Related to: 'My Father's Wake'

A.A. Gill

A. A. Gill (1954-2016) was born in Edinburgh. He was the TV and restaurant critic and regular features-writer for the Sunday Times, a columnist for Esquire and contributor to Australian Gourmet Traveller. He was the author of A. A. Gill is Away, The Angry Island, Previous Convictions, Table Talk, Paper View, A. A. Gill is Further Away and The Golden Door, as well as two novels and the memoir Pour Me, which was shortlisted for the 2016 PEN Ackerley Prize. Lines in the Sand, a collection of his journalism in recent years, will be published in 2017.

Carol Drinkwater

Best known for her role as Helen Herriot in BBC Television's ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL (for which she was awarded THE VARIETY CLUB TELEVISION PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARD), Carol Drinkwater has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as both an actress and writer. During her acting career she has worked in film, television and theatre. Her credits include working with Laurence Olivier at the National Theatre and Stanley Kubrick on A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Carol is the author of six bestselling memoirs: THE OLIVE FARM, THE OLIVE SEASON, THE OLIVE HARVEST, THE OLIVE ROUTE, THE OLIVE TREE and RETURN TO THE OLICE FARM. Carol worked with UNESCO on a lavish documentary film series inspired by her two most recent books, THE OLIVE ROUTE and THE OLIVE TREE. The series is both travel and history based and will follow an Olive Heritage Trail around the Mediterranean Basin. The aim is to celebrate the cultural heritage of this sacred tree. The first transmissions will be in Canada in February and in Germany in April 2013.

Daniel Cole

At 33 years old, Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing. On writing his debut novel RAGDOLL, which began life as an unproduced television pilot, Daniel says: 'After five years of rejections, I had a yearning to actually finish one of my stories rather than leave it collecting dust with the others under my bed. With no formal training at all, I feel I wrote the book very selfishly, with the aim of creating something that I, personally, would love: as shocking as it is humorous, as thought-provoking as it is relentlessly entertaining, and with a cast of characters who feel like friends by the end of it.' He currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing book two instead.

Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer is recognised as one of America's most effective and respected communicators addressing corporations, conventions and health/psychology/primary care workers. His unique accomplishments have garnered personal commendations from Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He was selected as torchbearer for the 1996 Olympic Torch relay. He has dedicated his life to helping others help themselves.

Dot May Dunn

Dot May Dunn was born in Derbyshire, the daughter of a miner. In 1951 she joined the newly established NHS as a pre-nursing student at Leicester Royal Infirmary, eventually becoming a Research Fellow at St Bartholomew's London and the London Hospital Medical College. She has four nursing qualifications and 50 years on the 'coal face' behind her. She divides her time between England and France.

Emma Reyes

Emma Reyes (1919-2003) was a Colombian painter and intellectual whose letters were first published in 2012. She grew up in extreme poverty and escaped a convent for orphan girls at age nineteen. Illiterate, she travelled wherever she could and dedicated most of her life to painting and drawing, slowly breaking through as an artist and forging friendships with some of the most distinguished European and Latin American artists, writers and intellectuals of the twentieth century. She lived in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Jerusalem, Washington and Rome before settling in Paris. The year she passed away, the French government named her a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Eric Idle

Eric Idle is the third tallest member of Monty Python. In addition to the Python scripts, he is the author of the novels The Road to Mars and Hello Sailor, the play Pass the Butler; and the children's book The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat. He lives in Los Angeles.

Fiona Shaw

Fiona Shaw is an Irish actress and theatre director. She is best known for her aclaimed theatre roles but to International audiences she is probably most familiar for her role as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films and in 2011 for her role as Marnie Stonebrook in the True Blood series. Fiona was awarded an honorary CBE in 2001 for her services to drama and she has of course read numerous audiobooks including Dr. Johnson's London by Liza Picard, for Orion.

Henry Marsh

Henry Marsh read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University before studying medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London, graduating in 1979. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St.George's in 1987, where he still works full time.He has been the subject of two major documentary films: Your Life in their Hands (BBC 2003 ) which won the Royal Television Society Gold Medal and The English Surgeon (2009) which won an Emmy. He has lectured widely on the subject of hospital architecture and design, keeps bees and makes furniture in his spare time. He was made a CBE by HM the Queen in 2010. He is married to the best-selling anthropologist and writer Kate Fox.Visit the website www.theenglishsurgeon.com for more information.

