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 . . .
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.
New York Times bestseller Leigh Bardugo is the author of the Grisha books (Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm).Born in Jerusalem, Leigh grew up in Los Angeles and is a graduate of Yale University.Find her website at http://www.leighbardugo.com/ and follow her on Twitter @lbardugo
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
Kit Berry is the author of the Stonewylde novels. Formerly a teacher, she is now a full time writer who lives in Berkshire with her husband.
Holly Black is the co-creator of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. A NEW YORK TIMES No. 1 bestselling phenomenon, the series has been described as 'vintage Victorian fantasy' and has been made into a hugely successful film. The books have been translated into 32 languages. Holly Black lives with her husband in Massachusetts.For more information, please visit Holly's website www.blackholly.com, read her Livejournal at http://blackholly.livejournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hollyblack and Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/hollyblack, and like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HollyBlackFan.
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.
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.
Anne-Sophie was born in 1984 and is still at school. She lives in Metz and RESPIRE is her first novel.
Steven Brindle is a celebrated author and historian. He is regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on Brunel and is famed for discovering and saving Brunel's 'lost' iron bridge at Paddington. His previous books include the critically acclaimed PADDINGTON STATION: ITS HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE.
Dr Brunskill is the acknowledged authority on vernacular architecture and author of the definitive book on the subject Traditional Buildings of Britain. He was born in Cumbria and now lives in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
Mark Bryant was born in Dorset and is a philosophy graduate of London University. He also has a PhD in history from the University of Kent. After a number of years in book publishing he turned freelance, working as an editor, writer and exhibition curator. He is the author of several books -- including Dictionary of Riddles (Special Commendation in Best Specialist Reference Book Awards 1990), Literary Hymns, Dictionary of British Cartoonists and Caricaturists 1730-1980 (with S. Heneage) and Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists. He lives in south-west London.
Richard Burke was born in London and read English at Oxford University. He is an award-winning producer and director of TV science programmes who began his career as an assistant producer on BBC's Tomorrow's World. His credits include the series 'Space' for the BBC, Discovery America's hit series 'Raging Planet' and Channel 4's 'Electric Skies'. He lives in Taunton, Somerset, with his wife and son.
W.J. Burley lived near Newquay in Cornwall, and was a schoolmaster until he retired to concentrate on his writing. His many Wycliffe novels were extremely popular and were adapted for a highly successful TV series starring Jack Shepherd. W.J. Burley died in 2002.
Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates is a bestselling author. Among her many books are BLONDE, BROKE HEART BLUES, BLACK WATER, THEM and FAITHLESS. She has won a National Book Award as well as the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letter. She has also had stories selected for both BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES OF THE CENTURY and BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES OF THE CENTURY. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Alex Carr grew up in Missoula, Montana. For much of her life, she has travelled and worked her way around the world, starting as a prep-cook in the scullery of a men's soup kitchen, through working in a fish cannery in Alaska pulling salmon roe, to being a nude sketch model at an art museum in Frankfurt. Her work, she says, has defined her and her writing.
CJ Carver was born in the UK. At 22 she went to Australia for a holiday and stayed for 10 years, working in publishing and travelling. In 1992 she took part in the London to Saigon Car Rally, where she and her co-driver were the only all-female crew on a 63-day, 12,500 mile journey. In 1993, she fell into freelance writing and since then has worked locally while writing and travelling. In 1998, she completed the London to Cape Town Car Rally, once again the only all-female crew. She blames her love of adventure on her parents: her mother set the land speed record in Australia and her father was a jet fighter pilot.
Caroline Castle is the author of several picture book texts as well as twonovels for older children. She has also illustrated two picture books forPiccadilly Press. She lives in Camden, North London.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was born in Campden Hill, London and educated at St Paul's School and the Slade School of Art and then made his name as a journalist. His first two books were volumes of verse and then in 1904 he wrote The Napoleon of Notting Hill. He followed this with studies of Dickens and Robert Browning and The Man Who Was Thursday. The first Father Brown book, The Innocence of Father Brown, appeared in 1911. In 1922 he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. During his life he produced more than a hundred books, including various religious writings, poetry and essays. He also illustrated the novels of his friend, Hilaire Belloc.
Reginald Evelyn Peter Southouse Cheyney (1896-1951) was born in Whitechapel in the East End of London. After serving as a lieutenant during the First World War, he worked as a police reporter and freelance investigator until he found success with his first Lemmy Caution novel. In his lifetime Cheyney was a prolific and wildly successful author, selling, in 1946 alone, over 1.5 million copies of his books. His work was also enormously popular in France, and inspired Jean-Luc Godard's character of the same name in his dystopian sci-fi film Alphaville. The master of British noir, in Lemmy Caution Peter Cheyney created the blueprint for the tough-talking, hard-drinking pulp fiction detective.