FINDING NEW VOICES
DEFINING NEW GENRES
They’re people with something to say, people who embrace words and have stories to tell or knowledge to impart, people who want to entertain, thrill, challenge. People who adore the written word, who know the power of valuable content. They’re people like you.
When we’re looking for an innovative new project, we want authors who can tell a story, make us want to engage with the characters, draw us into their world. Writers who have a passion, a belief, who want to collaborate on content. Authors have wonderful ideas scrabbling around in their big old brains and we are here to help it get out!
Amanda James grew up in Sheffield but her dream was to eventually live in Cornwall. Having now realised that dream, the dramatic coastline around her home inspires her writing and she has sketched out many stories in her head while walking the cliff paths. Known to many as Mandy, she spends far more time than is good for her on social media and has turned procrastination to a fine art. Amanda has written many short stories for anthologies and has four published novels. Two are about a time travelling history teacher, A Stitch in Time and Cross Stitch, two are suspense – Somewhere Beyond the Sea and Dancing in the Rain. Amanda left school with no real qualifications of note apart from an A* in how to be a nuisance in class. Nevertheless, she returned to education when her daughter was five and eventually became a history teacher, though she never travelled through time, apart from in her head. When Amanda is not writing she can be found playing on the beach with her family or walking next to the ocean plotting her next book.Read More
Alan Watkins is CEO and Founder of Complete Coherence. Both physician and neuroscientist, he has been a coach and confidant to many top CEOs and business leaders for over 20 years. Alan is the author of bestselling management title ‘Coherence: The Secret Science of Brilliant Leadership’.
Matt Simister is a key figure in the food industry. As Head of Tesco Europe, Matt has not only been the driving force behind the rejuvenation of Tesco s fresh food offer but also a key figure in its industry-leading efforts to reduce food waste.Read More
Evie Gaughan is a novelist and lives in the medieval city of Galway, on the West Coast of Ireland. Her books are an eclectic mix of genres, incorporating her love of history, folklore and finding magic in the everyday.
She graduated from the Université de Paul Sabatier, Toulouse with a marketing diploma in 1996 and spent the next few years working abroad and discovering that she didn’t like marketing one bit. Evie abandoned the corporate world to follow her dream of becoming a writer and an artist. Since then, she has written two novels, The Heirloom and The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris, and contributes articles to The Irish Times and Women Writers, Women’s Books.
Her third novel, The Story Collector, will be published by Urbane in June 2018.
Luc Bardin advises blue chip companies, governments and academic institutions on their brand, marketing and partnership strategies. Prior to this, he was group vice president for 12 years in BP and notably group chief sales and marketing officer, CEO of multiple global branded businesses and a member of the BP Downstream ExCo. Luc is an adjunct professor and member of the advisory board of the strategic marketing MSc at Imperial College Business School. His previous book Strategic Partnering – remove chance and deliver consistent success was published in 2013.Read More
The former Commander of Special Branch at New Scotland Yard, Roger Pearce was responsible for surveillance and undercover operations against terrorists and extremists, the close protection of government ministers and visiting VIPs, and other highly sensitive assignments.
He was also Director of Intelligence, charged with heading covert operations against serious and organised criminals.
After leaving the Yard he was appointed Counter-Terrorism Adviser to the Foreign Office, where he worked with government and intelligence experts worldwide in the campaign against Islamist terrorism.
Roger Pearce has degrees in Theology from Durham University and Law from London University. He is also a barrister-at-law. Married with three adult children, he has homes in London and Miami and was European Security Director of a leading, high profile global company.
In Agent of the State, The Extremist, Javelin and future titles, the author draws upon his knowledge and first hand experience of a career in national security at every level.
Javelin, Book 3 in the John Kerr thriller series, will be published by Urbane October 2017.Read More
Jonathan Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster.
After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between.
He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC and STV.
HellCorp – his second novel – will be published in autumn 2018 .
Twitter: @JDWhitelaw13Read More
While I currently live mostly in the countryside, I spent a lot of my life in and around NYC and know well the gritty city streets of which I write. I have first-hand knowledge of the localized crime world through family. I will say no more. I studied criminology in college and was mentored by a leading advocate for the family members of homicide victims. I have been the recipient of writing awards and have published several stories with crime elements, including two Amazon bestselling novels.
The New York Times bestselling author Da Chen has said I write the kind of stories that “. . . we stay up all night to finish.”
Trouble Boys is my first historical crime novel.
Trouble Boys will publish early spring 2018.
Cherry was a keyboard player in a band, a piano teacher at the Royal Ballet School and a post-doc researcher at Moorfields Eye Hospital before suddenly starting her first novel in the middle of a scientific conference in 2009.
Inspirations for writing have included lighthouses obviously, the sea, flamenco music, broken English, mumbling teenagers and Maltesers.
Cherry lives in Eastbourne and Almería.
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, her third novel, will be published in Spring 2018.
Jo Worgan is a freelance copywriter, columnist and book blogger. She has published 4 non-fiction works aimed at parenting children on the Autistic spectrum, based upon her experiences as a mother of an autistic son.
Jo has always had a passion for reading, writing and all things books. She began writing short stories in her spare time while studying at University, gaining a BA(Hons) English Literature and Drama with Theatre Studies. Her writing was put on hold while she studied to become a nurse, eventually working as a senior renal nurse, first in Liverpool, then in the rural idyll of the Dorset countryside. The birth of her first child followed very closely by a move to North Lancashire that allowed Jo to start thinking about writing once more, and the birth of her second child, diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, inspired her to write fully once more. The result was a book aimed towards helping parents of newly diagnosed children on the autism spectrum, ‘Life on the Spectrum, the Preschool Years, Getting the Help and Support You Need’. Jo continued to write and a further 3 books were self-published, all about autism. With this new-found thirst for writing, Jo wanted to start writing fiction again, as this is what she truly loves. She also finds it cheaper than therapy. Jo also runs the very popular Brew and Books review website.
Today Jo lives in Lancashire with her husband of 19 years and their two young sons. When she is not busy writing, she likes to take her boys to the local museums, cafes, cinema, the Lake District and lots of playgrounds. She also drinks a lot of coffee.
Urbane will publish Jo’s novel, Picking Up The Pieces, in the autumn of 2018.Read More
Robert trained at RADA.
His many television credits include: Dr Gordon Ormerod in eight series of The Royal, Sam Mountjoy in three series of John Sullivan’s Roger Roger and Tuppy Glossop in four series of Jeeves and Wooster. Also, Roger Dervish in the award- winning Outside Edge. (Nominated Best Actor-British Comedy Awards) Most recently he played Ernie Raynor in the Only Fools and Horses prequel trilogy, Rock and Chips and made guest appearances in New Tricks and Doc Martin. He has also played Jack Whitehall’s father Michael in Little Cracker – Daddy’s Little Princess for Sky and Will Tudor-Bass in Holby. He also plays the town curmudgeon, Dr. Thomas Choake in the BBC’s hugely successful Poldark and has recently completed filming both Father Brown and Death In Paradise. He is currently filming Midsomer Murders and An Unkind Word.
Other leading roles include hospital manager Simon Eastman in Casualty, Major Hound in Channel Four’s Sword of Honour, Dick Thompson in the BBC’s Take A Girl Like You, Simon Snell in You Can Choose Your Friends, Oscar Beatty in The Mystery of Men plus countless guest performances in programmes such as Midsomer Murders, The Missing Postman, The Bill, Game Set and Match, Lovejoy, Birds of a Feather, Pie in the Sky, The Paul Merton Show, Lovejoy, Embassy, The Dirty Dozen et al and so on. One of his personal favourites was to be a guest on the last ever episode of A Bit of Fry and Laurie, for which he played the Last Post on a trumpet. His own one.
Films include Prof. Philip Chessman in the supernatural thriller The Unfolding – recently selected for a Leicester Square premiere as part of FrightFest. Arthur’s Dyke, Land of the Blind, According to Colin, The Great Escape Two and Richard Ordinary.
Recent theatre work includes Michael Frayn’s ‘Alarms and Excursions’ – National Tour. Dr John Watson in The Secret of Sherlock Holmes at the Duchess Theatre, and Geoffrey Hammond in Public Property at the Trafalgar Studios and Jim Hacker in Yes Prime Minister at the same theatre. Also Charles Pooter in Diary Of A Nobody at the Theatre Royal, Northampton and the National Tour of Blackbird by David Harrower, for which Robert was nominated for Best Actor in the Manchester Evening News Drama Awards. He also played the frantic taxi driving bigamist, John Smith, in Ray Cooney’s hit comedy farce Caught in the Net, at the Vaudeville Theatre. Robert regularly performs Summoned by Betjeman by Christopher Matthew, in which he portays the late Poet Laureate and ‘Teddy bear to the nation’, John Betjeman.
A regular contributor on radio as actor and broadcaster, Robert has read biographies of both P.G Wodehouse and John Betjeman for Radio 4 and co-created the long running radio series, with writer Brian B Thompson, Trueman and Riley, in which he plays D.I Trueman. He also played Prof. David Poll in the comedy series Higher by Joyce Bryant and Arthur Lowe in Roy Smiles, Dear Arthur, Love John. Also, Goodnight From Him, in which he plays Ronnnie Barker in the story of the Two Ronnies and Arthur Box-Bender in Sword of Honour by Evelyn Waugh, adapted into six parts by Jeremy Front. Most recently he has recorded Incredible Women by Rebecca Front and Jeremy Front.
His first crime novella, The Rock, was published in 2012 and made the top of the Amazon Bestseller list five times. It has been optioned for television.
His second Sullivan and Broderick murder mystery, The Poisoned Rock, was published in Sept 2016. His third in the series, Killing Rock, will be available later in 2017.
Robert has three children, Ben, Betsy and May and is married to the actress Amy Robbins.Read More
Kelly Florentia was born and bred in north London, where she continues to live with her husband Joe. No Way Back is her second novel and will be published by Urbane Publications in autumn 2017. Her debut novel, The Magic Touch, was released in March 2016.
Kelly has always enjoyed writing and was a bit of a poet when she was younger. Before penning her first novel, she wrote contemporary short fiction for women’s magazines. To Tell a Tale or Two is a collection of some of her short stories.
As well as writing, Kelly loves reading, running, yoga, necking coffee and scoffing cakes. She’s currently working on her third novel.
No Way Back is coming autumn 2017 – more details soon!Read More
By now, Mark Pepper really should be on his fourth wife and in rehab at some idyllic retreat in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Graduating from RADA in 1990, he believed he would be a Hollywood star by the time the U.S. hosted the World Cup four years later. It didn’t work out that way.
His acting career was spasmodic, to say the least. There were high points: peeing on the Aidensfield Arms hearth-fire in the first-ever episode of Heartbeat; taking Lulu hostage in the Christmas special ten years later; acting with icons like Tom Bell and Helen Mirren; and popping up in Coronation Street several times. But there were vast deserts of unemployment between these little oases and Mark quickly turned to writing as an alternative source of expression.
His first novel, The Short Cut, was published in hardcover by Hodder & Stoughton in 1996 and in paperback by Hodder’s New English Library in 1997, and his second novel, Man on a Murder Cycle, was released by the same publisher hardcover in 1997 and paperback in 1998.
Veteran Avenue was completed a few years later but, as the pressures of earning a decent living and supporting his family took precedence, was placed on the back-burner – although not literally as that would have been stupid. Like any self-respecting struggling actor, he has had a host of jobs, including gym instructor, bed salesman, taxi driver, binman, and even a stint as a Special Constable with Greater Manchester Police. He left when he realised they were never going to give him a gun. Then ten years ago he completed a PGCE in Secondary School Drama, thinking it would be a good idea to be a teacher but not taking into account the problem of OPK – Other People’s Kids. His next move was to get his HGV licences. While happily driving artics around the country he rather stumbled into his current job of Client Intelligence Analyst, which he likes mostly because he can genuinely tell people he’s CIA.
