep, Health
Carolyn Shanti is the author of ‘Trap, Prey, Lust’. A new novel based on the true story of her own childhood, where she was brought up in a wealthy and privileged family in England. Carolyn spent her childhood years in a secluded and idyllic mansion, surrounded by acres of private property. It was also a place of dark shadows and sexual secrets.
Her father, a prominent businessman in the fashion industry was a member of a notorious occult society. As a young child, Carolyn suffered ritual sexual abuse and was raped, not only by her own father, but members of the society. She was ‘groomed’ and mind control techniques were used to work against her remembering the abuse or the perpetrators of these acts of violence.
It was on a trip to India in 2013, that Carolyn started to have memories of the abuse; she was so unwell that she sought the help of Dr Rajan Sankaran, a renowned holistic physician, homeopath, and international speaker. In gratitude for his help, she has dedicated her book to him. For four years she was under his care at his clinic in Mumbai and has now almost completed her healing and is back living in the UK. It has been a long and arduous journey.
In ‘Trap, Prey, Lust', Carolyn has narrated her own story of childhood abuse in the form of fiction. Her wish in publishing this book is to demonstrate the seriousness of the issues that we face in the sexual abuse of women and children, the cults and secret societies that support these crimes, and the cultures that often condone these practices.
Lynn Crilly became a counsellor when one of her beautiful daughters fell into the evil trap of Anorexia Nervosa and OCD, at the age of 13. Lynn explored every avenue and source of help, but they were not right for her daughter or them as a family.
Watching her daughter disappear before her eyes, and the huge impact it was having on the rest of her family, especially her twin sister, Lynn felt she had no option but to educate herself and learn as much as she could about eating disorders and mental illness. Some years on, a lot of hard work, determination and many tears shed, and with the unconditional support from close family, friends, our GP and their school, their beautiful girl is now recovered, enjoying life to the full and Lynn's family are stronger than ever together.
With her new found knowledge, personal experience and most of all her passion and love; Lynn has been able to use her gift to help others.
Lynn Crilly lives in Surrey with her husband and their twin daughters. Through using her unique and very effective form of counselling she has now established herself as one of the country's leading private therapists, working with people from all walks of life, ages and genders. She is admired for her passion and understanding - something she attributes to the strength and loyalty of her family and friends, with whom she spends as much time as possible.
Category: Health, Mental Health, Self-Help, Family
Annette Byford grew up in Germany where she taught at a secondary school before going on to study psychology and train as a psychodynamic psychotherapist in the UK. For the past 25 years, she has worked as a psychologist and psychotherapist in private practice and as a lecturer and supervisor in various settings (university, NHS and the voluntary sector). She is a chartered counselling psychologist and a senior practitioner on the Register of Psychologists specialising in Psychotherapy. She has recently published a paper in the British Journal of Psychotherapy on bilingualism in psychoanalytic psychotherapy (Lost and Gained in Translation: the impact of bilingual clients’ choice of language in psychotherapy BJP vol 31:3, 2015).
She lives in Southampton, is married with has two adult children, including a daughter who got married a couple of years ago.
Category: Cultural studies, Psychology, Weddings, Families, Relationships
How a Fat Middle-Aged Man Lost 31 Kilos and Reversed Type 2 Diabetes
"When I first got my type 2 diagnosis I was told it was a ‘lifelong’ condition and I’d probably be on the pills for life. I assumed it was a progressive illness with no chance of remission – so what was the point of doing anything about it? But after several years of just taking the pills I rebelled and became my own lab-rat. Over five months I dropped 31 kg (a quarter of my body weight) in an attempt to get rid of the internal fat that was compromising my natural insulin function. And it worked! No more meds. Normal blood glucose scores, normal blood pressure, normal total cholesterol levels and normal triglyceride scores.
"I did it by completely ignoring the public health dietary advice that encourages us to eat plenty of starchy carbohydrates and low-fat foods. The five principles that dominated my approach to dealing with my diagnosis were to:
Cut out as many carbohydrates as possible – that means no potatoes, cereals, pasta, biscuits, cakes, bread or rice at all for the entire period of the diet.
Get rid of all refined sugars
Limit daily calorie intake in the short-term through portion control.
Increase average daily water consumption...
and moderately increase my levels of daily physical activity.
This is the story of a journey to recovery. If you want to understand how to combat this disease – and change your lifestyle for good – CONQUER TYPE 2 DIABETES reveals the key steps to follow. The book includes a simple, straightforward action plan, a host of tips and tricks for managing a weight-loss regime and 40 delicious, low-carb recipes for food lovers.
Category: Health, Fitness, Food, Recipes
Claire Handscombe is a British writer who grew up in London, Brussels, and Suffolk. After she finished high school, she took a year out to work for a church in Guernsey, then went on to Cambridge, where she studied French and Spanish at King’s College.
Though she wrote prolifically as a child, she did so in French, her mother tongue. After she moved back to the UK at the age of 12, she found herself increasingly thinking in English, and with her gradual loss of French came the loss of writing as a creative outlet.
When, by chance, in her late twenties, she started watching The West Wing on a friend’s computer, she fell in love with the series, and Aaron Sorkin’s mastery of language sparked a visceral love of English in her and reignited her desire to write. It also reawakened her political zeal and made her curious to visit the USA in general and Washington, DC, in particular. She was able to do in 2009, and she was enchanted by the city and became determined to move there – which she did, in 2012, when she began an MFA in Creative Writing at American University. She has lived there since then, having been deemed an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability” by the Government and awarded the relevant visa after finishing her studies.
She remains an avid fan of The West Wing and an active member of its community of devotees. She has met any of the cast, self-published an anthology in 2016 entitled Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives, and helped organise the first ever gathering of fans of the show, The West Wing Weekend, which took place in the DC area in 2018.
To date, she has written five novels, of which Unscripted is the third, and the first to be published. She was recently longlisted for the Bath Novel Award for another. Her journalism, poetry, and essays have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Bustle, Writing Magazine, and the Washington Post. She writes regularly for Book Riot, a major publishing website in the USA, and hosts the Brit Lit Podcast, a fortnightly show of news and views from British books and publishing.
Category: Women's Fiction
Richard is passionate about travel and wildlife having visited all seven continents and some 40-plus countries. His interest in wildlife started on a week-long trip on a cabin cruiser in Alaska’s Inside Passage surrounded by humpback and orca whales. Since that first trip he has, amongst other things, trekked in China in search of pandas, sat with mountain gorillas, camped out in the Canadian tundra watching polar bears, helped save a wounded water buffalo in Swaziland and visited nomadic reindeer herders in Russian’s Chukotka Peninsula.
He has had a wide-ranging career, working both here in the UK and in Hong Kong, and is naturally curious about the world. He has worked across telecommunications, broadcasting, digital video effects and publishing. He has founded and run businesses and acted as a Non Exec, and as a mentor, in fields as diverse as travel, 3D imaging and medical devices.
He has worked on projects for Hollywood feature films and was involved in the legacy aspects of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
A keen traveler and wildlife enthusiast, he helped found pioneering travel company Discovery Initiatives, and since 2000 he has been a shareholder and Non-Executive Director of specialist luxury travel operator Steppes Group. In 2010 he produced the First TOFT Tiger Tourism Awards in Delhi - the event is now an established feature in the tiger conservation calendar - and a year later, in 2011, Richard helped set up citizen science site ‘Tiger Nation’.
He wrote the first Tigeropolis book in 2015, inspired by his first ever sighting of a tiger in the wild. The second book was published the following year. The audio book of Tigeropolis is narrated by Richard E Grant and Belle Media produced a tie-in Tigeropolis video game, available on Apple TV and iTunes. Richard also found time to write a lively comic strip series for Hull City football club (‘Tigers’), based on his Tigeropolis characters.
In 2017 he co-wrote the first of a picture book series with business partner Kay Hutchison. The Adventures of Captain Bobo is set on the Clyde and has proved popular in Scotland.
He is a voting member of BAFTA and a member of the Society of Author.
Category: Children's, Animals, Conservation, Middle Grade
Mick Timpson is a senior meditation and yoga teacher. He is a writer, university lecturer, award-winning artist and architect. Mick is the founder and CEO of beanddo, a company focused on delivering modern meditation training to help people, communities, organisations and businesses thrive. He has designed the beanddo programmes and leads many of the courses.
Mick has taught design and led teaching studios in many schools of architecture. He has also managed a number of commercial architecture studios, including his own practice. He is an experienced speaker on the subjects of architecture, creativity and wellbeing. Mick has also taught yoga, meditation and wellbeing to countless students. The origin of beanddo can be traced back to when Mick realised that he had been talking about the same thing to each audience – how a simple change of perspective allied with a knowing stillness and presence can empower one’s innate sense of wellbeing and joy, flow, creativity and happiness. One can, with practice, learn to Make Happy Work.
Category: Self-help, meditation, yoga, health, wellbeing, mindfulness
Angela Johnson AKA Mrs Bun the Baker has baked for as long as she can remember. As she got older she would make her own recipe books with favourite recipes, which she still has, and her house at University always smelt of baking! Growing up in a family that loved baking, she decided to continue her love of food by studying, food and catering at University. Angela then became a teacher and worked at secondary schools for nearly 20 years as a teacher of food technology, having attained outstanding GCSE grades through her teaching.
