Related to: 'Hit Factories'

Anna Caltabiano

Anna Caltabiano was born in British colonial Hong Kong and educated in Mandarin Chinese schools before moving to Palo Alto, California; the mecca of futurism. She lives down the street from Facebook in the town where its founders reside, along with the pioneers of Google and Apple.

Anna Freeman

Anna Freeman is an associate lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University as well as a multiple slam-winning performance poet who has appeared at festivals across Britain including Latitude and Glastonbury. She lives in Bristol. Her first novel, THE FAIR FIGHT, was shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel award.

Ashley Kahn

Ashley Kahn is co-writer with Carlos Santana on THE UNIVERSAL TONE.

Carlos Santana

CARLOS SANTANA was born in Autlán de Navarro, Mexico, in 1947. He is a guitarist, songwriter and founding member of Santana. He has recorded or appeared on more than ninety albums. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, the drummer Cindy Blackman.

Cathryn Kemp

Cathryn Kemp is an award-winning journalist and author. She has written across the spectrum of the British press, both tabloid and broadsheet, and online, and for many magazines. In 2002 she won the Peter Wilson Award for Journalism before running her own, highly successful press agency writing for radio and television. She is the author of PAINKILLER ADDICT, published by Piatkus in 2012, which won the Big Red Read Prize for non-fiction in 2013. This is a personal and lovingly crafted account of her grandmother's life and her legacy.

Colin MacIntyre

Colin MacIntyre is an award-winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who has released seven albums to date, most notably under the name Mull Historical Society, so far achieving two Top 20 albums and four Top 40 singles. He has been voted Scotland's Top Creative Talent and has toured worldwide, including with The Strokes, Elbow and REM, and has played all the major festivals. He has performed live on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music, Radio 4, LATER WITH JOOLS HOLLAND and THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW, among many others. He is the co-author of a Radio 4 Afternoon Play, and has collaborated with Tony Benn and Irvine Welsh. His other musical project is Field Stars, an electro art-pop collaboration. Born into a family of writers and storytellers, Colin grew up on the isle of Mull in the Hebrides but now lives in London. His debut novel, THE LETTERS OF IVOR PUNCH, was awarded the Edinburgh International Book Festival's 2015 First Book Award. In 2018, his memoir 'The Boy in the Bubble' was published in HOMETOWN TALES: HIGHLANDS AND HEBRIDES, and his first book for children, THE HUMDRUM DRUM, was published with accompanying original songs on audiobook.

Dan Kavanagh

Dan Kavanagh was born in County Sligo in 1946. Having devoted his adolescence to truancy, venery and petty theft, he left home at seventeen and signed on as a deckhand on a Liberian tanker. After jumping ship at Montevideo, he roamed across the Americas taking a variety of jobs: he was a steer-wrestler, a waiter-on-roller-skates at a drive-in eatery in Tucson, and a bouncer in a gay bar in San Francisco. He is currently working in London at jobs he declines to specify, and lives in north Islington.

Denise Mina

After a peripatetic childhood in Glasgow, Paris, London, Invergordon, Bergen and Perth, Denise Mina left school early. Working in a number of dead end jobs, all of them badly, before studying at night school to get into Glasgow University Law School. Denise went on to study for a PhD at Strathclyde, misusing her student grant to write her first novel. This was Garnethill, published in 1998, which won the Crime Writers Association John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel.She has now published 12 novels and also writes short stories, plays and graphic novels.In 2014 she was inducted into the Crime Writers' Association Hall of Fame.She regularly appears at literary festivals in the UK and abroad, leads masterclasses on writing and was a judge for the Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction 2014.

Eric Idle

Eric Idle is a comedian, actor, author and singer-songwriter who found immediate fame on television with the sketch-comedy show MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS. Following its success, the Pythons began making films that include MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975), MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN (1979) and THE MEANING OF LIFE (1983). Eric also wrote the award-winning musical SPAMALOT. He lives in Los Angeles.

Geoff Ryman

Geoff Ryman was born in Canada in 1952 but moved to America when he was eleven. He moved to London in 1973. He began writing science fiction in 1976. His other novels include Was and 253. He currently lives and works in London and Oxfordshire.