After spending seven years living in Murcia with his wife and daughter, Mark recently returned to the UK as he missed the dull skies, frequent downpours, and especially road-rage.
He is delighted to have been adopted by the Urbane family, and is looking forward to his resurrected writing career. Veteran Avenue will publish in September 2017.
Praise for Man on a Murder Cycle:
“This is a highly entertaining novel, with a neat, smart plot, some perfectly-executed set-pieces and a fine sense of the ridiculous … Mark Pepper is a writer to watch.” – London Time Out
“Fast and compelling … highly readable and well-plotted, Pepper has written about the unbelievable with conviction and a nice dash of ambivalence.” – City Life
“Man on a Murder Cycle is a very clever action thriller, full of twists and turns, skilfully handled, and singles out Mark Pepper as a talent to keep an eye on.” – Edinburgh Evening Telegraph
Praise for The Short Cut:
“Mark Pepper has had the good sense to write what he knows. It’s a tight, readable debut, with some good sarky dialogue and a few choice insights into the actor’s world.” – London Time Out
“A speedy, scary and sexy thriller told with great style and wit. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy the ride!” – Lancashire Evening Post
“A chilling tale of temptation and the devil. Imaginative stuff.” – Manchester Evening NewsRead More
Fergus Linnane is a writer and journalist who has worked on the Daily Mail and the Sun, night-edited the Daily Mirror, executive editor of the European, and editor of the English language Moscow News. His previous books include London’s Underworld, The Encyclopedia of London Crime and Vice, Madams, The Lives of the English Rakes, London the Wicked City and Drinking for England.Read More
Lloyd was born in London and graduated in Media and Communication. An avid movie fan, he wrote film reviews for his university magazine and enjoyed a stint in a television production company where he helped with props and scripts. He went on to write reviews for music sites, including ilikemusic, and after gaining several years of valuable experience within the finance and digital sectors, completed a course in journalism.
Under the pen name of ‘Paige’ he has interviewed a host of bestselling authors, such as Mark Billingham, Hugh Howey, Kerry Hudson, and Lawrence Block, and has blogged for The Bookseller, and The Huffington Post. He also wrote a regular book review column for WUWO Magazine and two of his short stories were selected for publication in the ‘Out of My Window’ anthology. He has also had articles appear on the Crime Readers’ Association website, and in the Writers’ Forum magazine. He currently works as an Editor.
Lloyd’s debut crime thriller, the gripping Dead Lands, will be published by Urbane autumn 2017.Read More
I’ve always written and told stories, for as long as I can remember. My first self published work at the age of seven, fully illustrated in felt pen and crayon. I continued with a series of insightful ‘When I grow up I want to be an author’, essays, and an attempt at a ‘Bonk-buster’ series of supernatural thrillers written from a position of utter ignorance on all topics, until I was distracted by Art college. A never ending, or never finished, fantasy epic kept me going through my twenties, but it was motherhood in my thirties which concentrated my mind enough to actually finish a novel. It’s amazing what a bit of life experience and the sudden curtailing of your free time can do to concentrate the mind.
After that I began giving myself permission to take my writing seriously enough to spend time on it and actually listen to critiques. The writing festival in York proved invaluable, and time and disappointment got me to the point of producing something readable, which I was lucky enough to have read by Urbane publications.
If you make or write anything, the number one question you get asked is ‘where do you get your ideas from?’ In answer to that question, it’s an easy process which combines working on your craft every hour you can for as long as possible – hard graft – reading as much as you can of everyone else’s work – stealing – and inspiration, which is just one of those things that just happens. The inspiration for ‘Nemesister’ comes from a dark episode of family history, and a moment from a dream; an image of a man standing in the doorway of what I knew was an abandoned shack, which was gone as soon as it came and yet lingered, the way some dreams do.
Urbane will publish Nemesister in June 2017.
Beverley Harvey (Bev to her friends) hails from the corporate communications world. She worked first in advertising in a variety of support roles, before moving to PR where she trained in a London agency before becoming freelance in 2001.
After threatening to write a book for years, Bev finally swapped PR campaigns for plot lines with the completion of her debut novel ‘Seeking Eden’.
When not writing – or reading, Bev enjoys listening to rock and indie music, cooking, baking, and keeping fit. An animal lover and part-time dog walker, she is inspired by nature, art and life’s daily trials and tribulations.
Born in Yorkshire, and raised in South London, Beverley now lives in Kent with her partner Mark and their naughty Jack Russell Terrier, Brodie.
Seeking Eden will be published by Urbane Publications on 6th July 2017.
Image by Stephanie Chapman PhotographyRead More
Adam Steiner’s poetry and fiction appear in Rockland Lit, Proletarian Poetry, The Next Review, Fractured Nuance zine, BoscRev: 4, The Weary Blues, The Stare’s Nest, ShoutOut UK, 3:AM, The Cadaverine, Spontaneity, Abridged 0-13, The Literateur, Nostrovia! SquawkBack, NOUS. Anthologies: Interpal – Palestine Verses, Fugue 1 (Siren Press), Poems Underwater, Stepaway – Voicewalks (Durham University).
Adam was selected for the 2014 Ó Bhéal Coventry-Cork Twin Cities Poetry Exchange and was part of the Coventry SHOOT Festival, 2014. He is former Editor of Here Comes Everyone magazine.
Adam is currently running the Disappear Here project to produce a series of 27 poetry films about Coventry ringroad.
Politics of the Asylum is Adam’s debut novel and will publish autumn 2017.Read More
Lotte Moore is an 80-year-old writer on a mission. Her myriad children’s stories have been enjoyed by primary school boys and girls around the country, particularly when they get a visit from Lotte, during which she inspires the children with her readings, and wartime stories of rationing and bombings. Lotte has written more than 16 books including her autobiography Snippets of a Lifetime. Despite writing stories since her childhood, Lotte only blossomed as a writer in her 70s. She was born into an incredibly literary family. Her father, John Pudney, wrote poetry (including the popular WW2 poem ‘For Johnny’), novels and biographies. Her grandfather, Sir Alan Herbert, was a prolific writer, satirist and librettist.
As a child, Lotte lived in Kent with her parents who enjoyed entertaining, political debate and literary discussion with the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, H E Bates, W H Auden and Benjamin Britten. During the war, having been evacuated, and then at school, Lotte often found herself feeling lonely and turned to writing (stories, diary, poems and letters) to express her feelings of isolation. In her early teens Lotte’s commitment turned to ballet, point shoes replaced the pen. She was selected by the Royal Ballet School to dance in the Opera Ballet. When rejected for growing ‘too tall’ Lotte turned to acting and intermittently to writing. She finally married aged 38 to her loyal husband Chris (who continues to support Lotte in many ways including typing out her hand-written stories). Lotte became immersed in her stepchildren and then her own two girls. When her daughters left home she describes “empty years” filled by illness and family problems. Sadly, her parents died before her writing career flourished. Lotte lives in London, on the River Thames, and at this time of year can be found entertaining young and old in her local area by putting on nativity plays with a ‘real’ baby performing the part of Jesus – much to the admiration of the old ladies and gents in the care homes and community centres they perform in.Read More
Before becoming a writer, Mark trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He subsequently worked in theatre and television for several years, both in the UK and abroad. He has worked variously as a cleaner, care-worker and carer, salesman, barman, medical transcriptionist, warehouse worker, and administrator.
Mark has published numerous stories and poems in magazines and anthologies in the UK, Eire, and Italy, and in particular has had several stories published in (or accepted for) the celebrated Unthology series (Unthank Books). His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. He has been shortlisted for literary prizes, including the prestigious Bridport Prize.
In 2009, Mark graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in English (Creative Writing and Critical Practice) from Ruskin College, Oxford.
Currently living in South Wales, Mark is also a musician and songwriter, and some of his songs may be found here: https://soundcloud.com/pumpstreetsongs
Among his favourite writers are: Jean Rhys, Franz Kafka, Anton Chekhov, and Christopher Priest.
The Gift Maker is his début novel and will publish spring 2017.
Author photo is courtesy of the very talented Tina White.Read More
Michelle Larbey is a former primary school teacher, local authority consultant who now spends her time as a freelance Educational consultant, author & storyteller. Michelle inspires teacher trainees to share her passion of children’s books at the Cambridge University Faculty of Education, where she holds a partnership tutor position. Known for her passion and enthusiasm, Michelle enjoys nothing more than inspiring everyone to love books. In her spare time, she enjoys reading to her two children while taking on the role of a character from the story.
Michelle’s first three Urbane titles are My Pet Snake, The Farmer’s Rat and The Wishing Dish, all available now!Read More
Clio was born in Yorkshire, spent her later childhood in Devon before returning to Yorkshire to go to university. For the last twenty five years she has lived in the Scottish Highlands where she intends to remain. She eschewed the usual route of marriage, mortgage, children, and instead spent her working life in libraries, filling her home with books and sharing that home with dogs. She began writing for personal amusement in the late nineties, then began entering short story competitions, getting short listed and then winning, which led directly to a publication deal with Headline. Her latest book, The Anatomist’s Dream, was nominated for the Man Booker 2015 and long listed for the Bailey’s Prize in 2016.
‘Surprisingly,’ Gray says, ‘The Anatomist’s Dream – although my eighth published novel – was amongst the first few stabs I made at writing a book. Pretty appalling in its first incarnation (not that I thought it at the time!) it was only when I brushed the dust off it a few years ago that I realised there really was something interesting and unusual at its core that I could now, as a more experienced writer, work with. The moral being: don’t give up. The more you write, the more self-critical you become and the better your writing will be because of it.’
Clio has always been encouraging towards emergent writers, and founded HISSAC (The Highlands and Islands Short Story Association) in 2004 precisely to further that aim, providing feedback on short listed stories and mentoring first time novelists, not a few of whom have gone on to be published themselves.
‘It’s been a great privilege to work with aspiring writers, to see them develop and flourish,’ Gray says. ‘There can never be too many books in the world, and the better the books the better place the world will be.’
Legacy of the Lynx will publish this autumn, followed by a trilogy of brilliant historical crime novels during 2017.Read More
Gina was born during the not-so-swinging 50’s to a mum who frequently abandoned her in a pram outside Woolworths and a dad who, after two pints of beer, could play a mean Boogie Woogie on the piano in the front room of their 3-bed semi on the Wirral. Being the less adventurous of three children, she remains there to this day – apart from a long weekend in Bognor Regis in 1982.
Her teenage years were filled with angst, a CSE in Arithmetic, pimples, PLJ juice, Barry White and rather large knickers until she suddenly and mysteriously slimmed down in her twenties. Marriage and motherhood ensued, quickly followed by divorce in her early thirties and a desperate need for a career and some form of financial support for herself and her daughter. Trundling a bicycle along a leafy path one wintry day, a lifelong passion to be a police officer gave her simultaneously an epiphany and fond memories of her favourite author Enid Blyton and moments of solving mysteries.
And thus began an enjoyable and fulfilling career with Merseyside Police.
On reaching an age most women lie about, she quickly adapted to retirement by utilising her policing skills to chase after two granddaughters, two dogs and one previously used, but still in excellent condition, husband. Having said goodbye to what had been a huge part of her life, she suddenly had another wonderful epiphany. This time it was to put pen to paper to write a book based on her experiences as a police officer.
Lying in bed one night staring at the ceiling and contemplating life as she knew it, Gina’s alter-ego, Mavis Upton was born, ready to star in a humorous and sometimes poignant look at the life, loves and career of an everyday girl who followed a dream and embarked upon a search for the missing piece of her childhood. You can follow ‘Mavis’ on twitter @MavisUpton
Gina’s debut novel, ‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’, will publish late spring 2017.Read More
David Stuart Davies is an author, playwright and editor. His fiction includes six novels featuring his wartime detective Johnny Hawke, Victorian puzzle solver artist Luther Darke, and seven Sherlock Holmes novels – the latest being Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper Legacy (2016). His non-fiction work includes Starring Sherlock Holmes, detailing the film career of the Baker Street sleuth.