Five years ago, Angela established her award-winning cooking school in South Oxfordshire to teach cooking skills to all. In cooking classes children get to “Make, Bake and Take home” all their goodies, gaining confidence and inspiring them to bake at home. Mrs Bun the Baker works with schools, nurseries, charities, communities, garden centres, food festivals and her own independent classes for toddlers, children, teens and families.
Category: Cooking, Recipes, Children's Interests, Family
Ex-Special Forces, John-Paul Jordan is an author and recovery consultant. His first book was a self-help guide inspired by his own incredible experiences – How To Stop Taking Drugs in 30 Days: A Simple and Daring Plan – which launched in September 2017 as an eBook. John-Paul is a former Legionnaire with the French Foreign Legion, after which he joined the British Armed Forces, serving in operations in Afghanistan where he awarded for his actions in combat. Following his military service, John-Paul worked for international media organisation in warzones clandestinely moving journalists in and out of some of the world most dangerous hotspots, before heading up logistics for a mining company in Afghanistan and training local forces.
John-Paul also assisted Primark, the international retail giant, in the disaster relief operations in the aftermath of the biggest modern-day industrial accident Dhaka Bangladesh, when the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed. His personal injuries from war took their toll with the effects of physical injury and non-visible injuries, PTSD. As part of his own recovery he wrote about his experience to share his story with others and liberate himself from the stigma of PTSD and mental health issues – or what he terms non-visible injuries… because that’s what they are: an injury to be treated like any other.
He has met some incredible people from all walks of life – veterans and non-veterans alike – and one thing he is sure of is that you don’t have to have been to war to be at war.
John-Paul’s mission is to help everyone facing an inner challenge to find their way to freedom. To start the conversation. Remove the stigma and live in the solution not the problem. He has been working closely with the charity Mind, including advising on the set of a national television programme, sharing his experiences of injuries from war.
Category: Memoir, Military, History, War
James, a life-loving farmer’s son from Northern Ireland, who lives in Peckham, London had a successful global business, travelling the world for clients in the food world. A winner of many global awards, James wrote and presented cooking books for clients including AGA, Rangemaster and China Food TV. James was honoured for his work in 2012 by Farmers’ Weekly magazine when named ‘an ambassador for British Food’. He is the first ever Westerner to receive the Chinese TV and Radio award (Chinese equivalent to a BAFTA) for his TV series. At the height of his television career in China, James’ programme attracted more than 100 million viewers.
All of this, and more, fell by the wayside when, at the age of 35, James suffered a severe depressive episode. Confined to his bed for a year, James struggled with anxiety, panic attacks and constant sadness. During this time, James learnt to knit and together with Dr Thomas A. Ernst FRCP, James learnt to rebuild his life and mind through knitting. ‘Knit and Nibble’ is James’ new book which won the gourmand World Cookbook Award for the most innovative cookbook in the world. Now aged 40, James is the picture of health and vitality and credits it all to the mindful benefits of knitting.
Category: Health and wellbeing, Knitting, Crafts, Food, Recipes, Cookery, Mental health
Dr Thomas A. Ernst FRCP is a senior consultant general physician in a large London teaching hospital. He has a specialist interest in the use of mindfulness-based interventions in the complementary management of chronic medical illness. He focuses on improving patients’ symptoms and wellbeing by teaching bespoke mindfulness-based strategies.
Dr Ernst trained at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and qualified in 1993. He worked as a trainee Doctor in the UK from 1994 to 2005 and subsequently as a Consultant Physician and Geriatrician. He has extensive experience in the management of chronic medical illness and “blackouts and funny turns.” Dr Ernst lives with his partner James McIntosh and together they have developed the mindful concept of “knititation” together, which is introduced in their new book, ‘Knit and Nibble’.
Category: Health and wellbeing, Knitting, Crafts, Food, Recipes, Cookery, Mental health
Philip Beicken was born in Galway, Ireland but moved to England when he was 6 months old. He lives in West Sussex with his wife and two children and spends most of time clearing up the mess made by the growing number of animals his daughter adopts. Included in that list are three kittens named Molly, Marley and Bear, who like nothing more than chasing every leaf, butterfly and frog in the garden.
Even at an early age, Philip enjoyed creating fast paced, light-hearted stories filled with heroes, heroines and villains. His love of all sports, especially tennis and badminton, keeps him active for large spells during the week. When he's not writing, he runs his own business as a 360 videographer, which has enabled him to film in the USA and Europe.
Category: Middle Grade, Juvenile Fiction
Iida van der Byl-Knoefel was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis at the age of 33. She was told that it was a chronic disease and that she would need to be on medication for the rest of her life; however, she was able to reverse the symptoms of the condition with a plant-based diet through the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis and has been drug and pain free since August 2015.
Iida collected the recipes that helped her heal from the condition and the result is the cookbook 'A Kitchen Fairytale'. She inspires others to cook more plant-based through her social media channels, with a worldwide following.
She was also able to have a drug and pain free pregnancy and had a baby boy in August 2017, and has been breastfeeding him all along, since she is not on any medication. Iida lives in Surrey with her family.
Category: Cookery & Recipes, Health, Nutrition, Vegetarian & Vegan
Dr Sarah Myhill MB BS qualified in medicine (with Honors) from Middlesex Hospital Medical School in England in 1981 and has since focused tirelessly on identifying and treating the underlying causes of health problems, especially the ‘diseases of civilisation’ with which we are beset in the West. She has worked in the NHS since 1981 and full time private practice since 2000.
For 17 years Dr Myhill was the Hon. Secretary of the British Society for Ecological Medicine, which focuses on the causes of disease and treating through diet, supplements and avoiding toxic stress. She helps to run and lectures at the Society’s training courses and also lectures regularly on organophosphate poisoning, the problems of silicone, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Craig Robinson MA took a first in Mathematics at Oxford University in England in 1985. He then joined Price Waterhouse and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1988, after which he worked as a lecturer in the private sector, and also in The City of London, primarily in Financial Sector Regulation roles. Craig first met Sarah in 2001, as a patient for the treatment of his CFS, and they have since developed a professional working relationship.
Category: Health, healthcare, popular medicine
Kim Rix is a professional photographer and gemmologist (GIA). Based in London where she lives with her husband, Kim travels extensively and has gathered a vast amount of the best local knowledge from her world-wide contacts. Buying Gemstones and Jewels in Sri Lanka is Kim’s first book. Groups interested in arranging speaking engagements may contact the author via her website: www.gemstonedetective.com.
Category: Reference Guide, Travel, Jewellery, Hobbies
Stephanie Nimmo is a writer, journalist, campaigner and blogger.
Steph was born in Wales but has lived in London since 1990.
For nearly 10 years her blog Was this in the Plan? has shone a light on the world of disability, palliative care and end of life planning as she openly shares the details of her life caring for a life limited child, her husband’s diagnosis with terminal cancer and the death of both her husband and daughter just 13 months apart.
Her book Was this in the Plan? was published by Hashtag Press last year, it’s a memoir about living and dying well.
She speaks regularly on the importance of having open conversations around death and dying in order to be able to focus on making the most of our finite time.
Steph has written for the BMJ, Marie Claire, The Guardian, The Pool, The Independent and Mumsnet and works closely with the Palliative Care team at Great Ormond Street to train medical professionals. She is also involved with the work of the children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives campaigning to raise awareness of the the importance of well funded paediatric palliative care.
When not writing and campaigning Steph escapes from the challenges of parenting three teenagers by running marathons and swimming in lakes.
Category: Children's, Parenting, Family, Health, Picture Book
David Freed is a successful dad blogger who writes about sharing parenting on his blog Dad's Turn: Raising Little Bear (www.Dads-Turn.co.uk). A social scientist by background, he was one of the first dads in the UK to take half a year of Shared Parental Leave, sharing responsibility for his son equally with his wife. Whilst doing so, he developed first-hand experience of how great it can be being the lead parent, but how despite some small progress in recent years, he is still out of place as a dad in a week-day world of mums. He now works part-time to look after his son during the week.
Category: Families & Parenting, Fatherhood, Gender Equality, Politics
James Millar is a father and went part-time in 2014 whilst a Westminster journalist. He's blogged about that experience and the way people treated him at the time - the suspicion that he lacked ambition because he was taking time to look after his child. James has been a journalist for more than 20 years and published 'The Gender Agenda' with his partner in summer 2017. Dads Don't Babysit grew out of that book.
He says: "One of the surprising lessons I learned from that book was that boys/men are a big part of squaring the feminist circle and achieving equality. The book focused on the ways children are gendered by society and by books, TV shows etc, and that has fed into the new book, looking at where boys get their role models from i.e. lots of fathers of television are useless such as Homer Simpson!"
Category: Families & Parenting, Fatherhood, Gender Equality, Politics
Neeta Oza is a Yoga and Pilates instructor, blogger, and all-round health, fitness and wellbeing lover.
In her mid-20s, Neeta volunteered for MIND, and to give back from her amazing experience, decided to give 50% of every book purchased back to the charity.
