Related to: 'The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness'

Alice Walker

Alice Walker won the Pulitzer prize and the American Book Award for The Color Purple. She is the author of many bestselling novels, essays and collections of poetry including Meridian, By the Light of My Father's Smile and The Third Life of Grange Copeland.Visit Alice Walker's official website at: alicewalkersgarden.com

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson was born in Nebraska in 1975. Since then he has written, amongst others The Mistborn books and begun the internationally bestselling Stormlight Archive. He was also chosen by Robert Jordan's family to complete Jordan's Wheel of Time Sequence. He lives in Utah.Visit his website at http://www.brandonsanderson.com, follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BrandSanderson and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BrandSanderson. Read his blogs at http://mistborn.blogspot.co.uk andhttp://mistborn.livejournal.com.

Elisa Lodato

Elisa Lodato grew up in London and read English at Pembroke College, Cambridge. After graduating she went to live in Japan where she spent a year teaching, travelling and learning to speak the language. On returning to the UK she spent many happy years working for Google before training to become an English teacher. Helping pupils to search for meaning in a text inspired Elisa to take up the pen and write her own. Her first novel, An Unremarkable Body, was longlisted for the Bath Novel Award 2016. Elisa lives in Surrey with her husband and two children.@LodatoElisa

Erica James

Erica James is the number one international bestselling author of twenty novels, including the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers Summer at the Lake, The Dandelion Years and Song of the Skylark. She has sold over five million books worldwide and her work has been translated into twelve languages. Erica won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award for her novel Gardens of Delight, set in beautiful Lake Como, Italy, which has become a second home to her. Her authentic characters are thanks to her insatiable appetite for other people's business and a willingness to strike up a conversation with just about anybody.To find out more, visit her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.www.ericajames.co.ukT@TheEricaJamesf/ericajamesauthor/I/the_ericajames

Gillian Flynn

GILLIAN FLYNN is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl, for which she wrote the Golden Globe-nominated screenplay, and the New York Times bestsellers Dark Places and Sharp Objects. A former critic for Entertainment Weekly, she lives in Chicago with her husband and children.

Hannah Richell

Hannah Richell was born in Kent and spent her childhood years in Buckinghamshire and Canada. After graduating from the University of Nottingham she worked in the book publishing and film industries in both London and Sydney. She is a dual citizen of Great Britain and Australia and currently lives the South West of England with her family. Hannah is the author of international bestsellers Secrets of the Tides and The Shadow Year. The Peacock Summer is her third novel. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages.

Ian Rankin

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four CWA Daggers including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a No.1 bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons. www.ianrankin.net Twitter @Beathhigh

Isabel Ashdown

Isabel Ashdown was born in London and grew up on the south coast of England. She is the author of four novels and winner of the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition. After giving up a successful career in product marketing to study English at the University of Chichester, her debut GLASSHOPPER was published and named as one of the best books of the year by the Observer and the London Evening Standard. She has a first class degree in English and an MA in Creative Writing with distinction. In 2014 Isabel was Writer in Residence at the University of Brighton, where she has taught on their Creative Writing MA. Along with dachshund Leonard she is a volunteer for Pets as Therapy, as part of their Read2Dogs scheme. Isabel lives in West Sussex with her carpenter husband, two children and their dogs.

Joe Hill

Joe Hill is a recipient of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship and the winner of the A.E. Coppard Long Fiction Prize, William Crawford, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild Awards. His short fiction has appeared in literary, mystery and horror collections and magazines in Britain and America.For more information, visit www.joehillfiction.com, visit joehillsthrills.tumblr.com, or follow @Joe_Hill on twitter.

Joe Ide

Joe Ide grew up in South Central Los Angeles. His favourite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. The idea that a person could face the world and vanquish his enemies with just his intelligence fascinated him. Joe went on to earn a graduate degree and had several careers before writing IQ, his debut novel, inspired by his early experiences and love of Sherlock. Joe lives in Santa Monica, California.www.joeide.com

Karine Lambert

Karine Lambert is a photographer and novelist. Her first novel, L'Immeuble des femmes qui ont renoncé aux hommes, sold more than 120,000 copies in France. Now Let's Dance has sold in nine territories, and is already a bestseller in France and Germany.

Kate Binchy

Kate Binchy has worked extensively in all media from West End to fringe theatre. Numerous television appearances include RUTH RENDELL MYSTERIES, FATHER TED, PEAK PRACTICE, CASUALTY, POIROT and FAIR CITY. She has appeared in over 500 radio plays, and films such as MRS DALLOWAY and THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE. She is Maeve's cousin and has read all of Maeve's audiobooks.

Lily Brooks-Dalton

Lily Brooks-Dalton was born and raised in southern Vermont. She moved to Ireland when she was seventeen then worked her way around the world for three and a half years. She is currently doing an MFA in Portland, Oregon, and has won numerous scholarships for her writing.

Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay is the international bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels, including NO SAFE HOUSE, A TAP ON THE WINDOW, TRUST YOUR EYES and the Richard & Judy 2008 Summer Read winner and number one bestseller, NO TIME FOR GOODBYE. He lives near Toronto with his wife.www.linwoodbarclay.com.

Liz Fenwick

Liz Fenwick, award-winning author, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer, was born in Massachusetts, and at the age of twenty-six moved to London where she fell in love with an Englishman. After nine international moves, she now spends her time in Cornwall with her husband and her mad cat, writing stories inspired by the beautiful Duchy.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

Margaret Kirk

Margaret Morton Kirk is a Highland Scot and a graduate of Glasgow University. She is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition 2016. Find her on Twitter @HighlandWriter.

Michael Connelly

A former police reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Connelly is the internationally bestselling author of the Harry Bosch thriller series. The TV tie-in series - Bosch - is one of the most watched original series on Amazon Prime and is now in its third season. He is also the author of several bestsellers, including the highly acclaimed legal thriller, The Lincoln Lawyer, which was selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club in 2006, and has been President of the Mystery Writers of America. His books have been translated into thirty-nine languages and have won awards all over the world, including the Edgar and Anthony Awards. He spends his time in California and Florida.To find out more, visit Michael's website or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.www.michaelconnelly.com@Connellybooksf/MichaelConnellyBooks

Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She spent three years living and working in Japan, and travelling around Asia before returning to New Zealand now - although she's always plotting new trips. She has worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher, not necessarily in that order. Some people might call that inconsistency, but she calls it grist for the writer's mill.You can learn more by visiting www.nalinisingh.com or by following @NaliniSingh on twitter.

Nathan Englander

Nathan Englander is also the author of the internationally bestselling story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, and the novel The Ministry of Special Cases. Translated into twenty-two languages, he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Award, the Frank O'Connor Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. He lives in Brooklyn.www.nathanenglander.com@NathanEnglanderwww.facebook.com/NEnglandernathanenglander.tumblr.com/