David is regarded as an authority on Sherlock Holmes and is the author of two Holmes plays, Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act and Sherlock Holmes: The Death and Life, which are available on audio CD. He has written the Afterwords for all the Collector’s Library Holmes volumes, as well as those for many of their other titles.
David has also penned three dark, gritty crime novels set in Yorkshire in the 1980s: Brothers in Blood, Innocent Blood and Blood Rites. He is a committee member of the Crime Writers’ Association and edits their monthly publication Red Herrings. His collection of ghost and horror stories appeared in 2015, championed by Mark Gatiss who said they were ‘pleasingly nasty.’
David is General Editor of Wordsworth’s Mystery & Supernatural series and a past Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. He has appeared at many literary festivals and the Edinburgh Fringe performing his one man presentation The Game’s Afoot – an evening with Sherlock Holmes & Arthur Conan Doyle. He was recently made a member of The Detection Club.
The Scarlet Coven will publish spring 2017.Read More
Oh yes, Charles Rawlings-Way is the great pretender: a guitarist who can’t read music; a cartographer with a dodgy sense of direction; a surfer who can’t swim; an Australian with a British passport; and now, a rock ‘n’ roll biographer who only occasionally reads Rolling Stone. Forget fate and fortune: this strange brew of talents and hoodwinks owes more to enthusiasm, one-eyed commitment and the ability to blag oneself in and out of opportune doorways.
Seduced by Jack Kerouac at a porous age, Charles hit the road at 21 and has since written 30-something guidebooks for travel publisher Lonely Planet, covering every fleapit hostel and dive bar from Toronto to Tasmania. These endeavours peaked back in 2009 with his enshrinement as ‘Best-selling Travel Writer in Australia’, shifting more books than Bill Bryson and Billy Connolly (…might be time to grow a beard).
Is touring with a rock band so different to backpacking? There are plenty of parallels: the buses, the hangovers, the beat, beat, beat of the midnight highway… Waking up in an unfamiliar city every few days, frowning into your wallet and forgetting to phone home. But even Kerouac would agree that rock bands have better wardrobes.
Charles lives in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia with his family, books and music, fearing bushfires in February and tending a fire every day in rainy July. He has a Bachelor of Architecture degree he only uses when absolutely necessary.
Urbane is thrilled that Charles will be publishing his biography of the hugely successful rock band Del Amitri in 2017!
David was born in Cheshire but now lives in Berkshire. He is married to an author of children’s picture books, with a daughter who loves stories. His working life has been spent in the City, first for the Bank of England and now as Chief Economist for an international fund. So his job entails trying to predict the future all the time.
David’s writing ambitions received a major boost after he attended the Faber Academy six-month course in 2014 and he still meets up with his inspirational fellow students. He loves reading, especially adventure stories, sci-fi and military history. Outside of family life, his other interests include tennis, golf and surfing.
You can find out more about David and his writing on his website – head to www.davidbarkerauthor.co.uk
David’s debut novel, Blue Gold, will publish spring 2017.
Richard Whittle believes that he discovered the power of the novel and his love of writing at the age of eleven when he read Paul Gallico’s The Snow Goose and Jenny. On his overseas trips many years later he armed himself with an excess-baggage mix of paperbacks that did not include crime novels – as an ex-policeman he had vowed never to read them, let alone write them. Now, years later, he no longer feels that way. His central characters, people like you and me, find that they have been dragged into situations beyond their control and from which there seems little chance of escape. For them, crimes are most definitely involved.
Richard has been a policeman, a police marksman and police motorcyclist, a diesel engine tester, professional engineering geologist and Chartered Engineer. He has worked in civil engineering, geothermal energy, nuclear and mining industries in seventeen countries in Europe, Africa and the Americas and is able to draw on a wealth of personal experiences. Well known in his field as a technical writer, he spent time as a book reviewer for technical journals and regularly contributed to professional publications.
As a spare-time novelist he had several short stories published. In 2002, writing as Alan Frost, he was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association’s Debut Dagger Award. More recently, his self-published novel, Playpits Park, has been downloaded as an eBook more than 4000 times.
Richard has been a trustee of a Scottish Charitable Organisation, acting first as its project manager and then its technical advisor. He now writes full time. He currently lives in the Scottish Borders, not too far away from Edinburgh.
The Man Who Played Trains will publish spring 2017.Read More
Julie was born in East London but now lives a rural life in North Essex. She is married with two children. Her working life has seen her have a variety of jobs, including running her own publishing company. She is the author of the children’s book Poppy and the Garden Monster.
Julie writes endlessly and when not writing she is reading. Other interests include theatre, music and running. Besides her family, the only thing she loves more than books is Bruce Springsteen….
Julie’s debut novel, Beware the Cuckoo, will publish May 2017.
Author photo is courtesy ofRead More
George Costigan has been a motor-parts storeman, a trainee accountant, another trainee accountant (both failed) a steel-worker, an insurance clerk, a wood-cutter, a bookseller, a record salesman, a book-keeper for a wedding-dress business – and then someone asked him to be in a play.
College followed and a career that started in children’s theatre, then took in Butlins Repetory Theatre in Filey and eventually landed him at the Liverpool Everyman theatre. It was here he met some hugely influential people – Chris Bond, Alan Bleasedale, Alan Dossor and above all, Julia North.
His acting career has included working with Sally Wainwright, Willy Russell, Alan Clarke and Clint Eastwood. He has directed Daniel Day-Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite, and his writing for the stage includes several Liverpool Everyman pub shows and ‘Trust Byron’, for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the 1990 Edinburgh Festival.
He and Julia North have three sons and one grandson.
‘The Single Soldier’ is his first novel and will publish in Spring 2017.
William Humble has written a number of highly-acclaimed films for BBC TV, including the Emmy award-winning On Giant’s Shoulders starring Judi Dench, and the BAFTA-nominated Hancock, with Alfred Molina as Tony Hancock. He wrote Virtuoso about the concert pianist John Ogdon, also with Alfred Molina, as well as Alison Steadman. Other BBC films include Ex, a comedy starring Griff Rhys Jones; and another comedy, Royal Celebration, with Leslie Phillips, Minnie Driver and Rupert Graves. Also Poppyland directed by John Madden, and Talk To Me, both starring Alan Howard.
For ITV, he wrote the film Whatever Love Means, with Laurence Fox, and Too Good To Be True, a psychological thriller with Peter Davison and Niamh Cusack. He dramatised Every Woman Knows A Secret from the novel by Rosie Thomas, and wrote the six-part series An Unsuitable Job For A Woman – half based on the novel by P.D.James, half an original story. He also dramatised another P.D.James novel, The Black Tower, as a series with Roy Marsden and Pauline Collins; and Mary Wesley’s The Vacillations of Poppy Carew as a film with Tara Fitzgerald.
He has also written for Churchill – the Wilderness Years, Poirot, Granada TV’s Maigret starring Michael Gambon, Flambards, All Creatures Great and Small and Juliet Bravo.
His stage plays include: What a Performance, starring David Suchet as comedian Sid Field, on tour and in the West End. Facades, with Frances de la Tour as Edith Sitwell, directed by Simon Callow. Fly Away Home, with Hywel Bennett and Diana Quick. Talk To Me with Alan Dobie and Robert Daws. And Virtuoso, with Oliver Ford Davies.
He has also written several radio plays and – a million years ago – a novel.
Urbane is delighted to be publishing “The Diary of a Has-been” autumn 2016. Full details very soon!Read More
Alan Watkins is recognized as an international expert on leadership and human performance. Over the past 18 years he has been a coach to many of Europe’s top business leaders. Alan is currently the CEO of a leadership consultancy, Complete Coherence, that works to develop enlightened leaders in all walks of life. His company
is particularly focused on working with leaders and executive teams in large multinational organisations and helping them to make a more positive impact on all our lives. He is an inspiring and entertaining keynote and TEDx speaker and was the sole ‘expert’ in a BBC1 series, Temper your Temper, where he coached ten people with anger issues live on TV. As well as his work with global business leaders Alan advised the GB Olympic squad, coaches and athletes prior to London 2012.
He continues to work with them in the run-up to Rio in 2016. Alan originally trained as a physician at Imperial College in London and worked for 11 years in the UK’s National Health Service. He also worked for a year as a physician in Australia and a year in academic medical research in the USA. An integrationist at heart, he ended up in neuroscience research before leaving medicine to work on a more global stage. In addition to his medical degree Alan has a first class degree in Psychology from the University of
London and a PhD in Immunology from Southampton University, UK. He has written numerous scientific papers in peer reviewed journals on a wide variety of subjects and many book chapters.
So far (2016), he is the author or co-author of four books, this one being the fifth. He lives with his wife and their four boys in Hampshire, England
Iman Stratenus devotes his professional life to system transformations. He works as an advisor and coach to organisational leaders assisting with their personal and organisational transformations. For the past 2 years he has been working on unravelling and redesigning the governance system, which led him to write Crowdocracy with Dr Alan Watkins. He has also launched the Crowd Foundation, which aims to bring crowdocracy to life. Before his work on governance, Iman worked as a lawyer, management consultant and business leader across many countries. He wrote his first book in 2011 about the transformation of the company he led in China in a book called ‘In China, We Trust’. Iman lives with his wife and their crowd of five children in Portugal.Read More
Iman Stratenus devotes his professional life to system transformations. He works as an advisor and coach to organisational leaders assisting with their personal and organisational
transformations. For the past 2 years he has been working on unravelling and redesigning the governance system, which led him to write Crowdocracy with Dr Alan Watkins. He
has also launched the Crowd Foundation, which aims to bring crowdocracy to life.
Before his work on governance, Iman worked as a lawyer, management consultant and business leader across many countries. He wrote his first book in 2011 about the transformation
of the company he led in China in a book called ‘In China, We Trust’. Iman lives with his wife and their crowd of five children in Portugal.
David Gaffney comes from Cleator Moor in West Cumbria and now lives in Manchester. He is the author of Sawn-off Tales (2006), Aromabingo (2007), Never Never (2008), The Half-life of Songs (2010) and his latest collection of short stories, More Sawn-Off Tales ( 2013). He has also written Buildings Crying Out, a story using lost cat posters (Lancaster LitFest 2009); 23 Stops To Hull, a set of stories about every junction on the M62 (Humber Mouth Literature Festival 2009); Sawn-off Opera, a set of operas with composer Ailís Ní Ríain (BBC Radio 3, RNCM, Liverpool Philharmonic and Tête a Tête festival London 2010); Destroy PowerPoint, stories in PowerPoint format for Edinburgh Festival 2009; The Poole Confessions, stories told in a mobile confessional box (Poole Literature Festival 2010); Station Stories, in which six writers linked to the audience with wireless headphones performed short stories in Manchester Piccadilly railway station (Manchester Literature Festival 2011); Boy You Turn Me, a sound installation (Birmingham Book Festival 2011); guerrilla writing project Errata Slips (Cornerhouse Manchester 2011), Preston 3twenty (2012-2032), a twenty-year arts and literature project, Men Who Like Women Who Smell of Their Jobs, (Manchester Literature Festival 2014) a visual art exhibition with painter Alison Erika Forde, and The Three Rooms In Valerie’s Head, a graphic novel with illustrator Dan Berry (2015-2016) David has written articles for the Guardian, Sunday Times, Financial Times and Prospect magazine , was a judge for the 2015 Bridport prize and is currently a visiting fellow with the University of Manchester.
