Joan Aiken, English-born daughter of American poet Conrad Aiken, began her writing career in the 1950s. Working for Argosy magazine as a copy editor but also as the anonymous author of articles and stories to fill up their pages, she was adept at inventing a wealth of characters and fantastic situations, and went on to produce hundreds of stories for Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Vanity Fair and many other magazines. Some of those early stories became novels, such as The Silence of Herondale, first published fifty years ago in 1964. Although her first agent famously told her to stick to short stories, saying she would never be able to sustain a full-length novel, Joan Aiken went on to win the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for The Whispering Mountain, and the Edgar Alan Poe award for her adult novel Night Fall. Her best known children's novel, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, was acclaimed by Time magazine as 'a genuine small masterpiece'. In 1999 she was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature, and although best known as a children's writer, Joan Aiken wrote many adult novels, both modern and historical, with her trademark wit and verve. Many have a similar gothic flavour to her children's writing, and were much admired by readers and critics alike. As she said 'The only difference I can see is that children's books have happier endings than those for adults.' You have been warned . . .
Jane Bennett, Alexandra Pope
Jane Bennett originally trained in Social Work and Clinical Hypnotherapy. She has worked as a natural fertility specialist since 1990, where she organises training seminars and ongoing support for health professionals.
Alexandra Pope is a psychotherapist of 15 years and facilitator in private practice and is a clinical member of the Counsellor and Psychotherapy Association, NSW (CAPA). Author of The Wild Genie: The Healing Power of Menstruation and Walking with the Genie: The Modern Woman's Menstrual Health Kit, Alexandra has run workshops nationally and internationally on menstrual health and the psychology of women for the last 11 years.
Dr Caroline Apovian is the director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Centre and co-director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Support Service at Boston University Medical Centre. She is an associate professor of medicine and paediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.For over twenty-five years, Dr. Apovian has held the position at the forefront of the obesity and weight-managment field.One of the world's premier weight-loss experts, she has distinguished herself as a leading researcher, treatment provider, and teacher in the fields of obesity and weight loss.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 -1930) was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction.
Danny Baker is an English comedy writer, journalist, radio DJ and screenwriter. He currently presents daily on BBC London 94.9 and a weekly show on BBC Radio 5 Live.For more, visit Danny Baker's website at www.internettreehouse.co.uk and follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/prodnose.
R. Scott Bakker is the son of a tobacco share-cropper, and spent his youth either exploring the wooded bluffs of Lake Erie's north shore or working in hot summer fields. He left the countryside to study English language and literature at University of Western Ontario, and from there moved to Nashville to pursue a PhD in philosophy. He now lives in London, Ontario with his fiancee, Sharron, and their cat, Scully.
Helen Banes is a fibre artist and jewellery designer. Born in Chicago in 1920, she has studied at the University of Maryland and Parsons School of Design. She is a founding member of Fiberworks Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, and the founding president of the Bead Society of Greater Washington. A desire to incorporate beads and other perforated objects into her woven pieces led to her most important artistic innovation: the method of stringing beads on a double warp, using a shaped loom on a light-weight portable board. She has given numerous lectures and workshops throughout the US and Canada, and her necklaces have been exhibited in galleries, including the Smithsonian Institute.
Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires in 1942, educated in Rome and made his piano debut at the age of eight and as a solo pianist at the age of eleven with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. His musical tours have taken him all over the world and he has made regular appearances at the Bayreuth, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Prague and Salzburg festivals. In 1967 he married the cellist Jacqueline du Pré (who died in 1987). In 1988 he married Elena Bashkirova. He was musical director of the Paris Orchestra 1975-88, and he has been Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1991 and of the Berlin State Opera since 1992.
Dr. Harry Barry is a highly respected Irish author and medic, with over three decades of experience as a GP. With a keen interest in the area of mental health and suicide prevention, Dr. Barry is the author of numerous books addressing various aspects of mental health including depression and toxic stress.