She also vowed at 25 years old during a Saturday night Chinese meal with friends, to stay in the best physical shape once she reached 40; and ever since has been trying to stay in the best mental shape too.
A fourteen-minute Law of Attraction YouTube clip changed her life for the better in 2016; led her to viewing multiple motivational speakers, and also led her to writing this book: My Mini-Micro Mindset Manual is due for release by Hashtag Press in January 2019
Category: Self-Help, Health, Mind, Body, Spirit
Angela Dyson ditched her London life and downsized her home to move to the sticks in Surrey, to follow her dream to become a professional author. She loves to write but to pay the bills (Angela soon discovered that utility companies, bank managers and landlords aren’t known for their generosity and understanding natures,) she had to squeeze the writing in with working for a living. Some of the jobs to which she only gave half her attention have included working for a recording studio and a record label, running a building maintenance company where pretty much the only upside was getting to boss a lot of men about all day, doing a bit of plus size modelling (strictly clothes on) and, for one memorable summer, making a living reading palms on a Greek Island.
Category: Chick Lit, Thriller
Jessica Taylor-Bearman was born in March 1991, at Maidstone Hospital in England. She grew up in Rochester and Canterbury, Kent, where she attended Rochester Grammar School for Girls. At the age of 15, she became acutely unwell with an illness called M.E. She was continuously hospitalised from 2006 to 2010, suffering with the most severe form of the condition. This included her being bedridden, unable to move, speak, eat and more. She began to write in her mind, and when finally able to speak again, she began to write through her audio diary 'Bug'. In 2009, Jessica began to teach herself to paint through the movement of laughter. She realised that through balancing a paintbrush in her hand, laughter caused it to move, creating a new form of art that she called a 'Laugh-O-Gram'. Her first collection was exhibited in the Canterbury Art Festival 2009. All her pieces have been exhibited since then. In 2010, whilst still in hospital, she founded a charity called Share a Star, to help seriously unwell youngsters. It is now a registered charity that she continues to run. Since she left hospital, Jessica's journey with severe M.E. has continued to be very challenging. She is currently still mostly bedridden, twelve years after it began. She writes a blog called The World of One Room and made a YouTube video of the same name that has reached tens of thousands of people in multiple countries. In 2017 she married her soulmate Samuel and walked down the aisle. They live together in Kent.
Category: Memoir, Health
Annie Boate is a highly qualified corporate coach and former teacher who’s shaken up the coaching profession. Her background includes various school leadership roles, working with young offenders and successfully coaching everyone from top executives in large international companies to outstanding headteachers and some of the most challenging learners.
As a full-time professional coach in schools, Annie’s expertise is second to none, and her knowledge and enthusiasm instantly mark her out as being different. Spend a few minutes with her and you’ll leave buzzing with practical, down-to-earth tools and ideas to use immediately. Annie spent 18 years learning from some of the best coaches in the world, developing a new, clever way of coaching for busy people in schools. This unique coaching system has been tested worldwide by new and experienced coaches, school leaders, teachers and support staff, and is proven to consistently out-perform all other models. Annie’s work has been show-cased on television and is frequently described as “life-changing” and “transformational.
Category: Education, Schools, Teaching, Coaching
Introducing the Everlief Child Psychology team of authors:
1. Anxiety - Dr Susan Wimshurst, clinical psychologist
2. Friendships and bullying - Dr Liz Dawes, clinical psychologist
3. Confidence and self-esteem - Nicola Gorringe, clinical psychologist
4. Anger and frustration - Dr Jennifer Swanston, clinical psychologist
5. Academic stress - Dr Katherine Hodson, clinical psychologist
6. Concentration and motivation - Dr Lucy Russell, clinical psychologist
7. Mike Russell is the co-owner and MD of Everlief
The authors are clinical psychologists with a combined total of 80 years’ experience working in the NHS and independently with children who have emotional and behavioural difficulties. Each author is a parent, with children ranging in age from newborn to 18. A major part of their work is regularly visiting and liaising with schools to develop an understanding of the difficulties faced by children in schools, and their teachers.
Category: Parenting, Psychology, Self-Help, Education, Child Development
Dr Nat Tanoh comes from Ghana but grew up, as a child, in exile in England, due to his parents’ opposition to the installation of a one-party state. Today he divides his time between his home in London and Ghana. He has a rich history of involvement in student and workers movements, which originally emerged from struggles against the institutionalisation of military rule in Ghana. Dr Nat has since worked as a consultant on Development projects in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa. He also continues to uphold a passion for democratic social development. The Day of the Orphan is Dr Nat Tanoh’s debut novel.
Category: Fiction, General Fiction
Craig Robinson MA took a first in Mathematics at Oxford University in 1985. He then joined Price Waterhouse and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1988, after which he worked as a lecturer in the private sector, and also in The City of London, primarily in Financial Sector Regulation roles. Craig first met Sarah in 2001, as a patient for the treatment of his CFS, and since then they have developed a professional working relationship, where he helps with the maintenance of www.drmyhill.co.uk, the moderating of Dr Myhill’s Facebook groups and other ad hoc projects, as well as with the editing and writing of her books.
Category: Health, Food and Drink, Nutrition
Dr Sarah Myhill MB BS qualified in medicine (with Honours) from Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1981 and has since focused tirelessly on identifying and treating the underlying causes of health problems, especially the ‘diseases of civilisation’ with which we are beset in the West. She has worked in the NHS since 1981 and full time private practice sine 2000. For 17 years was the Hon. Secretary of the British Society for Ecological Medicine, which focuses on the causes of disease and treating through diet, supplements and avoiding toxic stress. She helps to run and lectures at the Society’s training courses and also lectures regularly on organophosphate poisoning, the problems of silicone, and CFS.
Category: Health, Food and Drink, Nutrition
James began working in a local fish restaurant Sankey's in Tunbridge Wells, here his passion for working in kitchen's was born. He then went onto train at West Kent College whilst continuing to work at Sankey's and develop his knowledge skills further. From there went on to work in a number of prestigious venues and cook alongside some famous names in the culinary world. These include working for the Roux brothers, cooking alongside Albert Roux serving at the Chelsea Flower Show, and working at Michelin-starred restaurant Thackery's in Tunbridge Wells for a number of years.
James then moved onto working for an award winning gastro pub company in Kent, Whiting and Hammond. Here he was head chef of The Little Brown Jug, and then The Chaser Inn the company's flagship pub. Then in 2012 he took on the role of executive chef, overseeing the food offer in each of the nine sites. In this role James was able to develop the food offering across the group, work with suppliers to ensure the best, fresh local produced was being used and still use his skills in the kitchens to train new chefs.
James's passion lies in using great seasonal produce and using unfamiliar cuts to create new and exciting dishes. His love of teaching has stretched from becoming a head chef then executive chef, to today where he enjoys sharing not only his skills but his wealth of culinary knowledge gathered over the years.
Category: Chef, Cookbook in development
Bryony Hill was born and educated in Sussex and, after a year at Brighton Art College, she lived in France, returning to London in 1975 where she met her future husband, ex-professional footballer and television legend Jimmy Hill. In 1985, they moved back to her home county where she learned to garden in earnest, the vegetable plot taking priority. There remained one wish and, when she eventually convinced Jimmy that a few chickens had to join their family, their rural idyll was complete. Grow Happy, Cook Happy, Be Happy is Bryony’s seventh book in which she gets to combine her passion for photography with developing recipes and cooking what she has grown for friends and family.
Category: Cookery, Food, Gardening
Fleur Brown has more than 25 years of experience as a practising nutritional therapist and runs a busy clinic in England. Fleur studied at the renowned Institute For Optimum Nutrition in London under Patrick Holford. A member of the British Association for Applied Nutritional and Nutritional Therapy (BANT), The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and the Nutrition Therapy Council (NTC), Fleur is also a senior associate of The Royal Society of Medicine in London and a member of The Institute For Functional Medicine in the United States (www.functionalmedicine.org).
Category: Health, Nutrition, Family
Dr Tony Ortega is a first generation Cuban American gay man. He is a licensed clinical psychologist, life coach, and author who has been in practice since 1992, currently serving the LGBTQ population in his private practice located in Brooklyn, New York.
Tony (along with his teaching partner, John Davisi) is the co-creator of the movement, RawSexySpiritual: Spirituality for Gay Men (www.rawsexyspiritual.com). Tony combines cognitive behavioural techniques along with active coaching and metaphysical principles in his work with clients. Additionally, Tony provides spiritual life coaching for individuals seeking a different way to live. He works with his clients within these three principles: Rewrite Your Story, Find Your Voice, and Live Authentically.
Category: Self-Help, Relationships, Psychology, LGBTQ
Kent-based Beverley Jarvis is the original domestic goddess, having written more than twenty-three cookbooks over the past forty-five years for leading publishers such as Headline, Octopus, Penguin and BBC Books, including the UK’s first microwave cookery book. Beverley originally trained in Croydon in the swinging sixties and was a presenter on BBC Pebble Mill at One at a time when microwave cookery was first introduced to home cooks. She is now a cookery teacher, regularly hosting ‘cook-ins’ from her beautiful home in Ashford, and continues to produce incredible cookbooks.