David’s novel, “All the Places I’ve Ever Lived” will publish spring 2017. More details soon! David’s website can be found here
‘Loaded with potent charges, insidious and cumulative in their effects, the stories are sometimes haunting, sometimes comic.’ The Times Literary Supplement
‘Sad, funny fables recalling evanescent moments of connection and happiness. One hundred and fifty words by Gaffney are more worthwhile than novels by a good many others.’ The Guardian
‘A ruthless eye and pitch-black humour.’ The Observer
‘It would be hard to imagine a book that scored a more penetrating bull’s-eye on the target of the moment.’ The Independent
‘Witty, clever and poignant, Gaffney’s micro fictions work as funny routines, moving insights and illuminating character sketches, often all at the same time.’ Time Out
‘Utterly brilliant. Hilariously demented and wonderfully succinct. David Gaffney’s Sawn-Off Tales are little McNuggets of pure gold. This is writing at its best.’ Graham Rawle
“David Gaffney is, I think, one of very few contemporary British Writers who have mastered the very short form” Nicholas Royle
“Great read, these twisted wee tales,” Johnny Vegas
‘elliptical, sharp, witty and dazzling, written with a poet’s eye for detail and a novelist’s appreciation of human faults and foibles.’ Jenn Ashworth
‘Gaffney’s latest is a masterful taster menu, every mouthful wickedly inventive and deliciously absurd. Brilliant.’ Adam Marek
‘Sharp, poignant, surreal, lyrical and very, very funny, the collection reveals intense knowledge and control of the form, along with a desire to push the boundaries in every direction’ Emma Jane Unsworth
“Gaffney’s arresting series of short stories Sawn-off Tales seems to operate much as Surrealist paintings do: able to strike with depth through peculiar arrangements of thoughts and ideas. Madly imaginative ” The Skinny
Author photo courtesy of Kezia Tan.Read More
Guy Mankowski was born on the Isle of Wight and educated at St. Johns College Southsea, commuting to school every day by hovercraft. He then was educated by monks at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire. He trained as a psychologist, working in a hospital by day and as singer of a signed band, Alba Nova, by night. His first novel, ‘The Intimates’ was a Must Read title for New Writing North’s 2011 Read Regional campaign. His second book, Letters from Yelena, won an Arts Council grant, allowing him to research it in the world of Russian ballet. It was adapted for the stage and an excerpt of it was used in GCSE training material by Osiris Educational. His third novel, How I Left The National Grid, was published in the UK, US and Canada. Facsimile’s of the notebook’s he used to develop it were featured in a 2016 textbook by the National Association of Writers in Education. In 2015, along with co-writer Gregory Fox, he won a Northern Film & Media development grant for a comedy script, ‘Antennae: Manchester’s Darkest Band’. He currently lectures in Creative Writing at York University, and holds a PhD in Creative Writing.
LINKS AND REVIEWS
An Honest Deceit
Forthcoming event at Books on the Tyne–
The Huffington Post
‘A book of outstanding quality. The beauty of this book resides in his actuality, and in the way the author eases the reader into it by choosing to tell the story directly from Ben’s perspective. I was increasingly intrigued by the sharp descriptions of the characters that after a few pages take up a life of their own.
With this book I can genuinely say that Guy made me laugh, he made me cry some tears (you can trust me on this. The death of Marine is truly painful and unexpected); he made me feel outraged for the injustice that his protagonist is subject to. Once I started reading, I could not stop. I wanted to know more. If I have a criticism to make is that I wish the book were longer. I would have loved to be able to indulge in Ben’s life for a few more pages.’
Reflections of a reader blog
‘This book is spectacular. It burns away with a quiet fury, that doesn’t die down until the final page turns. Clever, creative, complex and unforgettable it gets under your skin and itches away. Guy Mankowski is a very talented writer, who has a real skill for the portrayal of the best and worst traits of humanity. I, for one will definitely be reading his previous novels.
TV interview (North East Arts and Culture show)-
How I Left The National Grid
New York Journal of Books–
‘This book is the epitome of cool. A cross between Twenty Four Hour Party people and Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers, written by Julian Barnes. It contains a narrative as spiky as a punk set, a whole symphony of ideas composed by Mankowski within a few subtle bars of text. A brilliantly written literary treat.’
AJ Kirby, reviewer for The New York Journal of Books’
The Huffington Post–
It’s fair to say that anyone who remembers Melody Maker Magazine or attended indie nights in basement clubs strewn with snakebite, will fall in love with this book immediately; however, Mankowski’s narrative also functions as a stand-alone thriller – evoking a sense of mystery – and therefore, those of us who have ever marvelled at ‘The Secret History’ or ‘A Passage to India’, are sure to find it equally enthralling.
Extensive interview in Narc Magazine–
Review of reading at book launch–
‘Few readings have possessed such a powerful, quietly passionate quality. After the noise and raucousness of the rest of the evening, as Mankowski preceded to read his work – the product of three years of research – the hush that fell over the crowd was the sort you rarely get in such large gatherings of people.’
review in Louder than War–
Glasgow review of books review–
‘A clever conceit and a compelling narrative.’
Edward Stourton, BBC Radio 4
‘An intoxicating story of a dinner party between old friends set in a glamorous, affluent world that seems to be decaying from within. Rich with thoughtful, self-analyzing dialogue, The Intimates is crying out for dramatization.’
`The Intimates manages that all too rare feat of being a deeply psychological character study whilst at the same time playing out as a bonafide page-turner. Excellently paced, insightfully created, and with moments of genuine genius, The Intimates is an opulently written, high concept piece which explores the psychology of human relationships. Mankowski has a timeless style- highly polished and brilliantly evocative.’ A.J. Kirby reviewer for The New York Journal of Books
The Northern Echo – http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/features/leader/8971163.The_write_stuff/
Letters from Yelena
‘Unfolding through the letters between a Ukrainian dancer and her lover, the novel explores art and how people use it in their lives to complex and compelling effect.’
New Books Magazine–
‘a truly wonderful epistolary novel. I found this beautifully written novel a joy to read, and within its 245 pages, there are many issues that Reading Groups would find worthy of discussion.’
Extensive interview in The Journal newspaper-
‘A beautifully written story with convincing characters and a good if sometimes heart-breaking plot. Overall, a great novel from Mankowski’
Letters from Yelena’ is a fantastic literary achievement,
The New York Journal Of Books
About the use of ‘Letters from Yelena’ in GCSE training material
Eva is a published writer of several short stories and debut novel 183 Times A Year. Eva has always had a love of books and reading and really got the writing bug when she received a first for her dissertation, which looked at The People’s War during World War II, whilst studying for a degree in English and History.
Eva lives in a small town in Cambridgeshire with partner Steve and three of our four children, who are a constant source of inspiration – they are all teenagers – need I say more! Eva’s career has been varied, including working in a Women’s Refuge and more recently at the city library. However storytelling through the art of writing is her true passion.
As well as writing, Eva loves music and film, and of course to read, both fiction and non-fiction. Many writers are an inspiration, from Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens through to Joseph Conrad, Angela Carter, Sue Townsend, Stephen King—and recently writers like Anna McPartlin, Gillian Flynn and Louise Doughty. Eva enjoys stories that force the reader to observe the daily interactions of people with one another set against the social complexities of everyday life, be that through crime, love or comedy.
It is the women in her life, including her mother, daughters and good friends that inspired Eva to write her debut novel, a modern day exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and friendship set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families.
Rose McGinty was born with itchy feet, which she has yet to decide is a blessing or a curse. Certainly, surviving Hurricane Sandy, an earthquake, a spider bite, jumping 192 metres off the Sky Tower in Auckland, and nearly being arrested for inadvertently smuggling a rocket in Vietnam, make her wonder about locking up her passport. But then, it was her adventures in the Middle East that gave her the itchy fingers to write.
Rose lives in Kent, where as well as enjoying writing short stories, flash fiction and poetry, she also paints. She works in community health services and has worked overseas in Ireland, Canada, Sweden and the Middle East. She completed the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course, under the guidance of Richard Skinner, in 2015. Electric Souk is her debut novel and Rose says of her story, ‘The parts of the story that are true, I probably wish were not; while the parts that are not, I probably wish were true.’Read More
Laurie Marsh is a philanthropic entrepreneur with a very wide range of commercial and charitable experience ranging over 65 years. Born in 1930 he lived for 8 years in a couple of rooms above a family haberdashers in Lambeth Walk. After army conscription, Laurie then started a plastics manufacturing business and obtained consent to utilise Walt Disney cartoon characters. At the same time he became a director of a family property company, set up a partnership with West End Travel Group, Wakefield Fortune and carried out his first £1 million project in central Derby in 1961 (eventually creating the third largest public property company in the UK).
Laurie has developed and operated hotels, theatres in London and New York, a 150 screen cinema chain, film production, produced over 75 films and founded an international distribution company. He sold the conglomerate business in 1997 and then embarked on multi-million pound philanthropic ventures which are ongoing to this day.
F.J.McQueen lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, also a writer, and a great number of books. She has seven pigeons, a formidable grand-dame of a crow and a pair of highly theatrical, hissy-fitting bantam hens. Besides an extreme obsession with books and writing, she has a great interest in mentalism (illusionist, mind-reading stage magic), botany, death metal and Japanese noise music, and loves to mosh in the privacy of her own room. She’s also an inventor, cartoonist, lyricist, rotten rapper, librettist, comedy performer and mother of a gladsome son who, unsurprisingly, is also a writer with his own mountain of books.Read More
The British Fantasy Society published the Ray Clark’s first work in 1995, a 3000 word essay on fellow writer, Graham Masterton. In 1996, a chance meeting in a London docklands hotel at a BFS Convention with Matt Williams (and Graham Masterton – himself later in the same evening) eventually led to Ray’s first big break: the 1998 publication of Manitou Man: The World of Graham Masterton, nominated for both the World and British Fantasy Awards.
Success followed with a number of short stories in various magazines between 1998 and 2003.
2007 saw the author’s first collection of short stories under the title of The Lord of Misrule and Other Stories, released by an American publisher. The following year, the self-publication of a stand-alone horror novel, Calix, a terrifying psychological, rollercoaster ride into the unknown using the Salem Witch Trials as its backdrop.
In 2009: Ray’s short story, Promises To Keep made the final shortlist for the best short story award from The Tom Howard Foundation. The publication of Misrule 2: The Next Generation soon followed.
In 2010: the short story, Purple Rain was published in the American quarterly publication, Carpe Articulum: A Twist in the Taste was also published in a collection by The English Heritage, entitled, Whitby Abbey: Pure Inspiration (available at Amazon and most leading retailers).
2012: The Priest’s Hole, a horror novel published by Damnation Books in the U.S. Available as a paperback and a variety of electronic versions.
In 2012: Canadian publisher, Double Dragon Press, re-released Calix with new artwork, both electronically and in paperback.
In 2013: Canadian Publisher, Double Dragon published A Devil’s Dozen, a collection of short horror stories.
2014: a new crossover novel entitled Seven Secrets from U.S. Publisher, Damnation Books.
2015: a second short story collection entitled, A Detective’s Dozen, from Canadian publisher, Double Dragon.
2016: the first in the author’s IMP crime series set in Leeds featuring Detectives Gardener and Reilly, entitled Impurity, from U.S. Publisher, Caliburn Press.
2017: The second in the IMP series, Imperfection, will be published by Urbane Publications in the spring of 2017.
David Graham lives in an ostensibly carbon zero house in rural Kent with his partner and two cats amidst fields of maize and poly-tunnels of strawberries. Previously, he lived and worked in London as a consultant in the NHS. His previous non-fiction titles include: Medical Computing and Applications, Creative Sound and Computer-Assisted Medical Learning: Clinical Anatomy.
David turned his attention to writing fiction in 2012. Since then, he has written one self-published novel (Looks Could Kill) and two traditionally published novels (Captive and Wet & Wild) under the name David Ellis. Looks Could Kill was in the Amazon Kindle Top 10 of spy thrillers and was downloaded more than 3,000 times. Captive was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. He has also written two romance novellas under the name Richard Longfellow.
His horror thriller The Screaming was published by Frostbite Publishing in the US in 2014, and by Austin Macauley in the UK in 2015. His new book The Knowing is the sequel to The Screaming and is due to be published early 2017 by Urbane Publications.
