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Nicola Hodgkinson is the winner of THE PEOPLE'S AUTHOR national writing competition as featured on The Alan Titchmarsh Show. She lives with a menagerie of animals in Suffolk, where she writes in her shed.

Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is commonly described as one of the UK's most important writers of SF. He is the author of numerous novels and literary parodies. He is Professor of 19th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, London University and has written a number of critical works on both SF and 19th Century poetry. He is a contributor to the SF ENCYCLOPEDIA.

Anna Bentinck

Anna Bentinck was trained at Arts Educational College and has worked extensively for BBC radio. Animation voices include the series 64 Zoo Lane. Film credits include The Trojan Women, Alice in Wonderland and To The Devil a Daughter. Her many audio books range from Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Shirley by Charlotte Bronte, The Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit, One Day by David Nicholls , Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel, The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, Sanditon and The Watsons by Jane Austen to The Bible.

Anton Lesser

Anton Lesser has played many of the principal roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company including Petruchio, Romeo and Richard III. His film work includes Charlotte Grey, Eroica and The River Queen. He is active in radio and spoken word audio, with a range from Paradise Lost and Homer to Hamlet. He is particularly known for recording the novels of Charles Dickens, having won a Spoken Word Award for Great Expectations.

Charlaine Harris

Author of a number of international bestselling series, Charlaine Harris' many novels include the Sookie Stackhouse series, now also known as the books behind the HBO original series, True Blood. She has also penned the Harper Connelly mysteries, the Lily Bard Investigations and the Aurora Teagarden cases. Her latest novel, first in a brand new series, is Midnight Crossroad.Charlaine Harris was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. Now married with children, she currently resides in Texas.

Chloe Mayer

Chloë Mayer is a journalist, whose work has been shortlisted for several awards, including newcomer of the year and reporter of the year. She has lived and worked in Tokyo and Los Angeles, and now lives in east London, not far from where she grew up. The Boy Made of Snow is her first novel.

Deborah Lawrenson

Deborah Lawrenson spent her childhood moving around the world with diplomatic service parents, from Kuwait to China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore. She graduated from Cambridge University and worked as a journalist in London. She is the author of five previous novels, including The Art of Falling, chosen for the prestigious WHSmith Fresh Talent promotion, and Songs of Blue and Gold, inspired by the life of writer-traveller Lawrence Durrell. Deborah is married with a daughter, and lives in Kent. The family spends as much time as possible at a crumbling hamlet in Provence, France, which is the atmospheric setting for The Lantern.Find out more at www.deborah-lawrenson.co.uk

Edward Cox

Edward Cox began writing stories at school as a way to pass time in boring lessons. It was a hobby he dabbled with until the late 80's when he discovered the works of David Gemmell, which not only cemented his love of fantasy but also encouraged a hobby to become something much more serious. With his first short story published in 2000, Edward spent much of the next decade earning a BA 1st class with honours in creative writing, and a Master degree in the same subject. He then went on to teach creative writing at the University of Bedfordshire. During the 2000's he published a host of short stories with the smaller presses of America, where he also worked as a reviewer. Currently living in Essex with his wife and daughter, Edward is mostly surrounded by fine greenery and spiders the size of his hand. The Relic Guild is his first completed novel, and it is the result of more than ten years of obsessive writing.

Erica James

With an insatiable appetite for other people's business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion.The author of many bestselling novels, including GARDENS OF DELIGHT, which won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, and her recent Sunday Times top ten bestsellers, SUMMER AT THE LAKE and THE DANDELION YEARS, Erica now divides her time between Suffolk and Lake Como in Italy, where she strikes up conversation with unsuspecting Italians.Visit her website www.ericajames.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @TheEricaJames

Fanny Blake

Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written a number of novels, including With a Friend Like You and Women of a Dangerous Age, and various non-fiction titles, as well as acting as ghost writer for a number of celebrities. She is also Books Editor of Woman & Home magazine.Find out more at www. fannyblake.com or follow her on Twitter @fannyblake1

Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is an international No.1 bestselling thriller author. He is the winner of the EDGAR, SHAMUS and ANTHONY AWARDs - the first to receive all three. His books are published in 40 languages, with over 47 million copies in print worldwide. Both his standalone thrillers and series featuring the indomitable Myron Bolitar have been No.1 bestsellers in over a dozen countries, gracing the lists of the SUNDAY TIMES and the NEW YORK TIMES. His novel TELL NO ONE was turned into the smash hit French film of the same name, and received the highly coveted LUMIERE (French Golden Globe) for best picture as well as four CESARS (French Oscar). Harlan lives in New Jersey with his family. Find out more at www.harlancoben.com or follow him on Twitter @HarlanCoben

James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is the author of many previous novels, many featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux. He won the EDGAR AWARD in 1998 for CIMARRON ROSE, while BLACK CHERRY BLUES won the EDGAR in 1990 and SUNSET LIMITED was awarded the CWA GOLD DAGGER in 1998. He lives with his wife, Pearl, in Missoula, Montana and New Iberia, Louisiana.www.jamesleeburke.com

James Rollins

James Rollins is the author of several bestselling novels and series, including the SIGMA force series, a string of standalone thrillers and the novelisation of the cinema blockbuster INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. His books are sold in more than 30 countries and have sold ten million copies worldwide. An amateur spelunker and scuba enthusiast, he also holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine. He currently lives and writes in Sacramento, California.www.jamesrollins.com

Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes, actor, writer, director, producer, was educated at Ampleforth, Magdalene College, Cambridge and Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He trained in repertory theatre at Northampton and Harrogate. As creator, sole writer and executive producer of the hit television series Downton Abbey, Fellowes has won three Emmy awards and a Golden Globe. Fellowes received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Gosford Park (2002). His work was also honoured by the Writer's Guild of America, the New York Film Critics' Circle and the National Society of Film Critics for Best Screenplay. Other writing credits for film include Piccadilly Jim (2004), Vanity Fair (2004), Young Victoria (2009), The Tourist (2010), Romeo & Juliet (2013), and the three-part drama Doctor Thorne for ITV. Fellowes also wrote and directed the award-winning films Separate Lies and From Time to Time. Fellowes wrote the books for the Tony-nominated stage production of Mary Poppins and for School of Rock: The Musical which opened on Broadway in December 2015, and was written and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber.Fellowes has authored two novels: the international bestsellers Snobs (2005) and Past Imperfect (2008).Julian Fellowes became a life peer in 2011. He lives in Dorset and London with his wife, Emma.

Juliet Stevenson

Juliet Stevenson is one of Britain's leading actors. She has worked extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Royal Court, winning an Olivier award for her performance as Paulina in Death and The Maiden in 1991. Most recently she starred in Beckett's Happy Days at The Young Vic to huge critical acclaim, which due to popular demand returned for a second run. Her films include Truly, Madly, Deeply; Bend it Like Beckham; When Did You Last See Your Father?; Being Julia; Pierrepoint; Mona Lisa Smile; Diana and Departure. Recent television work includes her starring role in Sky Living's supernatural thriller The Enfield Haunting and series regulars on two series of Atlantis and The Village. Other television work includes Place of Execution, The Accused, The Hour, and White Heat. Juliet has recently wrapped on upcoming BBC thriller 'One of Us' and is currently filming Let Me Go. She was awarded the CBE in 1999.

Kate Mosse

Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), Citadel (2012), and The Taxidermist's Daughter (2015), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize) and in June 2013, was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature. She lives in Sussex.

Katherine Webb

Katherine Webb was born in 1977 and grew up in rural Hampshire before reading History at Durham University. She has since spent time living in London and Venice, and now lives in Wiltshire. Having worked as a waitress, au pair, personal assistant, book binder, library assistant, seller of fairy costumes and housekeeper, she now writes full time.www.facebook.com/KatherineWebbAuthor@KWebbAuthor

Lesley Lokko

After various careers from cocktail waitress to kibbutz worker, Lesley Lokko trained as an architect, but always dreamt of writing. She lives in Johannesburg.Find out more at www.lesleylokko.com

Liz Fenwick

Author, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer. Liz was born in Massachusetts, but fell in love with an Englishman and now happily resides in Cornwall with her husband and three children. Author of novels The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair, A Cornish Stranger and Under A Cornish Sky.Find out more at www.lizfenwick.com or follow her on Twitter @liz_fenwick

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012. Visit her website at www.maevebinchy.com