OUR FESTIVAL 2018 PARTICIPANTS
Morgen Bailey is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story, BBC Radio 2, and BeaconFlash competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. Morgen will be one of the 2018 Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers and NAWG Fest tutors with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course.
Sue Benwell has written celebrity profile articles for various magazines, such as Yours and My Weekly. She won the Freelance Journalist of the Year Competition in Writers’ News magazine back in 1999. Sue attended many of the British Comedy Society’s blue-plaque events at Pinewood Studios and Jack Douglas – the twitchy ‘Alf Ippititimus’ - was President of the Society at the time. Sue interviewed Jack for an article in Yours magazine. He then asked her to ghost-write his autobiography. Jack wanted to call it, ‘Me and Him’, but Sue had a flash of inspiration one day and called it A Twitch in Time. Sue travelled to the Isle of Wight to stay with Jack and his fiancée Vivien in Shanklin in order to record Jack’s reminiscences of his long career in show business. In the autumn of 1994, Sue interviewed Sir Norman Wisdom at his flat in Epsom. This was a piece to celebrate his 80th birthday the following February. Sue and Sir Norman’s Personal Assistant, Ann Axe, became friends and Sue would see them both at the Comedy Society events at Pinewood Studios. Ann then asked Sue if she would ghost-write a book about her time working with Sir Norman as his P.A. Norman’s character in many of his films was Norman Pitkin, so Sue thought of the title, Pitkin’s P.A. Since then, Sue has written her first novel, Gold Digger. She is currently writing a children’s book (working title Shrouds in the Mist), set at Waddesdon Manor during the Second World War.
MARY LYNN BRACHT
Mary Lynn Bracht is an American author of Korean descent who has lived in London for nearly thirteen years. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. She grew up in a large ex-pat community of women who came of age in post-war South Korea. In 2002 Bracht visited her mother's childhood village, and it was during this trip she first learned of the ‘Comfort Women’ captured and set up in brothels for the Japanese military. White Chrysanthemum is her first novel. www.marybracht.com
Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. He began his career as an actor, his credits including small-screen greats such as Dempsey & Makepeace, Birds of a Feather, Juliet Bravo and four series of cult children’s classic Maid Marian And Her Merry Men. He branched out into stand-up comedy and worked all over the world for more than twenty years, appearing regularly at The Comedy Store, as well as on screen with Spitting Image, The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Live At Jongleurs. He has gone on to present widely on TV and radio. Mark’s first crime novel was published in 2001. Sleepyhead was an instant bestseller and was later singled out by The Times as one of the novels that had shaped the decade. It has since sold over 650,000 copies. Since then, each of Mark’s novels has been a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller. His sales total more than 4.5 million copies to date, and his books are published in over 25 countries. The series featuring London-based detective Tom Thorne includes Lazybones and Death Message, which both won the Theakstons Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel Of The Year. Mark’s latest novel, The Killing Habit will be published in June 2018. An acclaimed television series based on the Thorne novels was screened on Sky One in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne. A major six-part series, based on the standalone thriller In The Dark, was screened on BBC1 in 2017. Mark lives in London with his wife and two children.
Adina Campbell has just started a new role as the BBC’s Community Affairs Correspondent. The brief includes leading coverage of the UK’s diverse population and communities, giving a voice to sometimes under-served audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Before then she worked in the BBC Specialists team as a Health Correspondent and spent time as a reporter in the UK general newsgathering team. Adina’s former news patch was based out of the BBC newsroom in Oxford where she reported and presented stories on South Today. She enjoys keeping fit and plays regional netball. Adina is currently reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
Louise Jensen is a Global No.1 Bestselling author of psychological thrillers The Sister, The Gift and The Surrogate. To date Louise has sold approaching a million books and her novels have been sold for translation to nineteen territories, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award. Louise's fourth novel, The Date, will be published on 21st June. Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers and she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips.
Just Write is a group of authors who met at Sally Norton’s creative writing class in Amersham. At the end of their first year, in June 2013, they decided they couldn’t bear to wait until late September to meet and write again. Extramural sessions were arranged, at one of which someone said ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to work together and write a set of stories?’ and someone else added ‘They could all take place on the same day in a coffee shop…’ Their first book, Spilling the Beans, was published fifteen months later and won Writing Magazine‘s Anthology competition for books published in 2015. Eleven months after that, their second book, Delayed Reaction, was published. Their latest collaboration is Shakespeare Street.
Tony Klinger was born in London and is a writer and film maker whose many international awards for all aspects of his work include The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Education, The London Film Festival, The San Sebastian Film Festival and many Fuji and Kodak prizes. Tony worked on the iconic TV series ‘The Avengers’ and has written and/ or produced films all over the world including ‘The Kids are Alright’, ‘Deep Purple Rises Over Japan’ and ‘The Butterfly Ball’. He later worked in partnership with his father, the legendary film producer, Michael Klinger, who made such films as ‘Get Carter’, and worked together with him on ‘Gold’, ‘Shout at the Devil’ and several others, working with stars like Jack Nicholson, Peter Ustinov, Lee Marvin, Sir John Gielgud, Roger Moore, Deep Purple, Barbara Parkins, The Who, Peter Finch, Susannah York, Michael Caine and many others. 2015 saw Tony’s debut as a playwright with ‘A Tired Heart & The Big C’ and in 2017 his third book, Under God’s Table was published. His other books are the novel, The Butterfly Boy, and his best selling book, Twilight of the Gods, about his making the film, ‘The Kids are Alright’ with The Who. He has written, and is scheduled to produce, the feature film screenplay for the best selling book Just a Boy by Richard McCann, and he is currently writing the ‘book’ for a live stage show featuring the life and music of David Courtney, ‘The Show Must Go On’ which is due for its first production on the London stage in 2018.