Praise for The Screaming:
“Wow, this book is intense. This book reminds me of a lot of modern crime-inspired television shows and horror movies, and it is absolutely brilliant in its writing. It’s exactly the kind of book that so many readers who enjoy the horror movie genre will enjoy reading. In fact, I could definitely see this book being turned into a movie.” (Dawn Dolly Webb, Top 500 Amazon Reviewer)
“Transatlantic horrors don’t come much better than this one by David Graham. A new author to me but I’m sure the wider reading community will have heard of him before long.” (Nooks Books N Crooks)
“Well, what can I say about The Screaming by David Graham? In one sentence it’s absolutely brilliant and riveting, one that I could not put down!” (David Savage Reviews)
Emmanuel is the founder of Emmanuel Gobillot limited, a boutique consultancy dedicated to leadership and organizational development services. He is also co-founder of ‘Collaboration Partners’ with Co-Founder and Managing Director Katherine Thomas, a consultancy specializing in helping leaders and organisations develop effective collaboration. Prior to starting his own firm, he was Director of FMCG Consulting and Director of Leadership Services at HayGroup. For more than 15 years, Emmanuel has delivered results based on his mantra: ‘There must be a better way and together we will find it’.
Currently, Emmanuel spends his time researching, writing, speaking and consulting with many of the most successful international companies on the topic of collaborative success. The author of a number of business books including Kogan Page’s UK and US bestsellers ‘The Connected Leader’, ‘Leadershift’ and ‘Follow The Leader’, Emmanuel has teamed up with dynamic publisher Urbane Publications to unveil ‘Disciplined Collaboration – Four Steps To Collaborative Success’ in May 2016.
A French National, Emmanuel moved to the UK in 1985. He holds an International Baccalaureate from the United World College of the Atlantic, a Master of Arts with Honours from St Andrews University and a Diploma in Management Science from the Nottingham Trent University.
Liz has had a long career as an advertising copywriter and Creative Director, working in several of the world’s leading agencies. A long-time fan of poetry, she enjoyed success with her first collection, A Red Dress, published in 2008 and her second, What am I Doing Here? (2010), which were then made into a theatrical show – first staged in Dublin, then chosen as the finale of the West Cork Literary Festival and later touring the UK. Her next book ‘And guess who he was with?’ was out in February 2013. Two poetry books for gardeners, Outside in my Dressing Gown, and Gardening in Slippers are selling very well, not only in the book trade but also in garden centres.
Serial Damage is her first novel and publishes in September 2016.Read More
Before turning to writing, Donough enjoyed a successful marketing career in the US and Europe. His previous books include Fame by Chance, looking at places that became famous by a twist of fate; Banana Skins, covering the slips and screw-ups that brought the famous down to earth; Numeroids, a book of numerical nuggets, and In the Heat of Battle; a study of those who rose to the occasion in warfare and those who didn’t. His latest historical book was WHO? The most remarkable people you’ve never heard of.
Serial Damage is his first novel and publishes September 2016.Read More
Patrick Garratt is a writer and journalist with a long history of covering technology and video games.
His work has been published by The Sunday Times, The Huffington Post, The Independent and The Face. He tweets @patlike. Find more information at his website: http://patrickgarratt.com/
Patrick’s debut novel ‘Deg’ will publish autumn 2016.
Author photo courtesy of Laura Stevens http://www.laurastevens.co.uk/portraitsRead More
Thomas Hocknell was brought up by Springer spaniels and his family in Kent. He knew the distance to central London from the foot of his childhood bed, and moved there the first moment he could 23 years ago. He has been writing music reviews for Record Collector, The Metro, Classic Pop, BBC and Line of Best Fit while also practicing as a mental health social worker. He won some short story competitions a long time ago, and completed the Faber Writing course under Richard Skinner in 2012. The Life Assistance Agency is his first novel.Read More
For most of her working life in publishing, Anne has had a foot in both camps as a writer and an editor, moving from book publishing to magazines and then freelancing in both.
Having edited both fiction and narrative non-fiction, Anne has also had short stories published in a variety of magazines including Bella and Candis and is the author of seven non-fiction books.
Born in Clapham, Anne returned to London after graduating and has remained there ever since. In an attempt to climb out of her comfort zone, Anne has twice “trod the boards” – as Prince Bourgrelas in Ubu Roi when a student and more recently as a nun in a local murder mystery production. She also sings periodically in a local church choir and is relieved when she begins and finishes at the same time – though not necessarily on the same note – as everyone else. Needless to say, Anne will not be giving up her day job as an editor and writer.
Telling stories is Anne’s first love and nearly all her short fiction as well as Dancers in The Wind began with a real event followed by a “what if …” That is also the case with the two prize-winning 99Fiction.net stories: Codewords and Eternal Love.
Anne is currently working on the sequel to Dancers in the Wind.Read More
Alex grew up in rural England with a dream to write for a living which never quite came true. He has enjoyed incarnations as a theatre publicity officer, restaurant manager, teacher, teacher trainer, and curriculum developer. Along the way Alex wrote five plays that were performed by students including one, Never Mind the Rain Forests, that was enthusiastically reviewed (3 stars) at the Edinburgh Fringe. Another, Gavin’s Kingdom, received a professional workshop production at the Birmingham Rep. Plays Into Shakespeare, a book for English and Drama teachers that introduced students to the characters in Shakespeare’s plays through short modern-English ‘additional’ scenes, was published by First and Best in Education in 2007.
Alex moved to Abu Dhabi in 2008 with a Lebanese international education company that had a contract to train English teachers and develop curriculum materials. Latterly moved to their Academic Development office in Beirut and wrote two series of books for students from ages eight to sixteen – one on grammar and one on the art of writing.
He is now living with his wife of many years in Worcestershire, his children pursuing careers in education, fashion, charity fundraising and web development in places as disparate as Beijing, London and Chesterfield. Alex also enjoys writing stories for his young grandchildren.
Alex Tresillian’s debut thriller, Eyes of the Blind, will be published autumn 2016.Read More
Angelena has spent over thirty years training, coaching and counselling in the field of interpersonal conflict and communication using Eric Berne’s model of Transactional Analysis. As a linguist, she has lived and worked overseas, travelled extensively and spent periods in Iran where she learned Farsi.
She is the author of three business books, published by Management Pocketbooks Ltd and is a freelance journalist.
A former resident and graduate of Birmingham, the setting for The Cruelty of Lambs, she is a passionate defender of a city she believes is misunderstood.
To find out more about Angelena, visit www.angelenaboden.com
Zoe Cunningham has 15 years’ experience working in the technology sector and is currently Managing Director of Softwire Technology. In 2013 she was named as one of the 100 most influential people in Tech City, selected by the BBC as the Brightest Woman in Britain and she accompanied Prime Minister David Cameron on his trade delegation to China.
Zoe is a passionate advocate of networking and in 2012 founded Tech Talkfest to connect influential people in the technology world. She now runs the private members’ network Exponential.
Zoe Cunningham has trained as an actor at RADA, The Actors Centre and City Lit. She acted in her first one woman show at the Tristan Bates Theatre in February 2015 to critical acclaim and subsequently toured the show to Brighton Fringe. Other theatre credits include Mrs Arbuthnot in Oscar Wilde’s a Woman of No Importance and social worker Moira in Chris Lee’s modern work Shallow Slumber. On film she has appeared opposite Steve Coogan and Anna Friel in Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love, and has played Clara, a confidence trickster, in indie Brit-flick Carbon Foxes.
Zoe is a regular contributor to several technology blogs and has had articles published online at the Guardian, Computer Weekly and The Huffington Post. She has presented tech radio shows for Age UK’s The Wireless, Zone One Radio and Shoreditch Radio and has been a guest presenter on BBC Click.Read More
Laura grew up in the suburbs of London and spent most of her time on rollerblades. She finished school, went to Mallorca to get a job on a boat, then went to Italy and became a ski instructor. After seven years teaching skiing, snowboarding, and English around the world, she decided to do a degree, and started writing. Since then she has completed her first novel A Monster by Violet which won several writing prizes, and is currently working on a second novel.
She teaches Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University and for the Workers’ Educational Association.
Laura lives in Sheffield with her partner, two cats, and a free ranging rabbit. When she’s not writing or reading, she goes running in the Peak District and works out the desk time at her local boxing gym.
Her debut novel A Monster by Violet is due to be published in Autumn 2016.
Responses to A Monster by Violet:
“I actually held my breath.” – Rachel Genn, author of The Cure
“… a character who generates anger and disgust in the reader, and yet is entirely captivating, and whose success the reader urgently cares about. This is powerful, and at times heart-breaking writing.” – Jane Rogers, author of Mr Wroe’s Virgins and The Testament of Jessie Lamb.Read More
Andrew Smith’s first novel, Edith’s War, won a gold medal at the Independent Publishers’ Book Awards, U.S.A. His short fiction has been included in the Journey Prize Anthology and shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards. His travel writing has garnered a Western Magazine Award. He has published two non-fiction books: Strangers in the Garden, the secret lives of our favorite flowers, and Highlights, an illustrated history of cannabis (co-author).
“The competent way Smith handles structure, moving between time periods and places, is really impressive … a terrific accomplishment” Jack Batten, literary critic.
“Edith’s War is an intricate study of war, love, and survival. A must read.” Zoomer Magazine.
Andrew’s compelling new novel, The Speech, will publish autumn 2016 -more details soon!Read More
Simon Wan spent his early life dodging detentions and falling in love all over the UK and Ireland. His love for girls is matched by his love of cats, skateboards, food, music and robots.
A post university adventure in pop music took him to the strangest night clubs and festivals and his adventures in film making took him all over the world.
Simon recently took to stage and screen and attained international acclaim with nominations and awards for his performances in British Kung Fu film drama “Dog” and stage production “Mr Foo” with Tina Malone.
He has now decided to become author because he can write books wearing just a towel and he can type really fast.
“A promise of relentless energy, noise, a lot of madness and probably a lot of drugs, which luckily is exactly what Simon Wan delivers – bar the drugs” RANKIN (The photographer)
“He goes way beyond passion” FEARNE COTTON
“The guy’s energy is incredible, I just wish I had his hair” LIMAHL
“I said he should write a book, and he did” EVA POPE
Guy Fraser-Sampson is an established writer, having published not only fiction but also books on a diverse range of subjects including finance, investment, economics and cricket. His darkly disturbing economic history The Mess We’re In was nominated for the Orwell Prize.
His Mapp & Lucia novels have all been optioned by BBC TV, and have won high praise from other authors including Alexander McCall Smith, Gyles Brandreth and Tom Holt. The second was featured in an exclusive interview with Mariella Forstrup on Radio 4, and Guy’s entertaining talks on the series have been heard at a number of literary events including the Sunday Times Festival in Oxford and the Daily Telegraph Festival in Dartington.
With Death in Profile he begins a new series entitled The Hampstead Murders. Set in and around the iconic North London village, the first book in the series sees a team of detectives pursuing a serial sex killer while internal politics and a love triangle threaten to destabilise the enquiry. Harking back (sometimes explicitly) to the Golden Age of detective writing, Death in Profile introduces us to a group of likeable central characters whose loves, eccentricities and career ups and downs will be developed throughout the series. Very different from the contemporary model of detective novel, Guy’s innovative style and approach has been endorsed by leading crime writers such as Christopher Brookmyre and Ruth Dugdall.
Jo spent her early years in Botswana, where the family garden was a fenced off piece of the African Bush. Having successfully dodged the snakes in the tomato plants, Jo came back to England and slowly read her way to Oxford Uni to study English. Her first job was editing multicultural education and anti-racism books for schools. Since then Jo’s published short stories, non-fiction and children’s books and written reviews for the world’s first online Empathy Library.