Previous titles include: Great Paper Quilling, Wonderful Wire Works, Glass Painting In An Afternoon, Decorating Your Garden, Fantastic Furniture
A K Benedict
A K Benedict read English at Cambridge and studied creative writing at Sussex. She composed film and television soundtracks, as well as performing as a musician before becoming a full-time writer in 2012. She now writes novels, drama, poetry and short stories, and lives in St Leonards-on-Sea with her dog, Dame Margaret Rutherford. Find out more at www.akbenedict.com or follow her on Twitter @ak_benedict
The nation's favourite cooking duo, and beloved food enthusiasts, the Hairy Bikers.With their unique blend of tasty recipes, cheeky humour and irresistible enthusiasm, the Hairy Bikers have become Britain's favourite food heroes.Born and bred in Barrow-in-Furness, Dave Myers' versatile skills have taken him to some unusual places. He worked in a steelworks as a student, to finance his studies in Fine Arts, and later joined the BBC as a make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics. Si King hails from North East England and is a big, blond bearded biker with an infectious laugh. He worked for many years as an Assistant Director and Locations Manager for film and television, including the Harry Potter films.Si and Dave met on the set of a TV drama in 1995 and have been cooking and riding together ever since. They have now written 19 cookbooks, including The Hairy Bikers' Mediterranean Adventure, Chicken & Egg, Mums Know Best, Bakeation, Meat Feasts and 12 Days of Christmas. In 2012, the boys shed more than six stone between them on the TV show The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight and launched a publishing phenomenon. They have also published an acclaimed autobiography, Blood, Sweat & Tyres.Selling in excess of 5.7 million copies of their books, Si and Dave continue to entertain and inspire with their innovative publishing and heartwarming TV shows.www.hairybikers.comhttps://www.facebook.com/HairyBikers https://twitter.com/HairyBikers
David Bird is recognised as the world's leading humorous bridge writer. He has written over 130 bridge books, and in the last ten years he has won six 'Book of the Year' awards from the American Bridge Teachers Association - and in 2016 won the International Bridge Press Association Book of the Year Award for The Abbot, the Parrot and the Bermuda Bowl. David contributes regularly to Bridge Magazine, English Bridge, Bridge World, the American Contract Bridge League bulletin and other magazines around the world, as well as Vu-Bridge on the internet. He is also a voice commentator for Bridge Base Online. He lives in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, England.
Victoria Blake was born in Oxford and brought up in Queen's College. She read history at Lady Margaret Hall and then qualified as a solicitor in London, before working in publishing and bookselling.
She lives in West London with her partner and the ubiquitous cat, percipiently named Dashiell Hammett.
Barry Bostwick is an American actor and singer. He is best known for playing Brad in the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and has also had considerable fame in musical theatre.
Katrina Bowman and Louise Ryan met at a South Eastern Multiple Birth Association (SEMBA) barbecue, bonded instantly, and within weeks were writing the book they wished they'd had when they were pregnant.
Louise has worked in the book industry for sixteen years and is the mother of non-identical twins, Camille and Celeste, conceived through the IVF program and born in 1999. Katrina Bowman has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and over twelve years experience in the public relations industry. She is the mother of Charlotte and Ella, identical twins born in 2000. Both Katrina and Louise have been active members of SEMBA, and regularly speak at multiple birth conferences.
Pamela Branch (1920-1967) was born on a tea estate in Sri Lanka. She was educated in England, studied art in Paris, and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Returning to the East, she lived for three years on a houseboat in Kashmir, and travelled extensively in Europe, India and the Middle East. According to her more famous contemporary Christianna Brand, she was 'the funniest lady you ever knew'; she adored practical jokes, of which she had a seemingly endless store, and the contemporary press lavishly praised her wit. The Sunday Times stated that 'even the bodies manage to be ghoulishly diverting' and the Times Literary Supplement compared her third novel, Murder Every Monday, to the work of Evelyn Waugh. She married twice, was, according to her friends, entertaining, glamorous, beautiful and charming, and the greatest mystery of her work is why it has not received more recognition since her untimely death from cancer at the age of forty-seven.
Richard Mackney is a journalist and broadcaster, and was a reporter on ITV's GMTV. He is now a freelance writer and producer. He and his wife Rosie Bray - a TV producer - started trying to conceive after five years of being together but, two and a half years and countless prenatal vitamins and ovulation kits later, there hadn't been even a phantom pregnancy. As difficult as it was to face, they knew something was wrong and they needed to get help. So began their adventure into IVF, via blood tests, sperm tests, injections and probes, becoming involuntary experts on embryology through failure, despair, persistence and success. They now have a daughter, Molly.Richard's Twitter is @themackney and Rosie's can be found at @rosiebray
George Bredehorn is a retired teacher who lives in Wantagh, New York and is a member of Mensa. His puzzles appear regularly in publications such as The New York Times and Games.
Sally Brock is an internationally known player and writer. Sally is also the current bridge correspondent for the Sunday Times.