Category: Food, Cookery, Recipes
Julia Keys has a professional background in nursing, counselling and psychotherapy; her specialist subjects include dealing with relationships, mental health issues and eating disorders. Julia was a school counsellor for five years, helping 11 to 18-year-old girls with myriad concerns, many of which related to their parent’s relationship issues. Julia is skilled in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. She has also worked at a specialist woman’s centre where referrals came from all walks of life. Julia has lived most of her married life to TV presenter Richard Keys in the public eye and has dealt with many personal crises in the gaze of the newspapers and media. She knows all too well how hard it can be to present yourself externally to the world, while struggling immensely, internally. She also knows how frightening and lonely it can feel when you have been betrayed.
Category: Self-Help, Relationships, Marriage, Divorce, Infidelity
Jacqui is a registered nurse, midwife and health visitor. She has extensive experience in: safeguarding; patient safety; and as an advocate working in the NHS as a senior manager. In 2014, she became Deputy Chief Executive at the Patients Association, a high profile ‘patient voice’ charity.
Jacqui has dealt with many situations where the client’s personal relationship had been strained, broken down or challenged. That experience influenced the individual’s physical and mental wellbeing and ultimately, their recovery.
While working at the Patients Association, Jacqui acted as an advocate for people when things had gone wrong during a patient’s care. Many of those people did not know who to trust, which often resulted in high levels of stress, leading to serious health issues and crippling low self-esteem. Jacqui quickly realised that it doesn’t matter what status you have in society, if you feel alone and lack confidence, it can adversely affect the life decisions you make.
Jacqui has published reports into the failings of the health service and has written many patient stories. She is passionate about supporting women to be the best they can be and above all, to make sure they know where to turn for help. She wants women to talk about their experiences, support each other and to no longer suffer in silence. Jacqui is also aware of the devastating impact caring for relatives with dementia can have on relationships within a family and the strain it places on a marriage/partnership.
Category: Self-Help, Relationships, Marriage, Divorce, Infidelity
Lotte Moore is the best-selling author of Lotte’s War, which reached number one in the charts after its release on Remembrance Day 2016. Perhaps best known for her children's books, Lotte is looking forward to publishing her first novel, In The Fast Lane, under the Hashtag Press banner in May 2018. Lotte has written more than 25 published books but only started writing aged 70. Now aged 82, Lotte has written a story that will resonate with every parent who has struggled with juggling family life, parental responsibilities, work and career, children and a social life in today's fast-paced world.
Lotte dedicates her time, freely, every week, to read her stories to children in pre-schools and primary schools, and she’s always particularly busy around World Book Day (1st March). Having grown up during World War Two, she has seen and experienced a lot in life, and continues to build fictional characters and worlds that reflect what is happening right now...
As a child, Lotte lived in Kent with her parents who enjoyed entertaining, political debate and literary discussion with the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, H E Bates, W H Auden and Benjamin Britten. She was often lonely and turned to writing (stories, diary, poems and letters) to express her feelings of isolation. In her early teens, her commitment turned to ballet, point shoes replaced the pen. She was selected by the Royal Ballet School to dance in the Opera Ballet. When rejected for growing ‘too tall’ Lotte turned to acting and intermittently to writing. She finally married aged 38 to her loyal husband Chris (who continues to support Lotte by typing out her hand-written stories). Lotte became immersed in her stepchildren and then her own two girls. When her daughters left home she describes “empty years” filled by illness and family problems, and she turned to writing once again.
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family, Relationships
The Lil' Author Skool is a not for profit organisation. It was founded in 2016 by London born children's/YA author A. Bello, who wrote her debut novel 'Emily Knight I am...' at aged 12! The Lil' Author Skool is passionate about encouraging young people to read and write and want to give them as many free and affordable opportunities. The Lil' Author Skool is part of The Author School (GB Entrepreneur Awards Finalists 2016) and help young writers aged 5-21 years old. The little BIG Book Competition started in 2016 and The Originals is their first book.
A. Bello is a 29-year-old author who was born and raised in London, where she still lives and works. She wrote her first novel at the age of eight - she fought monsters and dragons on a daily basis – and experienced her first taste of ‘being published’ after winning a school poetry competition at the age of 12. Seeing her words in print fuelled a passion for writing that remains to this day. A. Bello first began writing the Emily Knight saga shortly afterwards (still only 12 years old!) with the intention of filling the gaping hole in children’s fiction for an inspirational, strong, black female, young protagonist. This gap, nearly 18 years later, remains in the publishing world despite continued calls for more BAME background authors and diversity within characters and plotlines.
A. Bello is regularly called to talk at literary events and within the media, she has appeared in Female First Magazine, The Mirror, BBC1XTRA to name a few.
Category: Short Stories, Young Writers, Fiction
Michael Hyams is at the centre of the mushroom world, based in Covent Garden Market, sourcing them, providing them to markets and restaurants, and sampling the results at home, in cafés and in the dishes of Michelin-starred chefs. A chef de partie, recipe developer and food stylist, Liz O’Keefe works regularly with Michael and holds supper clubs.
Category: Food, Cookery
Tracing her family back to 1369 through the illustrious Sforza dynasty, Valentina is the youngest member of a large Anglo-Italian family of colourful gourmets. Educated in Italy, Valentina brought her qualifications for teaching and cooking from Rome to London in 1976, where she built up her reputation until the publication of the first of more than 30 award-winning cookery books in 1984 – Perfect Pasta.
Since 2001 Cucina Valentina has been offering culinary adventures in Italy and across Europe with Valentina at the helm.
Valentina is an experienced and enthusiastic teacher, a tremendous raconteur, and passionate about sharing her food philosophy, techniques, stories, and experiences both with food and its intricate history, plus solid and unique kitchen techniques.
Also a regular face at food festivals in the UK, Valentina stills finds time to host bespoke cookery courses and undertake private catering commissions, plus various radio, TV, newspaper, and personal appearances, Valentina is as busy now as she has ever been.
As proud President of the London chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier, Valentina is actively committed to strengthening the position of professional women in the world of food, beverage and hospitality, and uses her wealth of experience to mentor young women who dream of a career within it. She also finds the time to contribute regularly to Reveal Italy’s website, sharing insights and recipes of the vast culinary delights of regional Italy.
Category: Food, Cookery, Italian
This is the first full-length novel by David Impey. He originally graduated in Chemistry and, afterwards, worked in high-tech industry either on the marketing/commercial side or in advertising.
David has helped write for campaigns with a heavy emphasis on demystifying supposedly obscure areas of science that affect everybody on a day-to-day basis and has won a number of awards for his work.
His first published work was an April Fool’s article in a yachting magazine and, since then, David has been a frequent columnist, contributor to industry journals and on-line blogs as well as setting up and editing some others. He also developed a TV series that finally saw the light of day in the US.
When he’s not writing, David is an avid musician, awful cricketer and lives near Oxford with his wife and insane dog.
Category: Mystery/Suspense/Conspiracy Thriller
Christian Darkin is the London-based author of the best-selling 'Act Normal' chapter books written with five to eight year olds in mind, and for older readers, his credits include two young adult novels: 'The Skull' (published by Bloomsbury) and a detective technothriller, '@thelogician'. Christian has also written six non-fiction books, two science documentaries, a Doctor Who spinoff film starring the sixth Doctor, and articles for dozens of magazines and most of the national newspapers. His illustration work can be found in hundreds of children's books but also in grown-up titles such as the scientific journal, Nature. Christian also works as an animator, recently creating an entire popular series for BBC's CBeebies as well as special effects for film and television. When not writing, or looking after his two sons, Christian can be found travelling around the country visiting schools and appearing at literary festivals. His eighth story, Act Normal and Don't Tell Anyone About the Present Machine, is his eagerly anticipated book released in time for the Christmas rush!
Category: Children's, Fiction, Humour, Science, Coding
Lotte Moore is the best-selling author of Lotte’s War, which reached number one in the charts after its release on Remembrance Day 2016. Lotte has written more than 25 published books but only started writing aged 70. Now aged 81, Lotte is looking forward to releasing her latest story book, School Scooter Fun, for children, inspired by the children (and sometimes the adults!) who zoom past her house in London every day heading to school.
Lotte dedicates her time, freely, every week, to read her stories to children in pre-schools and primary schools, and she’s particularly busy around World Book Day (1st March). She has travelled throughout the United Kingdom and her World War Two presentation plus rationing table (showing the children how little food was allocated per person during the War) are hugely popular with children and teachers.
Lotte Moore’s other illustrated children’s stories include The Invisible Elephant, The Dinosaur Who Ate A Piano and The Teaspoon Family. As a child, Lotte lived in Kent with her parents who enjoyed entertaining, political debate and literary discussion with the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, H E Bates, W H Auden and Benjamin Britten. She was often lonely and turned to writing (stories, diary, poems and letters) to express her feelings of isolation. In her early teens her commitment turned to ballet, point shoes replaced the pen. She was selected by the Royal Ballet School to dance in the Opera Ballet. When rejected for growing ‘too tall’ Lotte turned to acting and intermittently to writing. She finally married aged 38 to her loyal husband Chris (who continues to support Lotte by typing out her hand-written stories). Lotte became immersed in her stepchildren and then her own two girls. When her daughters left home she describes “empty years” filled by illness and family problems, and she turned to writing once again.