Described as “an intelligent, creative, imaginative, original writer” by Guardian Book of the Year author Trevor Byrne, Jo has been Shortlisted for the Fish International Short Story Prize and has had a short story selected for an anthology edited by New York Times Notable Book of the Year author Sandra Tyler (US edition 2016).
‘Stone Seeds’ is Jo’s first novel.
“A very accomplished prose stylist… Very talented.”
Acclaimed writer CM Taylor, author of Light, Grief, Cloven and Premiership Psycho
“This is powerful, poetic prose. You display a deftness of touch and a beautiful way with words which make your talent plain. And the subject matter – the setting and emotional content of your story – is superb… Your imagination, your facility for sumptuous prose, and your deft handling of the story’s psychological and emotional content are hugely impressive, and Stone Seeds is a very good book.”
MJ Hyland, the Booker Prize nominated author of Carry me Down, and Trevor Byrne, the critically acclaimed author of Ghosts and Lightning.
“Strong sensory opening… Adeptly establishes character and mood with lyrical strokes… nuanced and satisfying… Small revelations in a singular moment.”
Fish Publishing on A Godless Prayer for the Feet (taken from Jo Ely’s novel Stone Seeds). Her short story was shortlisted for the prestigious Fish Short Story Award 2012/13, an established event on the literary calendar.
“A very distinct voice … at times no less than stunning … wonderful, poetic prose … The subject matter is a stroke of genius. Fascinating.”
Bestseller Sophie King, aka journalist Jane Bidder
“ An intelligent, creative, imaginative, original writer.”
Hyland & Byrne
Jared A. Carnie is originally from Essex. He has since lived in Bath, Sheffield and the Outer Hebrides.
His writing frequently appears in various journals, zines and anthologies. He has read at numerous events including the Inverness Book Festival and was awarded a New North Poets Award at the Northern Writers Awards 2015.
Waves, his debut novel, will be out in the summer of 2016.
More information can be found at www.jaredacarnie.comRead More
Hugh Fraser is best known for playing Captain Hastings in Agatha Christie’s ‘Poirot’ and the Duke of Wellington in ‘Sharpe’. His films include Patriot Games, 101 Dalmatians, The Draughtsman’s Contract and Clint Eastwood’s Firefox. In the theatre he has appeared in Teeth’n’Smiles at the Royal Court and Wyndhams and in several roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He has also narrated many of Agatha Christie’s novels as audio books. Harm is his first novel.
Christina’s writing career has been a varied one, from populating the short-story notebook that lived under her desk at school to penning reports on corruption and terrorist finance. When not reading or writing, she can be found engaging in sport or undertaking some form of nature appreciation. Christina has three passports to go with her three children, but is not a spy. Lost in Static is her first novel.Read More
Richard Skinner is the author of two previous books of non-fiction, a writer’s handbook Fiction Writing (Hale) and a book of essays, reviews and interviews Vade Mecum (Zero). He has written reviews and features for the Guardian, Financial Times, Sunday Times and Sight & Sound. He is also the author of three novels, all published by Faber & Faber. His fiction has been nominated for prizes and is published in seven languages. He is Director of the Fiction Programme at the Faber Academy and an avid Derby County fan.Read More
Tim Adler is an author and commissioning editor on The Daily Telegraph, who has also written for the Financial Times and The Times.
His debut self-published thriller Slow Bleed went to number one in the Amazon medical thriller chart while influential review site Crime Book Club made it a Book of the Month. Its follow-up Surrogate has stayed in the Top 40 psychological thrillers for over a year and was a Book of the Month on E-thriller.com.
The Sunday Times called Adler’s most recent nonfiction book The House of Redgrave “compulsively readable” while The Mail On Sunday called it “dazzling”. Adler’s previous book Hollywood and the Mob – an exposé of how the Mafia has corrupted the movie industry – was Book of the Week in The Mail On Sunday and Critic’s Choice in the Daily Mail.
Tim is former London Editor of Deadline Hollywood, the US entertainment news website.Read More
Pamela Holmes was born in Charleston, South Carolina. At the age of eight, she moved with her family to England. She studied nursing at London University as a mature student having spent three years living on a commune in Somerset where she developed a love of gardening, milking cows and laying hedges. She became a health journalist and on-screen reporter. She now works and volunteers to improve the lives of older people including those with dementia, and she sings in a rock band.
The Huntingfield Paintress is her first novel. She won the Jane Austen Short Story Award in 2014 and her latest work was awarded Highly Recommended in the HISSAC competition 2015. Pamela is the mother of two boys and lives in London with her husband.
‘A genuinely original, utterly enchanting story’ – A.N.Wilson
‘A slice of Suffolk history brought beautifully to life’ – Esther Freud
‘an atmospheric and enjoyable story of a singular and free-thinking woman’ – Deborah Moggach
* Author photo reproduced with the kind permission of Andy RussellRead More
One of six children, the middle one (and thus the ‘problem’ child) Tara was born in Ireland. Her father’s career as an army officer meant travelling from place to place including to the Middle East. Although exciting, it was difficult in the early years to put down roots and make friends, so she spent a great deal of time living in her head inventing stories and characters. A voracious and eclectic reader, her ambition always was to emulate those wonderful writers who so inspired her.
After many years working in bread and butter jobs, including insurance, banking and law, and raising her two sons, that ambition came true with the hugely successful publication of her first book by premier Irish publishers, Poolbeg. Two more books followed swiftly.
A subsequent contract with Orion Publishing Group led to the publication of RSVP and Blue-Eyed Girl, together with translations into Portuguese, Croatian, Serbian and Norwegian, as well as large print copies. She is currently working on the second book in a series of thrillers, the first of which will be published next year by Urbane.
Tara currently lives in the pretty harbour town of Ramsgate, Kent, with her second husband Dr David Moore and two cats, Lizzie and Capone.
You can read more about her and her journey into print here: www.taramoore.com
Urbane are overjoyed – yes, overjoyed!– to be publishing Andreas Loizou’s book on Business Writing. It’s called Smack My Pitch Up! and will be on your shelves and screens in September.
Andreas Loizou’s first book, The Devil’s Deal, was published by FT/Prentice Hall in 2012. It featured in the Top Twenty of WH Smith’s Business Book Chart and was Pearson’s Business Book of the Month. It was number one in the Malaysian non-fiction charts and was book of the month in the Magrudy’s chain across Asia and the Middle East. Translation rights were sold in nine territories, including China, Japan and Korea.
Andreas designs and delivers courses in finance and writing around the world. His current client list includes the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority, the London Stock Exchange, Lloyds and Santander.
After starting his business career as a Chartered Accountant at PWC, Andreas analysed UK and Spanish banks at Goldman Sachs. Andreas was a director of training at FT Knowledge for eleven years and was voted Best Speaker at the internationally-renowned Financial Times Intro to the City Programme six years running.
Andreas has a first class degree in English Literature from Leeds and a M. Phil in Modernist Literature from St Catherine’s, Cambridge. He’s also a graduate of the first Novel Writing Academy run by Faber & Faber in 2009. He’s the lead writer on Communication and Business Writing for the online training company Filtered.com
Andreas splits his time between Madrid and London. And it’s loo-ee-zoo, in case you’re wondering….Read More
Fiona McLachlan is Professor of Architectural Practice at the University of Edinburgh and is an architect and educator. She is the author of Architectural Colour in the Professional Palette, Routledge, 2012
AnneMarie Neser has worked freelance as a curator of monuments (architectural and archival research and reports, building research, care and conservation and space-planning). Since 2007, she has worked with the Haus der Farbe in Berlin and Zurich. She qualified with a Dr. Ing. (Doctor of Engineering) at University of Arts Berlin (Architecture) in 2005 and has a Master in Art History from the Freie Universität Berlin, 1995.
Marcella Wenger-Di Gabriele has been working since 1998 as a colour designer and artist, including teaching activities at Haus der Farbe and other schools. Since 2011 she’s responsible for the development of educational curricula and tools at Haus der Farbe.
Stefanie Wettstein has been Co-Director of the Haus der Farbe, Zurich since 1997, following the completion of her PhD and Master in Art History at the University of Zurich.
Lino Sibillano joined Dr Wettstein as Co-Director of the Haus der Farbe, Zurich in 2001. He was an assistant tutor at the ETH Zurich following the completion of his Master in Art History at the University of Zurich.Read More
Luke has plied a trade from writing for over a decade, often with a travel slant. Work has seen him landed in a variety of scrapes – almost toppling into a chasm on an Andean bus journey, almost drowning in the Amazon – not wholly unlike the somewhat reckless protagonist in his debut novel, Roebuck (set on the stormy seas and in the strange jungles of 16th-century South America).
A Creative Writing graduate from the University of East Anglia, Luke has written for publications including the BBC, the Independent, the Telegraph, the Guardian and travel publishers Lonely Planet, for whom he currently specialises in telling the world about the Amazon Basin – present and past. One could infer from this that he is overly obsessed with rainforests – but the truth is that he likes hiking, anywhere – as long as it’s in the middle of nowhere.
Born in Southwest England, he currently lives in the mountainous forests of Slovakia. Why? That is another story…
Anthony Knivet on Twitter: HTTPS://TWITTER.COM/ANTHONYKNIVET
Roebuck the Novel on Facebook: HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ROEBUCKTHENOVEL
Luke’s Website: HTTP://LUKEANDHISWORDS.COM
Simon Michael is the author of the best-selling London 1960s noir gangster series featuring his antihero barrister, Charles Holborne. Simon writes from personal experience: he was a barrister for 37 years and worked in the Old Bailey and other criminal courts defending and prosecuting a wide selection of murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy during what was often considered the “Wild West” of British justice. The 1960s was a time when the Krays and the Richardsons and other violent gangs fought for control of London’s organised crime, and the corrupt Metropolitan Police beat up suspects, twisted the evidence and took their share of the criminal proceeds. Simon weaves into his thrillers genuine court documents from cases on which he worked and the big stories of the 1960s.
Simon was a successful author in the 1980s, published here and in the USA, and returned to writing when he retired from the Bar in 2016. The first two books in the Charles Holborne series, The Brief published in September 2015 and An Honest Man published in July 2016, have both garnered rave reviews for their authenticity and excitement. The theme of Simon’s books is alienation; Holborne, who dabbled in crime and in serious violence before becoming a barrister, is an outsider both in the East End where he grew up and in the Temples of the law where he now practices, where he faces daily class and religious prejudice. He has been compared to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe and Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade, honourable men surrounded by corruption and violence, trying to steer an honest course.
The third book in the series, The LIGHTERMAN, will be published in June 2017 and looks set to be another bestseller.
Simon lives with his wife and youngest child in Bedfordshire. He is a founder member of the Ampthill Literary Festival and a former trustee and chairman of the Road Victims Trust, a charity devoted to supporting those bereaved or suffering life changing injury on the roads.
You can connect with Simon on:
Simon was recently interviewed on MKFM and you can listen to the full programme here
Daniel Gothard lives in Oxford with his wife and three children. He has a CertHE and MA in creative writing. He has previously had two novels published and appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies in the UK and abroad. His last novel – ‘Friendship and Afterwards’ – was nominated for The People’s Book Prize. He is also an Arts Correspondent for After Nyne magazine. ‘Simon says’ will be published by Urbane in January 2016.Read More
David John Griffin is a writer, graphic designer and app designer, and lives in a small town by the Thames in Kent, UK with his wife Susan and two dogs called Bullseye and Jimbo. He is currently working on the first draft of a third novel as well as writing short stories for a novel-length collection.
His first novel – published by Urbane Publications in October 2015 – is called The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb. The second is a literary/psychological novel, entitled Infinite Rooms. He has independently-published a magical realism/paranormal novella called Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn. One of his short stories was shortlisted for The HG Wells Short Story competition 2012 and published in an anthology.
His website is http://www.davidjohngriffin.comRead More
Nicholas Jones is an author and political commentator. He was a BBC industrial and political correspondent for thirty years and has written extensively on the relationship between politicians and the news media. Jones is a regular commentator to debates on issues concerning politics and the media and he takes a close interest in issues affecting the standards and practice of journalism.