Carole Matthews is an internationally bestselling author of 31 hugely successful romantic comedy novels. Her unique sense of humour has won her legions of fans and critical acclaim all over the world. As well as appearing on the Sunday Times and USA Today bestseller lists, Carole is published in 31 different countries. Her novels Welcome To The Real World and Wrapped Up in You were both shortlisted for the RNA romantic novel of the year award. She has also been given an award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association for her Outstanding Contribution to Romantic Fiction. Previously very unlucky in love, she now lives happily ever after in Costa del Keynes with her partner, Lovely Kev. She likes to drink champagne, eat chocolate and spends too much time on Facebook and Twitter.
Her latest book, Million Love Songs, is out now.
Vicky Newham grew up near Chichester, West Sussex. She moved to London to go to university, and taught psychology there for many years before moving to Whitstable, Kent, where she now lives. Vicky gained an MA Creative Writing from Kingston University in 2014. Turn a Blind Eye is her debut novel, and will be published on 5 April 2018 by HQ/HarperCollins. The novel, which draws on Vicky’s psychology background and her experience of living and working in East London, is the first in a new series featuring Bangladeshi-born DI Maya Rahman. It has been optioned for TV by Playground Entertainment.
Dave Sivers is an Indie author whose books include the popular Archer and Baines crime novels set in Buckinghamshire’s Aylesbury Vale. The fourth and latest in the series is The Blood that Binds. His short fiction has earned prizes and publication, and he has also written for newspapers and magazines as well as plays and other material for the amateur stage. He is a founder of the BeaconLit literary festival, which takes place annually in Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire. Dave grew up in West London and, in addition to writing, has been a civil servant, bookmaker’s clerk and nightclub bouncer. He now lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife.
Lydia Syson lives in south London with her partner and four children. After an early career as a BBC World Service Radio producer, she turned from the spoken to the written word, and developed an enduring obsession with history, including her family history. Mr Peacock’s Possessions, Lydia’s adult fiction debut, will be published by BonnierZaffre in May 2018. Her PhD about poets, explorers and Timbuktu was followed by a biography of Britain’s first fertility guru, Doctor of Love: James Graham And His Celestial Bed, and then three YA novels for Hot Key Books set in the Spanish Civil War (A World Between Us - 2012) and World War Two (That Burning Summer - 2013) and the Paris Commune of 1871, Liberty’s Fire (2015). All three have been inspired, very loosely, by family history, but none more directly than Liberty’s Fire: Lydia’s anarchist great-great-grandmother moved in Communard circles in late nineteenth-century London and volunteered at Louise Michel’s international school in Fitzrovia.
Peter Tickler is an established crime writer, with five novels published and a sixth due out later in 2018. His ‘Blood in Oxford’ series has been praised for the authenticity of his Oxford. Peter’s publishing career is proof that little in life is straightforward. His first article, written as a teenager for a glossy magazine earned him £20. Several more articles were published, but the promised cheques never materialised. His first book The Modern Mercenary was a major book-club selection in the UK and USA, but the follow-up was cancelled after reaching the page-proof stage when his publisher was bought and sold twice! Peter writes a monthly column for Mystery People and regularly gives talks at festivals, libraries, U3As, Womens Institutes and even one of Her Majesty’s Prisons. He is member of the Crime Writers’ Association. His latest book is The Girl Who Stole the Apple. White Lies, Deadly Lies will be published in Autumn 2018.
Martyn Waites was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He has turned his hand to many occupations: market trader, bar manager, stand-up comic and teacher of drama to teenage ex-offenders. Following this last job he decided to go to drama school and became a professional actor. He trained at the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama and went on to play both policemen and villains in Inspector Morse, Spender, The Bill and Harry. As a theatre actor he appeared as a lead in Catherine Cookson's plays and had a go at stand-up comedy. Martyn won the 2014 Grand Prix du Roman Noir Award for his novel Born Under Punches. Following critical success with his Martyn Waites titles, he then enjoyed commercial success with the books written under the pseudonym of Tania Carver. To date, his Tania Carver novels have sold over 190,000 copies. The first book in the series, The Surrogate, was nominated for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year Award.
Sarah Williams is a crime writer and the editor of the online crime fiction magazine Crime Fiction Fix (www.crime-fiction-fix.com). Her non-fiction How To Write Crime Fiction (Little, Brown) came out in 2015. Her first crime fiction novel, Small Deaths, was published autumn 2017, while It Should Have Been You, the first in a new series set in Central London, comes out in October 2018. Photograph: Kev Jefcoate