Category: Children's Picture Book
For 14 years Edd Williams has helped people get jobs. He's worked with global corporations and tiny SMEs, he has spoken to CEOs and graduate trainees. He has found engineers in South Korea and nuclear scientists who speak French to work in Norway on contracts. He's spoken to literally thousands of people to understand what they are looking for in a job or what they are looking for in an employee. He's coached them through interviews, to actively listen, to mirror body language, to ask the right questions, to be confident but not arrogant, the right way to shake hands, how to close the deal. Edd has studied, edited and written over 100,000 CVs: 25-30 CVs a day, 260 days a year for over 14 years stacks up. So, when a teacher who's moved directly from university into teaching tells students how to write their CV or what an employer is looking for it makes him kind of angry. At best it's irresponsible at worst it's negligent.
Edd knows what's required to get a job in the current market and what employers actually need from their employees. What they value, look for, what excites and interests them, what makes a candidate stand out. By working backwards from an end point it's possible to set navigable goals to achieve the desired result. This is what he has been helping people with every day.
For the last three years Edd has also worked as an academic consultant, with students, holding workshops and seminars to explore their options, decision-making, personal statement writing, professional comportment, interviewing, networking, internships, work experience and using those experiences to identify career paths.
Category: School, Education, Careers, Personal Development
How can you pack for the journey of a lifetime? George Baxter has settled for a comfortable life, content as the years unfold predictably - until Win, his wife of twenty-six years, dies. With his loyal dog Monty by his side, George throws himself into his work as an antiques dealer. His business is at the heart of the village and all sorts pass through the doors, each person in search of their own little piece of history. When George meets local widow Sylvia Newsome, he imagines a different kind of future. But life has more revelations to offer him. Over the course of an English summer George uncovers some unexpected mysteries from his past, which could shape his tomorrows...
A New Map of Love by Abi Oliver, a bestselling author under a different name, is a life-affirming second novel about second chances at love.
Category: Fiction, Relationships, Romance
Having moved around a lot as a Forces child, Anita Cassidy moved to London on graduating and worked in newspaper advertising sales and management for ten years before having her family. Interested in food and personal development, she wrote a weekly blog whilst raising her family before discovering NaNoWriMo in 2012. Appetite was first written in two consecutive Novembers and has since been edited and reshaped over the years. Fascinated by the intersection between ourselves and our social and cultural environment as well as neuroscience, philosophy and psychology, Anita loves to let these subjects inform her writing.
Anita is a writer, a relationship radical, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend. She is also a lover of old books, new music and (mostly) clean food. Whilst she understands the limitations of labels, she separated from her husband in 2016 and identifies as bi-sexual, polyamorous and is engaged with the BDSM scene in London. Anita lives in London and Kent. Above all else, Anita is curious about everything: about life, about learning and about love.
Caroline Garnham is the leading expert in the world of trusts and succession for the super-rich. She was head of the City law firm Simmons & Simmons private client team for fifteen years, Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Taxation, nominated top 5 private client lawyers, proposed and drafted legislation for the Bahamas, which became law as The Executive Entity Act 2011 and pioneered an area of law Family Governance.
Her book for the Super Rich is not about law, tax or trusts, it is about human beings who happen to be rich. With money comes the burden of responsibility; what to invest in, who and how to make donations; charity or children, and how and on what to spend it. Most people think of money in terms of winning the lottery, paying off the mortgage and preparing for old age or misadventure – but what do you if you have too much money?
Caroline has also written another book, Winning Business From Private Clients, about how to win new clients – if the target market does not want to be contacted. Caroline spotted a gap in business training relating to how to win business and build trusted relationships with the Super-Rich…
Category: Personal Finance, Finance, Law, Business
Ex-Special Forces, John-Paul Jordan is an author and recovery consultant. His first book is a self-help guide inspired by his own incredible experiences – How To Stop Taking Drugs in 30 Days: A Simple and Daring Plan – launched in September 2017 as an eBook. His passion project, however, is his memoir that is currently in the final stages of editing: Joys of War.
John-Paul is a former Legionnaire with the French Foreign Legion, after which he joined the British armed forces, serving in operations in Afghanistan where he awarded for his actions in combat. Following his military service, John-Paul worked for international media organisation in warzones clandestinely moving journalists in and out of some of the world most dangerous hotspots, before heading up logistics for a mining company in Afghanistan and training local forces.
His personal injuries from war took their toll with the effects of physical injury and non-visible injuries, PTSD. As part of his own recovery he wrote about his experience to share his story with others and liberate himself from the stigma of PTSD and mental health issues – or what he terms non-visible injuries … because that’s what they are: an injury to be treated like any other.
He has met some incredible people from all walks of life – veterans and non-veterans alike – and one thing he is sure of is that you don’t have to have been to war to be at war. John-Paul’s mission is to help veterans and non-veterans alike to find their way to freedom. To start the conversation. Remove the stigma and live in the solution not the problem. More recently he has been working closely with the charity Mind, including advising on the set of a national television programme, sharing his experiences of injuries from war.
Category: Recovery, Addiction, Self-Help & Counselling, Drugs
Theo Michaels’ cooking first gained recognition when he wowed the judges on Masterchef in 2014. Theo is now a sought-after pop-up chef, and has appeared regularly on television and radio – including repeat visits to ITV This Morning with Microwave Mug Meals (his other bestselling book!).
Theo was born in London (a while ago), lived in America for five years and has eaten his way around most of the planet with a backpack. He is now married with three children and no way will his wife backpack again. After reaching the semi-finals for Masterchef 2014, Theo quit his city job of 15 years to follow his passion and work fulltime in ‘food’. He's never looked back.
Theo is now an accomplished private chef (currently booked six months in advance), runs a successful pop-up restaurant with more than 700 on the waiting list and is known for cooking ‘elegant village food’ inspired by the flavours of Cyprus and his travels. Theo has appeared on ITV's This Morning, BBC Breakfast News, Sky TV, The Food Network, is a regular on BBC 3CR Weekend Kitchen show and is regularly spotted cooking at food festivals.
In Theo’s words he has full Greek blood but is born and (mostly) bred in the UK. Theo’s inspiration for food varies from his roots, his travels to cooking for his family and his love of anything cooked over charcoal.
Category: Recipes, Family, Cookery
In 1998, at the age of 20, Clarissa Foster lost her mum (44) to ovarian cancer. During Clarissa's final year studying for a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education in Human Biology at Nottingham Trent University, she became aware that harmful mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes mean that a woman's lifetime risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer is greatly increased.
Over the years, she had discussed with various GPs the possibility of being tested for a BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation as she suspected her mum might have carried a harmful mutation. However, Clarissa was not eligible for testing under the current National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines as there has only been one relative with cancer within my family. She took the decision to pay privately for the testing around the age of 40, as it is at this age that an increase in the numbers of these cancers is seen. However, in 2012, aged 34, Clarissa was told she had a 50:50 chance of being a carrier as her sister had paid for testing and was found to carry a harmful BRCA2 mutation. Clarissa's GP referred her to a Geneticist and the blood test was done in the first meeting. Four weeks later, in March 2013, Clarissa was found to also carry a harmful BRCA2 gene mutation. She was given statistics such as a 45-85% lifetime risk of breast cancer and 10-30% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer.
Finding out she carried this harmful mutation was tough, but she had considered this possibility since her teenage years and had time to prepare herself. Also, being a Human Biologist helped her to approach her journey in a logical manner and aided her understanding of the scientific literature.
A few weeks after finding out she was a carrier, Angelina Jolie bravely shared with the world her decision to undergo a risk-reducing mastectomy, due to a mutation in her BRCA1 gene.
After many appointments and expert opinions, Clarissa underwent a risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes) which resulted in a surgically-induced menopause.
Three months later, in February 2014, she underwent a bilateral, nipple-sparing mastectomy, with immediate reconstruction with implants and two weeks after surgery, her surgeon advised she start HRT.
Clarissa Foster is a qualified Human Biology teacher at FE level and an experienced writer for the pharmaceutical industry. She is also a health blogger and an 'expert patient' in relation to the BRCA mutation. To produce Understanding BRCA Clarissa worked with Consultant Gynaecological Oncolgist, Alasdair Drake and Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, Michael Taylor. Clarissa lives in Middlesex with her husband and two children.
Category: Health, Medicine, Cancer, Oncology,
Andy’s interest in Israel was sparked by an article in the Observer newspaper in August 1963 which said anyone could volunteer to take part in a massive archaeological dig at Masada, Herod’s fortress-palace by the Dead Sea. Andy went out for a fortnight, and has been back six times since, in 1975, 1990, 1996, 2012, 2015 and 2017.
Having a German Jewish father and a Christian mother, and having studied history at Oxford, his interest in the Holy Land came naturally. His Christian faith led equally naturally to study of the Bible, particularly the links between the Old Testament and the New Testament. He read theology at Durham University and in 1984 was ordained as deacon then priest in the Church of England. He spent 31 years in parishes in south London, and co-led a parish pilgrimage to Israel in 1996.