Jones began his career as a journalist in 1960, and after working on local evening newspapers in Portsmouth and Oxford, he became a parliamentary and political reporter for The Times in 1968 and joined the BBC in 1972, as a news producer at Radio Leicester and was later a national radio reporter, before being promoted to correspondent.
In 1986 Jones was named Industrial Reporter of the Year by the Industrial Society for his reporting of the 1984-85 miners’ strike for BBC Radio News. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Wolverhampton in 2005 and appointed an honorary visiting professor at the Cardiff School of Journalism in 2011.
His books include Strikes and the Media (1986), Soundbites and Spin Doctors (1995), Sultans of Spin (1999), Trading Information: Leaks, Lies and Tip-offs (2006) and The Lost Tribe: Whatever Happened to Fleet Street’s Industrial Correspondents (2011). His four books on general elections: Election 92, Campaign 1997, Campaign 2001 and Campaign 2010: The Making of the Prime Minister.
He has contributed chapters to a range of recent books including Pulling Newspapers Apart (2008), Broadcast Journalism (2009), The Phone Hacking Scandal (2012), What Do We Mean By Local (2013), Is The BBC In Crisis (2014), Freedom of Information 10 Years On (2015), and chapters for books on the miners’ strike, Shafted (2009) and Settling Scores (2014).
Jackie Buxton is a writer, editor and teacher of creative writing, living in Yorkshire with her husband and two teenage daughters. Jackie used her recent experience of an aggressive form of breast cancer to inform and dispel some myths about a cancer diagnosis via her popular blog. Her posts became the frame-work of self-help memoire, Tea & Chemo (Urbane Publications, November 2015). Jackie’s award-winning short stories can be found in three anthologies, They Lied!, Stories for Homes and Seaglass, as well as appearing regularly in Chase Magazine. When not writing or reading, over-seeing house and teens, Jackie can be found running, cycling or tripping up though the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. Her ambitions are modest: to read (even) more, go to bed earlier and have more coffee dates with friends.
An imaginative thinker with a career as diverse as the number of genres her fiction crosses, Sara Bain is one of those people who has the ability to write to any formula but chooses to adhere to none.
She was brought up in London, qualified as an English barrister and pursued a career in legal publishing where she learned to produce academic texts and draft complex legal forms.
She then left the bright lights of the city and moved to Scotland where she worked as a journalist for a local newspaper for 15 years and learned to write facts as well as creative features.
She has been a law lecturer, computer tutor and is an able photographer and graphic designer. She now has her own company which provides press and publicity services and currently works on media campaigns for a number of Scottish arts organisations. She is editor of The Nithsdale Times, a regional newspaper serving the communities of Mid and Upper Nithsdale.
When she finds some downtime, Sara writes fantasy and paranormal cross-genre fiction which includes elements of crime, romance, horror and humour.
Her debut novel, The Sleeping Warrior, has been described as “talented”, “imaginative”, “remarkable” and “simply brilliant.”
The Ghost Tree will publish autumn 2015.Read More
Dr. Christian Marcolli is a world-class expert on sustainable high performance, coaching business leaders, market-leading brands and elite athletes all around the world to achieve outstanding results. His clients are the global market leaders of today – and tomorrow.
He is the founder and owner of Marcolli Executive Excellence, a specialized management consulting firm focused on fostering personal leadership excellence, driving team effectiveness and creating organizational health. Since 1997, Christian has successfully helped individuals, teams and entire organizations around the globe to accomplish peak performance, resulting in incomparable long-term, sustainable success. He works with hundreds of clients each year, utilizing pioneering strategies and cutting-edge research.
In parallel, Christian is a performance coach to some of the world’s finest athletes and teams. This elite roster includes tennis stars, Olympic gold medal winners and world champions. Christian’s passion for optimal performance is reflected in his writing, speaking and consulting. He is the author of two books: Teach Me Patience – NOW! and Equip Yourself To Be a Business Champion.
Prior to founding Marcolli Executive Excellence, Christian was an elite athlete, playing soccer professionally for several years. In 2000, he was awarded the title of “International Certified Mental Training Consultant” by the International Society for Mental Training and Excellence and the International Coaching School of Canada.
Christian lives with his wife and his two sons in Switzerland.Read More
Tess Rosa Ruiz hails from a small town in Western Montana. She left for Seattle with two bags and a lot of passion at the age of 19. An established photographer, she met a group of writers from New York and through them, found her voice. Freefall into Us is her first published collection of prose and poetry. She currently resides in Seattle, and has been known to quote Kerouac and sling the finest of wine.
“Provocative stories that are earthy, sensual and compelling along with prose that makes you think. Tess Rosa is a writer worth watching…..”
Paul La Rosa, Emmy-award winning writer-producer
“Tess is a new, elegant voice in short fiction and poetry. We’ll be hearing from her for a long time.”
Terrence McCauley, award winning crime author
“Tess Rosa Ruiz grabs you by the scruff of your neck and the back of your belt and flings you into her world. A world full of fabulous imagery, combined with all the drama you can stand.”
Louis Romano, Novelist & Poet
“Tess Rosa Ruiz delivers a powerful and vivid collection of masterfully woven tales that will stay
with you long after you have read the final word. She is an explosive and provocative new talent
who blurs the line between fantasy and reality in ways that many hope for but few achieve. Ignore
her literary prowess at your own risk.”
Ian Lowell, author of Son of Sam Was My Catcher and Other Bronx Tales
Steven Berkoff was born in Stepney, London. After studying drama and mime in London and Paris, he entered a series of repertory companies and in 1968 formed the London Theatre Group. His plays and adaptations have been performed in many countries and in many languages. Among the many adaptations Berkoff has created for the stage, directed and toured, are Kafka’s Metamorphosis and The Trial, Agamemnon after Aeschylus, and Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher. He has directed and toured productions of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus also playing the title role, Richard II, Hamlet and Macbeth, as well as Oscar Wilde’s Salome.
Berkoff’s original stage plays include East, West, Messiah: Scenes from a Crucifixion, The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, Decadence, Harry’s Christmas, Massage, Acapulco and Brighton Beach Scumbags. He has performed his trilogy of solo shows, One Man, Shakespeare’s Villains and Requiem for Ground Zero, in venues all over the world.
Films Steven has acted in include A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, Octopussy, Beverly Hills Cop, Rambo, Under the Cherry Moon, Absolute Beginners and The Krays. He directed and co- starred with Joan Collins in the film version of his play Decadence. One of his most recent roles was in David Fincher’s version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
He has published a variety of books on the theatre such as the production journals I am Hamlet, Meditations on Metamorphosis and Coriolanus in Deutschland. Berkoff’s work has led him to traverse the globe, and his love for travel is apparent in his book Shopping in the Santa Monica Mall: The Journals of a Strolling Player.
“John Simmons’ brilliant books have lent a new dimension and great depth to the topic of brand tone of voice. His understanding of the subject is immense and matched by his willingness to share it.”
Kartik Kompella, Editor The Definitive Book of Branding
John Simmons is an independent writer and consultant. He was a director of Newell and Sorrell from 1984 until the merger with Interbrand in 1997. He headed many large brand programmes with companies as diverse as Waterstone’s, Royal Mail, Air Products and the National Theatre. He established Interbrand’s verbal identity team before he left in 2003. His current clients include Allied Irish Banks, Anthony Gold Solicitors and Marks & Spencer.
John runs “Writing for design” workshops for D&AD and the School of Life. He also runs “Dark Angels” workshops, residential courses in remote retreats, which aim to promote more creative writing for business www.dark-angels.org.uk. He has written a number of books on the relationship between language and identity, including “The Dark Angels Trilogy” – We, me, them & it, The invisible grail and Dark angels. His books helped establish the practice of tone of voice as a vital element of branding.
He’s a founder director of 26, the not-for-profit group that champions the cause of better language in business, and has been writer-in-residence for Unilever and King’s Cross tube station. In 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Falmouth in recognition of ‘outstanding contribution to the creative sector’.
His most recent books are 26 ways of looking at a blackberry, about the creative power of constraints, and Room 121: a masterclass in business writing, co-written with Jamie Jauncey as an exchange over 52 weeks. In June 2011 John’s first work of fiction, The angel of the stories, was published by Dark Angels Press, with illustrations by the artist Anita Klein.
He recently initiated and participated in the writing of a Dark Angels collective novel Keeping Mum with fifteen writers – the novel was published by Unbound in 2014. John is on the Campaign Council for Writers’ Centre Norwich as Norwich becomes the first English City of Literature.Read More
Rennie Gould is a world renowned consultant who helps people and organisations become more effective and productive. Using his considerable gifts of investigation and communication , Rennie shares his unique 7-step system to provide the understanding and perception necessary to achieve self-awareness and personal fulfilment.
Rennie is a practicing management consultant who specialises in Business-to-Business Marketing, Customer Strategy, Sales Management and Strategic Sales and Motivation. He was formerly Marketing Research Manager at Ford Motor Company and helped set up the CRM Consultancy Practice at BT. He is now founder of Customize, a consultancy and training company specialising in B2B Sales, Sales Management and Customer Strategy. Rennie has an MBA from Cranfield Business School and has worked with clients such as AXA Insurance, Nokia, Mercedes-Benz, Royal Mail, 3M, Pirelli, Dubai Holding and Zain Telecom (Kuwait) in the UK, the USA and the Middle East. He is a Guest Lecturer in Marketing at Cardiff Business School.Read More
In a world that increasingly seems fearful, angry and directionless and in a society which struggles to find effective responses, Deirdre Quiery brings a perspective in her work and in her writing that challenges many of the assumptions and standards that have evolved in the Western world during the four centuries since Newton and the dawn of science. What human beings need more than anything, she argues, is to think more expansively and inclusively and to go beyond traditional, rational thinking and embrace a wisdom which lies beyond thinking.
This perspective plays out in her studies (an MSc in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology), in her life (living in a secluded olive grove in Mallorca which allows for space, peace and daily meditation), in her writing and blog on deirdrequiery.com, in her art (she has successfully sold paintings at two exhibitions in Mallorca and has one planned in London in June 2017) and in her other work (supporting corporate leaders and managers to be more creative and spontaneous, opening the door to true intuition and to the wisdom mind).
Her first book, Eden Burning, set in Belfast in the early seventies, the peak years of “the troubles”, explores the destructive impact of fear and violence on the human psyche and the depths to which we all, as humans, are capable of falling given the right mix of genetic and personal history. It also explores the extraordinary heights which we, as humans, are capable of reaching when supported by the redeeming power of love and forgiveness.
Her second book, The Secret Wound, due to be published by Urbane Publications in June 2017 is set largely in Mallorca in 2014, explores in more depth the nature of love and relationship and how unconscious, deep-seated patterns of behaviour – what she would call wounds – fill our lives with unwanted and often unrecognised consequences which impede us from fulfilling our full potential. Until we learn to deeply undo the shackles of ego (because all of these unconscious wounds are ego-driven in one way or another), a painful process which requires tenacity and courage, we can never be free to flow effortlessly and joyfully with the universe in the dance of life. To do this successfully, we need to know that we are unconditionally loved.Read More
David Wethey is an author and writer born 1944 in Alvechurch, Worcestershire England. He has his own blogsite Making Better Decisions Better, and writes articles and blog posts on decision making, current affairs and advertising for a variety of publications and sites, including the Marketing Society. David founded Agency Assessments International (AAI) in 1988. AAI is headquartered in London, with partners, associates and affiliates in US, Brazil, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, the Gulf, Ireland, and Russia. AAI advises large advertisers on appointing communications agencies and building productive partnerships with them. David has undertaken projects in more than 40 countries. In 2008 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the IPA for services to the Client/Agency Relationship, and he is also the bestselling author of Decide, published in 2013.Read More
After a fast-track career with the UK Royal Marines, where he served for 18 years as an operations commando, Damian McKinney entered the private sector and discovered that the Royal Marines’ Mission Command approach to talent management, business process redesign, and project planning and execution was directly relatable and transferable to the business world.