Graham Hurley

Graham Hurley is an award-winning TV documentary maker who now writes full time. He is married and has grown up children. He lived in Portsmouth for 20 years but now lives in Exmouth, Devon.www.grahamhurley.co.uk

Hal Miller

Hal Miller is co-writer with Carlos Santana on THE UNIVERSAL TONE.

Hilda Kemp

'Hooray' Hilda Kemp was born in 1922 and worked in a fish-and-chip shop in South London in the 1950s and 60s. Before she died (in her 80s) she told her life story to her granddaughter, the journalist and author Cathryn Kemp. She was a larger-than-life character who, despite her difficult life, was known for her indomitable good humour and her tough spirit throughout her hardships.

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

Jean Fullerton

Jean Fullerton is the author of seven historical novels. She is a qualified District and Queen's nurse who has spent most of her working life in the East End of London, first as a Sister in charge of a team, and then as a District Nurse tutor. She is also a qualified teacher and spent twelve years lecturing on community nursing studies at a London university. She now writes full-time. Find out more at www.jeanfullerton.com

Jo Bloom

Jo Bloom has worked as a freelancer in the communications field for the past fifteen years with a focus on arts publicity and e-learning. She also contributed to the book review section of Time Out, London for a few years. Prior to this she lived and worked in Prague and New York. She was inspired to write Ridley Road when she met a Jewish anti-fascist who'd lived in the East End all his life and participated in numerous street battles with the fascists alongside both the 43 Group and the 62 Group. She lives in Brighton with her husband and young son. Follow her on Twitter @missiejobloom or visit her website www.jobloom.com

John Higgs

John Higgs is the author I HAVE AMERICA SURROUNDED: THE LIFE OF TIMOTHY LEARY, THE KLF: CHAOS, MAGIC AND THE BAND WHO BURNED A MILLION POUNDS and the novel THE BRANDY OF THE DAMNED. He lives in Brighton with his partner and their two children. www.johnhiggs.com@johnhiggs

Judi Dench

Judi Dench is the foremost actress in British theatre. She was first acclaimed in 1960 as the Juliet for her generation, in the controversial Franco Zeffirelli production of ROMEO AND JULIET at the Old Vic. Her stage career has included productions with the RSC, National Theatre, West End and tours all over the world.She has triumphed in great Shakespearean leads, and on television and film, she has won several awards including an Oscar for her Queen Elizabeth I in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and a BAFTA for her title role in IRIS. She was made a DBE in 1988 and a Companion of Honour in 2005. Most recently she has starred in a diverse range of films including THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, SKYFALL and the multi-Oscar-nominated PHILOMENA, the hit BBC TV series CRANFORD and alongside Ben Whishaw in PETER AND ALICE on stage in the West End.

Kate Williams

Kate Williams is an author, social historian and broadcaster. The Storms of War, her first novel in the De Witt trilogy, was widely acclaimed, reviewed as 'spellbinding, gripping and beautiful'. She has always wanted to travel in time and wrote her first novel when she was seven (The Adventures of Maria) - it was rather short.Kate loves delving into archives, collections, diaries and letters. She has a DPhil from Oxford and is the author of the novel The Pleasures of Men and four historical biographies of Emma Hamilton, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth II and Empress Josephine - which is being made into a major TV series.She is Professor of Public History at the University of Reading. Kate is CNN's historian and royal expert, covers royal and national events on the BBC and other channels and regularly appears on other TV programmes, including BBC Breakfast, Restoration Home and The Great British Bake Off, discussing social and royal history, general politics and culture. She also loves quiz shows and is a regular on The Quizeum. She is the resident historian on Frank Skinner's BBC Radio 4 panel show The Rest is History, and writes features, reviews and comment pieces for various newspapers and magazines, including the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Observer.Kate lives in London.Find out more at www.kate-williams.com and follow her on Twitter @KateWilliamsme

Kitty Danton

Kitty Danton was born and grew up in Devon where her books are set. She spent time as a news journalist and a mature student before working in publishing. She lives in London.