Since retiring in 2015 he has become engrossed in writing. In April 2017 he published “Bible in Brief”, a six month exploration of the Bible with an accompanying website www.bibleinbrief.org; “Discovering Psalms as Prayer”, drawing on his experience in South India; and “The Book of Job for Public Performance”, with a foreword by Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury. He is developing another book about his former parish in south London.
He has an innate curiosity which loves questions rather than quick answers and values journeying over arrival. Come and explore Jerusalem with him!
Category: Religion, Non-Fiction, Christianity, Travel
For over 35 years, Laurence Mitchell has travelled the world in his quest to become a world authority in Antiques specialising in Meissen Porcelain. His encyclopaedic knowledge is the result of myriad visits to leading museums worldwide, with highlights including opening the Kathy Gilmeister Collection at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacremento and filming the priceless Meissen displayed at the Ceil Higgins Art Gallery in Bedford. Laurence has been a consultant to HSBC High Net Worth Insurance Underwriting and is the Author of The Meissen Collector’s Catalogue, 2004.
Laurence was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum in 2002 and set out to find out as much as possible about mentoring and autism. In 2008, he attended the National Autistic Society’s Conference, Research Autism’s Symposium in London, and the College of Psychiatrists’ conference on Aspergers in York. Laurence has travelled to the US, attended the International Meeting For Autism Research (IMFAR), the leading conference for autism research in Chicago and Philadelphia, where he was guided by the world's leading scientists on myriad aspects of Autism.
At this point Laurence decided to devote all his energy to the creation of www.lifewithoutlabels.co.uk, a supportive online resource. More recently, Laurence has been a speaker at the Autism Show in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Laurence is now collaborating with the charity www.artistic-uk.org who are responsible for painting the beautiful Aspie and Me book cover and all future commissions.
Category: Psychological Thriller, Fiction, Health & Lifestyle
Susan Scott lives in Surrey with her family and travels the world on business. She is a business psychologist, nutritional therapist, trainer, consultant and coach, as well as a public speaker and an author. Susan is a Fellow and Member of many professional organisations, runs two successful companies and has years of experience developing and running consulting and training programmes for private and public sector companies in the UK, across Europe, in the USA and Australasia on change, leadership and wellbeing as well as providing personal coaching support for individuals. Susan is also privileged to have been Chair of the International Stress Management Association.
Susan Scott says: "Inside every one of us is potential but this crazy, highly pressured world can often make it hard to achieve success. I see my role as inspiring and energising people to do just that. My strongest core values are PASSION, KNOWLEDGE and HEALTH. I bring a highly energised, knowledgeable and blended mind-body approach to my work. I’m practical and realistic but I’m also, and very importantly, business focused. I’ve worked with so many companies – I get business – I’m certainly not a stuffy psychologist!"
Category: Self Help, Stress Management, Wellbeing, Careers, Nutrition, Health & Lifestyle
An established Hampshire-based journalist and author, John Leete turned to the subject of modern History for light relief and became hooked. He is best known as the author of the highly acclaimed book The New Forest At War. John has written miles of words on many subjects every year as a freelance, including contributing to various history magazines, and still manages to produce the occasional book. John is part of the team behind Homefronthistory.com, a voluntary and not-for-profit UK social enterprise that is a much-loved resource for historians, educators, the media, museums, and everyone interested in WW2. John is a renal transplant patient and wrote his original New Forest title to help him through dialysis and transplantation. Thankfully, he got well again and hooked on writing books.
Category: History, Wartime, Local History
Christine Ingall was born in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. Initially, she trained to be a teacher and was awarded a B.Ed. from Manchester University. She worked as a civil servant for 35 years, most recently in the development and implementation of policy and programmes, to support the unemployed and unskilled. Christine never expected to live a single, solo occupant life for more than 30 years, or that it could be so much fun and pass so quickly. Now retired, she lives ‘a charmed life’ in Leamington Spa, and actively pursues her interest in the theatre through her membership of The Criterion Theatre in Coventry, where she also teaches drama, and her love of singing through her membership of a local branch of The Rock Choir. She is thrilled to have actually finished and published a book at last, and pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be a work of non-fiction.
Category: Self Help, Health, Family, Lifestyle, Divorce, Retirement Planning, Ageing, Bereavement
Bob Ryan ARPS FRSA is an international educator who has spent many years exploring the way we make decisions and judgements. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Gloucestershire and Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Manchester Business School. Bob is passionate about different forms of photography and has developed robust methods of learning how to both create great images and how to assess them. John Fishback, Director of Education Services for the Photographic Society of America, commented that Bob is “in the top 10% of imaging analysts”.
Category: Photography, Hobbies, Art
J Merrill Forrest lives in Wiltshire with her Greek husband and crossbreed dog. They also spend time at their home in Greece, and while Jane is not a psychic or medium herself, she is fascinated by this world and has many friends who are. Flight of the Kingfisher was borne from the loss of her brother, at just 30, in 1984. After his death, Jane began to notice strange happenings in her house, and a work colleague suggested she visited a medium, and the rest is history…
Following the immense success of Flight of the Kingfisher, The Waiting Gate was snapped up by publisher Hashtag Press. While the book is eagerly anticipated by fans of Flight of the Kingfisher, The Waiting Gate powerfully stands up as a story worth reading in its own right (although be prepared to want to read all of J Merrill Forrest's books once you've enjoyed one!)
Category: Fiction, Women's Fiction, Supernatural, Paranormal
With a love of writing and a joy of working with children as an early years educator of over 15 years, Stacey Turner was inspired to create a book to help settle her eldest daughter into nursery during a very difficult transitioning time. Stacey is well placed to create such a book with all her years of teaching experience settling other children, so as soon as she recognised her daughter needed support, she put pen to paper and the result is what we see before us today in the hope it will help and support other children and parents. Stacey’s very nurturing approach stems from a deeper understanding of the early years and how important it is to meet social and emotional needs of our children. Originally from Melbourne, Stacey lives in London with her husband and daughters. The book series, My Tiny Book, was born in June 2012 and Stacey continues to write and develop other stories which help children through various tricky stages. The stories are often inspired by her own daughters and can usually be found at the art table in her kitchen creating with her girls.
Category: Children's picture book, Family, Parenting
Tony Weekes is coming at the world of the NHS and mental health care from a different perspective. He is not a professional in the field of mental health, but he has for many years witnessed the mental suffering of close family members. He is dedicated to trying to ease their suffering, trying and sometimes failing to surmount the problems caused by the current care system's serious lack of funding and the resulting lack of cohesion.
Tony grew up in East London, the son of a consultant surgeon and a nurse. Following his education to degree level, he has worked in sales, administration and office management in an extremely busy business environment. The combination of his upbringing, life and work experience has helped him see the good in every situation with a problem-solving mindset.
The pain and suffering he has witnessed family members go through has, at times, been overwhelming. For several years he has devoted all his energy, enthusiasm and determination into generating solutions for the problems they have faced. The result of this devotion is Tony's vision of how the stigma of mental health problems can be dismantled, how effective ongoing treatment can be made accessible and how socio-economic empowerment for sufferers can be provided.
"The biggest lesson I have learnt is that the role of the family in securing treatment for someone suffering mental ill health is second only to the acknowledgement of the person suffering," explains Tony.
Unity is a not-for-profit company seeking to revolutionise mental health care in the United Kingdom through education, recognition and intervention. The NHS is a world leader, Unity will also make mental health care here world-renowned.
Category: Mental Health, Campaigning, Healthcare, Family, Health, Society
Helen Matthews is the author of debut novel ‘After Leaving the Village’, winner of the Winchester Writers’ Festival prize for opening pages of a novel. Born in Cardiff, she read English at the University of Liverpool. After travelling, she worked in international development, consultancy, human resources and pensions management but fled corporate life to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University.
Helen has been awarded prizes for short stories and published in the literary journal Artificium. As a freelancer, she writes content for websites and business magazines and has, in the past, been published in The Guardian and had columns broadcast on BBC radio.
She is married with two grown-up children and lives in Hampshire.
Category: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Ann McCracken is an author, a scientist, a motivational speaker, an entrepreneur and was the Vice President of the International Stress Management Association. Her work for ISMA has seen her organise National Stress Awareness Day for a number of years, present at conferences in the UK and India, and her work continues with the association in the form of training and workshops.
Category: Self Help, Stress Management, Health, Lifestyle
Martin Caswell grew up in the coastal village of Boscastle in Cornwall. Aged 23, he went to London to train with British School of Motoring (BSM) to become a qualified Government Approved Driving Instructor. The plan, back in August 1974, was to teach for a couple of years. One of the schools he worked for was a 'Driver Education Centre' that had an off-road circuit to teach under-17s car control so by the time they reached 17 they had great car control. We also used to teach skid-control to motor-racing students from the Brands Hatch Motor Racing Stables, IAM groups, London Ambulance Service, Metropolitan Police, and even anti-hijack techniques to the American Embassy staff. This involved reversing onto a skid-pan at high speed and spinning the car around 180 degrees then speeding off in the opposite direction. He also used to race saloon cars (Shellsport Ford Escort Mexicos) at Brands Hatch too. Martin moved to Belfast in the late 1970s and taught there for around 18 months. Then returned to BSM Kensington High Street, London and started his own driving school 'Acclaim Motor School' in 1981. Within two years he had four cars on the road covering the London area. When he met his wife he moved out of London and moved his driving school to Berkshire. The rest, as they say, is history!