In 1999, he founded the company McKinney Rogers around his love of “real operational challenges,” particularly under severe pressure and focusing on results. And over the past decade, he has built a global organization with offices on every subcontinent, and dedicated to delivering tangible and sustainable results for organizations ranging from Walmart to Diageo and Pfizer to Thomson Reuters.Read More
Pete Adams is an architect and designs and builds projects around the UK when he’s not writing up a storm. Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, escaping into those dreams by writing funny stories that contain a thoughtful dash of social commentary. With a writing style inspired and shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families shortly after WWII, Pete’s Kind Hearts and Martinets series of books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe.
Pete says that the best feedback he’s had on his work was that “it made me laugh, made me cry and made me think.” People have said they laugh out loud reading his books, and if he can continue to get that reaction from his readers then he says he would be very content indeed. Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, the Irish nana, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having now flown the coop.Read More
Years after marvelling at the stories of the 1968 Spring and the Velvet Revolution, James found himself sat in a Prague Blues Bar falling in love with the city in person. A graduate of Politics and Modern History, and a long standing blues DJ for Modradiouk.net, James’s affection for the atmospheric, dark and seedy Cold War thrillers of old was reawakened by his growing affection for this cobbled land of gothic secrets and his writing bone began to itch. James’s career has covered a myriad of roles across the public and private sectors including high level technical recruitment and business development, to his current role within HR Consultancy; and it was a bad day at the office which persuaded him to finally act upon his long held dream of writing. The result was his 2015 debut novel Escape to Perdition, which reflected his love both of central Europe and the espionage genre and was met with wide spread acclaim. James has also written for The Prague Times and his work has been featured by Doctor Who Worldwide and travel site An Englishman in Slovakia. He is currently developing a number of projects across a variety of media. A diehard Whovian, Man City fan, Rum drinker and Christian, James is an unrepentent member of the 48%.
The Prague Ultimatum is his second book and will be published by Urbane in April 2017.Read More
John is a leading sports scientist and one of the top sports psychologists in the US. His specialities include human performance technology, central nervous system measurement/assessment, recovery training, talent identification, concussion assessment and rehabilitation, and mental health concerns. John has spent 15 years working with the NFL and has provided clinical sport psychology and sport science support to numerous Super Bowl teams and Champions. Alongside working with the NFL, John also works as a consultant to the US Special Forces, providing oversight on welfare, recovery, cognitive abilities and performance. John has also consulted internationally within British Premier League football and Premiership rugby, and has co-authored chapters of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Sports Medicine Manual.
Alan has a broad mix of commercial, academic, scientific and technological abilities. Drawing on his background as a physician and neuroscientist he has an ability to integrate different lines of development and scientific advances from many fields.
Over the past 15 years Alan has been a coach and confidant to many of the world’s top leaders. He is passionate about developing enlightened leadership in the world in multiple market sectors and enabling leaders to make a more meaningful contribution in a increasingly complex world.
Alan is an honorary senior lecturer in neuroscience and psychological medicine at Imperial College, London and an affiliate professor of leadership at the European School of Management, London. He originally qualified as a physician, has a first class degree in psychology and a PhD immunology.
Alan’s work has focused on coaching CEOs and boards. When working with individual leaders, he often tracks a person’s physiology for 24 hours, covering a normal working day. Insights from this monitoring guide transformational leadership and personal development.
In addition to working extensively with executive teams in organisations, Alan has also worked with the GB rowing squad prior to the London Olympics and continues to provide guidance to the coaches and crews in preparation for Rio 2016.Read More
Elizabeth Macbain was born in London and now lives in Derbyshire with her husband and son. She has had a variety of jobs to date, but writing has always been her true passion. Despite fierce competition, Elizabeth recently won the Urbane Publications competition prize of a publishing contract, and ‘The Heart Ladder’ will be Elizabeth’s debut novel. She is now writing furiously and the novel will publish in early 2016.Read More
Stuart Thomson is a public affairs and communications consultant with leading law firm Bircham Dyson Bell. He advises clients on political and media engagement, reputation management and crisis communications.
As blogger for Bircham Dyson Bells ‘Public Affairs Blog’ and the author of ‘Public Affairs in Practice’, ‘New Activism and the Corporate Response’ and ‘The Dictionary of Labour Quotations’, Stuart’s reputation has seen him appear on the BBC and Sky News, judging for the PR Week and Public Affairs News awards. He now also blogs for leading news publisher, The Huffington Post.
Stuart is an honorary research fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen, and amongst it all finds time to tweet @redpolitics.Read More
PJ Whiteley, who writes non-fiction as Philip Whiteley, is an experienced author, principally about management. He has written extensively about how low wages are bad for business, as part of a bid to try to convince economists that society consists of people. Taking a break from this Quixotic task, he has turned his hand to romantic comedy, seizing on the potential of men preferring to play or watch sport than talk about their feelings and stuff.
Close of Play is the first novel, centring on perennial themes of the human condition: love, loss, hope, life choices and that nagging feeling in the back of the mind that you may not fully be up to date with how your team is doing.
PJ Whiteley’s boyhood ambition was to represent Yorkshire Cricket Club. He gave up playing as an amateur a few years ago when facing the quicker bowlers became a bit too tricky, but still plays five-a-side football. He works from home full time as an author and is married to a sex therapist, so things could have turned out worse.
Author photo copyright ‘‘Natalia Creative’Read More
Alcina Faraday is a scientist, businesswoman and stepmother who writes literary fiction about the redeeming power of love and the disturbing possibilities of modern scientific reality.
Her Spiral Wound Trilogy “Beauty, Love and Justice”, “These Modern Girls” and “The Commodity Fetish” follows a cultured rabble of unhinged, uncool, reality-averse GenX/Y outliers as they seek success and heroism, survive squalor and indignity, have a few laughs, and – mostly – emerge relatively unscathed from the moshpit of modern life in Paris, London and Lisbon.
Alcina lives in London and Devon with her engineer husband and a small colony of palmate newts.
Dr Lesley P. Stagg has been an international school head in Portugal, the USA, Colombia, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates following her first headship in the UK. She is passionate about quality education as a right for every child. Currently she is a Regional Accreditation Officer with the Council of International Schools where she has responsibility for around sixty-five schools in Europe and the Middle East.Read More
Born in Walsall, Peter graduated in German from Southampton University before embarking on a career in HR and training in a wide variety of organisations and roles. He is an established and very successful trainer of pet dogs, working with hundreds of dogs and their owners over the years. He runs his own company and writes regularly in dog magazines.Read More
Lloyd has been publishing books at the rate of one every 364 days for 20 years. For most of these years he has worked closely with Mr Urbane, Matthew Smith. Starting with a book on teaching using the internet in 1999, they have collaborated on books concerning the football World Cup (2002) and European Championships (2004 and 2016), the global impact of terrorism (2003), and a biography of the world’s greatest ever footballer (2005). Despite writing academically respected tomes on international relations, political theory, environmental politics, democratisation, security studies, foreign policy (and so on) he has never been happier than when Mr Smith dangles a football book in front of him.
So, now shakily established as Urbane’s “sport billy” his latest project offers a sideways, critical and informative look at all the clubs who have ever played in the self-styled ‘best league in the world’: the English Premier League. That turns out to be a majority of the football league. Liaising with fans across the country, and contractually obliged to tone down the digs at Pompey and Man Utd, this promises to be a book for football fans everywhere, especially those wondering what to buy their son, daughter, mother, father, uncle, aunt (etc) for Christmas, 2017.
Offers of help with reflections on the Premier League Years are welcomed by: email@example.comRead More
Mark Bradley is the founder of The Fan Experience Company. He helps sports clubs grow through supporter, customer & community engagement.
A former lead assessor for the UK’s Unisys / Management Today Service Excellence Awards and Director of Best Practice at Customer Service Network, Mark’s philosophy is based on the simple premise of using the customer perspective as a force for change.
Mark’s entertaining travelogues ‘Inconvenience Stores’ and ‘Retails of the Unexpected’ explore the idiosyncrasies of UK customer service through his own experiences, while his co-author credit on ‘Song of the Soul’
hints at an obsessive love of music.
He is also an occasional contributor to the ‘Yorkshire Post’, a prolific blogger, an enthusiastic tweeter (via @fanexperienceco) and a regular speaker on the UK business scene.Read More
Richard was born in Hull in 1961. After leaving school he set out on a career in banking. However, since being lent a Slade single in 1972 his overriding interest has always been popular music, and he has subsequently developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of most musical genres and a record and CD collection to match. The Song of The Soul is Richard’s first foray into the world of the music biography.Read More
Ronan Fitzsimons was born in 1964 and grew up in the North East of England. He studied at the universities of Sheffield, Nottingham Trent and Manchester, and has had jobs as a translator, football coach, oven-scrubber and cockle salesman. He now works in higher education. His publications include a variety of language-learning books and the official biographies of Decca Wade and of The Toy Dolls.Read More
Christopher Lowery is a ‘Geordie’, born in the northeast of England, who graduated in finance and economics after reluctantly giving up career choices in professional golf and rock & roll. He is a real estate and telecoms entrepreneur and inventor and has created several successful companies around the world. Chris wrote the Angolan Clan after the Revolution of the Carnations forced him to flee Portugal in 1975. The Rwandan Hostage was based on his daughter’s experiences as an ICRC delegate in that country after the genocide of 1994. The Dark Web is drawn from his experience with Wyless Group, a global IoT provider which he founded in 2002. Chris also writes technical patents, poetry and children’s books and has recently produced an album of his songs. He and his wife Marjorie live between London, Marbella and Geneva.Read More
Arpan Panicker is a serial dabbler. He has tried his hand at everything from event management to street theater with an intermittent corporate career that led to him setting up his own learning design consultancy. The one thing he stuck with was writing, and Wordscapist is his first full-length novel. While not drowning in books and gadgets, he’s spending time with his wife or motorbike, and on some rare occasions, both. He loves to travel and most of his trips start out as location research for his next Wordscapist book and end up as culinary binges.Read More
Kevin Murray began his writing career 40 years ago, working on The Star, Johannesburg’s biggest daily newspaper. He soon became Chief Crime Reporter in what was considered to be the crime capital of the world. He once achieved a record of more than 30 consecutive days of front page crime stories, including an aircraft hijacking, several murders, numerous armed robberies and even drug-related gang wars. Since then, his successful career has spanned magazine publishing, public relations and strategic communications. Being a storyteller is his craft. He has written two bestselling business books on leadership and has a cupboard full of ideas for the next novel.Read More
Since escaping the East Midlands to find his fortune in the big city, Adrian Harvey has combined a career in and around government with trying to see as much of the world as he can. He lives in North London, which he believes to be the finest corner of the world’s greatest city. Being Someone is his first novel.Read More
Chris Parker is a specialist in Communication and Influence. His fascination with the power of words and how they can be used to create intrapersonal and interpersonal change began in 1976. It became a lifelong study that has underpinned almost four decades of work in a variety of professional roles and contexts. A Licensed Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Chris is a highly experienced management trainer, business consultant, lecturer and writer. He has more lines on his face than most and is afraid to read them.
You can find a great interview with Chris at the Crime Book Club website.
“I was reading Chris Parker 20 years ago. He was amazing then and he is amazing now.” – Geoff Thompson, BAFTA winning screenwriterRead More
Simon Pont is a writer, commentator and brand-builder. He is the non-fiction author of The Better Mousetrap and Digital State, both available on www.amazon.co.uk and www.koganpage.com When asked, he has always wanted to say he is a spy. He has never been a spy. He is however married and has three children. Remember to Breathe is his first novel. To say hello, visit www.simonpont.comRead More
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