Hugh Thomson

Hugh Thomson's previous books include The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland and Nanda Devi, a journey to a usually inaccessible part of the Himalayas. He has led many research expeditions to Peru. He is also a film-maker and has won many awards for his documentaries, which include Indian Journeys with William Dalrymple, and Dancing in the Street: A Rock and Roll History. He lives in Oxfordshire. More details can be seen at www.thewhiterock.co.uk

Jennifer Worth

Jennifer Worth trained as a nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, and was later ward sister at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in London, then the Marie Curie Hospital, also in London. Music had always been her passion, and in 1973 she left nursing in order to study music intensively, teaching piano and singing for about 25 years. Jennifer died in May 2011 after a short illness, leaving her husband Philip, two daughters and three grandchildren. Her books have all been bestsellers.

Jonathan Dean

Jonathan Dean is Senior Writer for the Sunday Times Culture, regularly interviewing the world's biggest stars. He has written for the paper's News Review, Style, Magazine and Travel sections, on subjects ranging from Remembrance Day to holidays in LA, and contributed to the Pool, GQ, Shortlist, the Independent and Red.

Kevin Toolis

Kevin Toolis is a writer and film-maker. He is the author of an acclaimed chronicle of Ireland's Troubles, Rebel Hearts: Journeys Within the IRA's Soul. He has written for the New York Times Magazine and the Guardian and reported on conflicts across the world. As a film-maker Toolis has won a BAFTA for Best Single Drama and was nominated for an Emmy for his documentaries on the Middle East. His family have lived in the same oceanside village on an island off the coast of County Mayo for the last 200 years.

Lauren St John

Lauren St John was born in Gatooma, Rhodesia, now Kadoma, Zimbabwe. At 11, she and her family moved to Rainbow's End farm and game reserve, the subject of her acclaimed memoir, and she grew up surrounded by animals, including eight horses, two warthogs and a pet giraffe. After nearly a decade as golf correspondent to The Sunday Times, followed by a sojourn in the US, riding the tour buses of alt. country stars like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and the Dixie Chicks, she wrote the bestselling 'White Giraffe' series. 'Dead Man's Cove', the first in her new mystery series about 11-year-old detective, Laura Marlin, won the 2011 Blue Peter Favourite Story and Book of the Year Awards.Lauren's website is http://laurenstjohn.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter @laurenstjohn

Lisa Carey

Lisa Carey is the author of The Mermaids Singing, In the Country of the Young, Love in the Asylum and Every Visible Thing. She lived in Ireland for five years and now resides in Portland, Maine, with her husband and their son.

Lynne Jones

Lynne Jones is a child psychiatrist, relief worker, and writer. She has spent much of the last twenty years establishing and running mental health programs in areas of conflict or natural disaster. Her field diaries have been published in the London Review of Books and O, The Oprah Magazine, and her audio diaries broadcast on the BBC World Service. She is the author of Then They Started Shooting: Growing Up in Wartime Bosnia (Harvard University Press, 2005).Jones has an MA in human sciences from the University of Oxford. She qualified in medicine before specialising in psychiatry and has a PhD in social psychology and political science. In 2001, she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her work in child psychiatry in conflict-affected areas of Central Europe. She regularly consults for UNICEF and WHO. She is currently working as a child psychiatrist in Cornwall, is an honorary consultant at the Maudsley Hospital, London, and is a visiting scientist at the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University.

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

Mari Hannah

Mari Hannah is a multi-award-winning author whose authentic voice is no happy accident. A former probation officer, she lives in rural Northumberland with her partner, an ex-murder detective. Mari turned to script-writing when her career was cut short following an assault on duty. Her debut, The Murder Wall (adapted from a script she developed with the BBC) won her the Polari First Book Prize. Its follow-up, Settled Blood, picked up a Northern Writers' Award. Her Kate Daniels series is in development with Stephen Fry's production company, Sprout Pictures. She is currently Reader in Residence for Harrogate International Crime Writing Festival. Mari's body of work won her the CWA Dagger in the Library 2017, an incredible honour to receive so early on in her career.

Michael Palin

Michael Palin established his reputation with MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS and RIPPING YARNS. His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as THE MISSIONARY, A PRIVATE FUNCTION, an award-winning performance as the hapless Ken in A FISH CALLED WANDA and, more recently, AMERICAN FRIENDS and FIERCE CREATURES. His television credits include two films for the BBC's GREAT RAILWAY JOURNEYS, the plays EAST OF IPSWICH and NUMBER 27, and Alan Bleasdale's GBH. He has written books to accompany his six very successful travel series, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, POLE TO POLE, FULL CIRCLE, HEMINGWAY ADVENTURE, SAHARA and HIMALAYA. He is also the author of a number of children's stories, the play THE WEEKEND and the novel HEMINGWAY'S CHAIR.Visit the website for more information www.palinstravels.co.uk

Michèle Forbes

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Michèle Forbes is an award-winning theatre, television and film actress. Her first novel, Ghost Moth, was published in 2013 to great critical acclaim and Forbes was shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. She lives in Dalkey, Dublin. www.micheleforbesauthor.com