Category: Learning to Drive, Education, Motoring
Alero Ayida-Otobo describes herself as a Transformation Strategist with invaluable understanding of sector-wide reforms in Africa. Her close friends call her "the Original Reformer". She is passionate about reforming educational and health systems and transforming individuals and institutions. A graduate of Oxford University, Bartlett School of Architecture and Town Planning, University of London and the London Business School, Alero's purpose is to "create wealth in Africa through the development of Human Potential". In the summer of 2016, Alero decided to segue into writing. During a sabbatical in California, she completed her first book "Reformers Arise", published by Panoma Press in June 2017.
Category: Society, Leadership, Reform, Politics, Africa
BCR Fegan is an Australian author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults.
Raised on a small hobby farm only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of natures ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of the world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books
As time wore on, Fegan also found inspiration in the magic and depth of authors and compositors like Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. He was mesmerised by the potency of small but beautiful phrases that were carefully carved from the minds of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Frost. He grew to appreciate the worlds meticulously created by David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.
Eventually, he began to forge his own complete works. Weaving his own magic, piecing together his own phrases and crafting his own worlds. Agonising over plots that would inspire, characters that would be loved and circumstances that would delight. In time, his efforts saw a number of children’s books and young adult fiction produced. Through the efforts of TaleBlade Press, these works are now being published with that same careful dedication.
Category: Children's picture book, Fairytale
Christian Darkin is the London-based author of the best-selling 'Act Normal' chapter books written with five to eight year olds in mind, and for older readers, his credits include two young adult novels: 'The Skull' (published by Bloomsbury) and a detective technothriller, '@thelogician'. Christian has also written six non-fiction books, two science documentaries, a Doctor Who spinoff film starring the sixth Doctor, and articles for dozens of magazines and most of the national newspapers. His illustration work can be found in hundreds of children's books but also in grown-up titles such as the scientific journal, Nature. Christian also works as an animator, recently creating an entire popular series for BBC's CBeebies as well as special effects for film and television.
Category: Children's Fiction
Multi-award winning international speaker, author and transformation mindset coach, Dr Ava Eagle Brown is in a class of her own. Ava’s powerful story of her journey from poverty and abuse to fleeing Jamaica and establishing a new life in the United Kingdom is told in her two autobiographical books, Bamboo and Fern and The Mango Girl. Her story is being optioned into a Hollywood feature film. She was nominated as a finalist in the Women 4 Africa (Author) and Diva of Colour awards (Author) in 2015 for her work. Ava is determined to help others tell their story - her 'Get your Book Out Of Your Gut' program has helped many write their inspiring life stories. Her journey has also inspired the creation of the popular Awakening your Life’s Purpose, Skyrocket your Self-Esteem and Leap into Significance programs which offer new insights and mind blowing calls to action to help people to conquer some of life’s biggest issues. Her passion for caring for the types of communities that she left remains strong. She writes a column for a Caribbean magazine and contributes to The Jamaican Gleaner, Be Magazine published in West Africa and The Children Hope Newspaper. Her articles have been featured The Financial Times, The Guardian and The Voice Online.
Category: Biography, Inspiration
Karen Braysher lives in Sussex and runs a successful hairdressing business. The process of writing – with the help of a ghostwriter – her life story had a much bigger impact on her than she ever thought possible. For the first time, Karen read the official documents (school, social care, council, medical) detailing the extreme violence she suffered at home, proving what her mother and two elder siblings continue to deny to this day. Sharing her life story is a brave move, but it’s also cathartic; an outpouring of a life tarnished by confusion regarding her sexuality, bipolar and dyslexia which were undiagnosed until well into her adulthood, failed education, physical and emotional abuse by her parents, abortions and suicide attempts. Yet, Karen is still standing, stronger than ever, and more aware now than ever before about who she is and where she has come from. Her story offers captivating insight into life in the 1970s and 1980s when thalidomide babies were hidden away in care centres, when there was little awareness of mental health and a lack of understanding and regulation regarding childhood abuse. This is a story for survivors.
Category: Biography, Social & Health, Mental Health
Emily Knight is back! A. Bello’s eagerly anticipated second book in the Emily Knight series is due for release in September 2017, following rave reviews for the debut novel – first published in 2012. The series is written for 10 to 15 year olds with a female black protagonist who isn’t poor, or from the ghetto, or struggling…she’s rich, she’s famous, she’s talented, and she’s finding out who she really is and facing her fears as a warrior.
Dark times are upon us. Neci is back and she is more dangerous than ever. The warriors are forced to pick a side and to stand up for what they believe in. The race is on to find the missing warrior first. It's the only way to prevent a war from happening and to stop Neci from destroying everything. Emily Knight has to get sharper, stronger and faster because Neci has made her a target and someone is going to great lengths to hurt her. Can Emily win the race? Or will Neci take her down once and for all.
Category: Children's/YA, Fantasy Fiction
Stephanie Nimmo is a London-based writer, mother, music-lover, carer, widow, bereaved parent, runner and all-round plate spinner. She's still trying to have a life, despite life's unexpected twists and turns. Steph started writing about her life caring for her youngest daughter who had a rare genetic condition as a way of documenting what was happening but also in order to share an insight into a world and a life that she previously knew nothing about. The blog grew and grew in popularity and is now read by tens of thousands of people around the world: www.wasthisintheplan.co.uk. As her family’s life became more and more complicated Stephanie's blog was not only therapeutic, but it also helped educate a wider audience on the realities of life caring not only for a complex child but a terminally ill husband.
Stephanie Nimmo's experiences have shown her to possess an incredible resilience she never knew she had, it has shaped her and she believes that we are all shaped by what happens to us. "We can’t choose our life’s path, much as we try, the unexpected will always happen, but it’s how we respond to it that makes the difference. I decided to write my book after my husband passed away as I not only wanted to share our story but also share that we should take nothing for granted in life. I really have had to seize the day and I hope that my book will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and how they choose to respond to what happens to them."
Category: Memoir, Family, Health, Bereavement, Parenting
Susan Scott is a business psychologist, nutritional therapist, trainer, consultant and coach, as well as a public speaker and an author. Susan believes that everyone - Young Professionals in particular - deserve to work in ways that foster their resilience, performance and careers. She is a Fellow and Member of many professional organisations, runs two successful companies and has years of experience developing and running consulting and training programmes for private and public sector companies in the UK, across Europe, in the USA and Australasia on change, leadership and wellbeing as well as providing personal coaching support for individuals. Susan is also privileged to have been Chair of the International Stress Management Association. However, what seems like an accomplished career has had more than its fair share of blips along the way, including a complete derailment only five years in. Despite these blips, Susan has managed to accomplish a lot because behind everything she does, Susan is brimming over with a passion to constantly learn with a strong desire to create work places that allow people to thrive and succeed – she believes everyone in the workplace should be allowed that opportunity.
Inside every one of us is potential but this crazy, highly pressured world can often make it hard to achieve success – Susan's role is to inspire and energise people to do just that.
Susan brings a highly energised, knowledgeable and blended mind-body approach to her work. She's practical and realistic but also, and very importantly, business focused. She has worked with so many companies – she gets business – and is certainly not a stuffy psychologist disjointed from the world of business.
Category: Careers, Professional Development, Psychology
Andrew Osborne Roland was born in 1945. His father was a doctor and agnostic Jew. His mother was a Quaker and politically active, particularly supporting African independence. Baptised at the age of 8, Andrew was active in church throughout his teenage years. He studied Modern History at Merton College, Oxford and developed an adult Christian faith there. After a spell teaching history and R.E. he studied for the Diploma in Personnel Management and became a Personnel Officer (now Human Resources), principally at Hammersmith Hospital and Imperial College. While living at Earls Court Andrew shared in a remarkable spiritual revival at St Jude’s, which included helping at a late night evangelistic coffee bar, the One Way Inn, for 18 months. He spent two years in a large charismatic community, Post Green, and soon after trained for the Anglican ministry at the University of Durham, where he obtained a degree in Theology. He then spent three years as curate in Streatham and six years in charge of a church in Kingston on Thames. Andrew was then vicar of All Saints, Hackbridge & Beddington Corner for 21 years until he retired in 2015. While there the community centre was totally refurbished, and the church upgraded with a toilet and kitchenette. He also introduced a monthly prayer using the music of Taize, a monthly supper and Bible discussion, a monthly men’s breakfast, and an all-age service that works incredibly well. Andrew now lives in Earls Court once more, worshipping locally and enjoying all the benefits of South Kensington including St Augustine’s Church, Cine Lumiere, The V & A Museum (for writing), the Goethe Institut, Royal College of Music and the Proms!
Category: Religion, Christianity, Spirituality, Drama
On 16th July until 6th August 2017, the world is set to go football-crazy! The UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 Finals will take place in the Netherlands, and as a self-confessed sports fanatic, Wendy Temple’s new novel, Defensive Mindset, is to be released just before this important football championship kicks off. Wendy played hockey and volleyball competitively in Scotland, and now plays five-a-side football for leisure – a passion that has translated into her latest romantic fiction novel.
A passionate Scot, Wendy grew up in East Edinburgh. As a child it was her dream to live on the historic Royal Mile, which she did for a number of years before returning to the seaside a few years ago. With an academic background in Community Education; Healthcare and Physical Education, Wendy is a passionate advocate of keeping access to further education and healthcare free for all, and PE lessons accessible to all schoolchildren.
Category: Romance, Fiction, Women's Football, LGBT
Andrea Bramhall wrote her first novel at the age of six and three-quarters. It was seven pages long and held together with a pink ribbon. Her Gran still has it in the attic. Since then she has progressed a little bit and now has a number of published works held together with glue, not ribbons, an Alice B. Lavender certificate, and a Lambda Literary award cluttering up her book shelves.
She studied music and all things arty at Manchester Metropolitan University, graduating in 2002 with a BA in contemporary arts. She is certain it will prove useful someday…maybe.
When she isn’t busy running a campsite in the Lake District, Bramhall can be found hunched over her laptop scribbling down the stories that won’t let her sleep. She also loves reading, walking the dogs up mountains while taking a few thousand photos, scuba diving while taking a few thousand photos, swimming, kayaking, playing the saxophone, or cycling.
Category: Mystery, LGBT
This is Chris Stringman's first book. His subject is gambling. He's not a teacher writing about teaching. Instead, he's a teacher writing about gambling. What credentials does he have for this polemic role? Well, in effect, he became a professional gambler for five years; he devoted more of his attention to it than to the day job. By professional he means that it was his de facto profession although he admits he wasn’t any good at it! There are many delusional gamblers out there just like he was. Win Lose Repeat offers discussion and explanation of gambling options: financial spreadbetting (his choice), poker, casinos, bookies, bingo, the lottery, amusement arcades and modern-day fruit machines. Both online and on the high street. Chris looks at how and why we gamble...and how to stop gambling. This is a memoir as much as anything - his life from the age of 11 to the day he gave up gambling for good. This is a book for gamblers and their families - they need to understand who they are and what they are doing and why. They need this book to help them recognise their own behaviour, realise how they are manipulated, containing suggestions about how to change.
Category: Biography, Health, Addiction, Gambling, Internet
Lee Winter has worked as a newspaper journalist in almost every state in Australia for the past 28 years. In that time she has covered everything from courts, police, news, television, features, been a humor columnist and sub-editor, and of late, a newspaper glossy magazine’s deputy editor. She has won national awards for her writing and was three times an Australian state Sub-Editor of The Year for her clever headlines. When her newspaper was sold and laid off most of the staff in November 2016, she made the decision to test the waters as a full-time writer. Prior to that she has written two books for Ylva, the Goldie-winning, Lambda finalist The Red Files, a newspaper-based mystery; and the Australian underworld crime noir Requiem For Immortals, also a Lambda finalist (finalist in Lesbian Myster category winners will be announced in New York in June 2017). . When the idea of a superheroes collection came up, Lee jumped at the chance to write a novella (Shattered) about a disaffected superheroine on the run and the woman sent to track her down. This blew out to an almost-novel at just under 70,000 words!
Category: Lesbian, Fantasy
Tola Okogwu is a British blogger and founder of the hair and beauty blog, My Long Hair Journey (MLHJ). Tola holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and has written for several beauty publications including Black Beauty and Hair Magazine.
Through her blog, and wider writing, she is an active participant and voice in the natural hair movement and seeks to inspire, educate and empower young girls of colour to take ownership of who they are and everything that makes them unique.
Tola is passionate about parenthood, the role of fathers. and strongly believes that there should be a big boost in the resources for parents that are available freely and widely. An avid reader, Tola enjoys spending time with her family and friends around her home in Kent where she lives with her husband and daughter.
'Daddy Do My Hair? Beth’s Twists' is Tola’s first children’s picture book and was inspired by the relationship between her husband and daughter. It is the first in a series of books, which are designed to challenge some of the perceptions and preconceptions of skin and hair colour, relationships between fathers and their children, bullying, friendships, relationships and grief.
Category: Children's Books > Fiction
Kieran O’Connor brings together two ends of a spectrum; the precision of a chartered design engineer and the fluidity of a martial arts and fitness expert. Several pivotal moments in his life led him to blending western science and eastern wisdom. In his later years, his curiosity about the workings of the mind/body connection took him to all corners of the earth. His journey began with a desire to escape the discomfort, confusion and frustration of working harder only to feel like he was going backwards despite all his best efforts.
As he stripped back his thinking to the most basic concepts and principles that linked both east and west, the simple effectiveness of leverage became more apparent. As he ‘learned how to learn’ Kieran experienced a fundamental shift in his mindset and found his life changing, he was enjoying each day to the full more frequently. It’s not about learning anything new; it’s more about remembering what we already intuitively know when we align our mindset with our true inner nature. Kieran lives in Falkirk, Scotland.
Category: Self Improvement, Psychology, Hypnosis, Business
As one of Britain’s top comediennes, Angie has successfully harnessed the power of laughter to create inspiring and thought provoking productions. From stage to radio to TV to the written page Angie is a proven hit with a multicultural audience – male, female, young and old alike. She is equally at home with quick-fire comedy, acutely observed character sketches and solid acting performances.
Angie’s TV appearances include the BBC’s The Real McCoy, ITV’s Loose Women and Channel 4’s Get Up, Stand Up, and she has also presented The Saturday Morning Show on Choice FM. Angie also created the all-women panel TV show Ladies Talk on Vox Africa Network.
As a sought after keynote speaker Angie has graced the stage locally, nationally and internationally with schools, colleges and universities, business platforms, churches. An international mix of companies including UNESCO, America, Barclay Bank, Ernst & Young, Merrill Lynch have been inspired by her words, wit and wisdom.
As an entrepreneur, Angie’s aim is to inspire others to achieve against the odds and for two and a half years she ran the Angie Le Mar School of Expression fuelled by the desire to show young people, not just showbusiness, but the business behind it.
‘Straight to Audience Productions’ was founded in 2001 to build on Angie’s reputation as a performer and writer and also on her expertise in direction, production and marketing, to serve the growing international market for vibrant, top quality entertainment.
Angie is a Mum of three in her early 50s and lives in London with her husband.
Category: Self-Help, Showbusiness, Autobiography
Sarah Mathilde Callaway lives in fair Verona, the city perhaps best know for inspiring the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Sarah spends her days taking care of the Lamberti Tower in Verona, the iconic 12th century monument that overlooks the northern Italian city and is the third most visited attraction (after Juliet’s House and the Verona Arena). And she spends her evenings immersed in her passion for writing.
Her love of storytelling and writing began at the age of just 13, when she would draft her own versions of English, Russian and French literature on an old typewriter. She has a degree in writing and, in Italy, is affectionately known as the ‘Writer in the City of Love’.
Sarah adores writing romance, pen in hand and heart afire, while watching the wind ruffling the treetops surrounded by people living out their own love stories in the city that inspired the world’s greatest ever love story. Sarah is in an unusual position: she is one of very few Italian indie authors to have her book, The Tulip Garden, translated into English and released internationally. She has also written historical and contemporary novels in Italian – so there are plenty more novels ready for translation! Sarah is a member of EWWA (European Writing Women Association) and a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of America).
Category: Romantic fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Italy
Natalie Savvides is married to a wonderful man and lives in South West London with their two children under four. She works from home, mostly writing and being a Mum, and has written diaries since the age of 13, documenting almost every thought, feeling and experience since then. Natalie is a self-confessed ‘observer and contemplator of life’. Her ultimate goal has always been to find true love and harmony. She has strived for what she calls ‘perfection’ for many years believing it to be the key to happiness. This has often been incredibly draining, even debilitating, but time taught her that perfection is neither the answer, nor entirely possible.
Natalie is regularly called upon for advice both within her own network in London but also further afield via her social media platform and blog, and now specialises in supporting women and teenage girls in their pursuit of happiness. “I don’t judge and I believe that the way I have lived my life until now, and what I have learnt, put me in a credible position to write the book and to help people live a happy, fulfilling life”.
Category: Memoir, Biography, Self-Help, Women's Interest
Leading international lesbian fiction publisher Ylva Publishing has signed British agency Literally PR Ltd (LitPR) to support the launch of myriad titles due for release in 2017. Ylva Publishing, based near Frankfurt in Germany, is globally renowned as a publisher of quality women’s literature with a focus on lesbian fiction. The company works with authors from around the world and at the end of 2016 opened a new imprint, Queer Pack, that gives a home to the amazing stories that struggle to find a platform, be they about characters who are trans, non-binary, genderfluid, asexual, pansexual, bisexual — the list goes on!
Ylva is a woman-owned, women-run publisher, directed and founded by Astrid Ohletz, that seeks out stories about strong female characters who are lesbian or bisexual. The company, founded in 2011, publishes romance and erotica, mystery, paranormal, YA and historical fiction. Lesbian fiction is defined as novels with lesbian or bisexual women as the main character(s) and it is a fast growing publishing genre that holds strong appeal beyond gender and sexuality boundaries.
Category: Lesbian Fiction