Related to: 'She-Merchants and Buccaneers and Gentlewomen'

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of over eighty books on a wide array of subjects, including the award-winning The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. He is also the author of the Isabel Dalhousie novels and the world's longest-running serial novel, 44 Scotland Street. His books have been translated into forty-six languages. Alexander McCall Smith is Professor Emeritus of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and holds honorary doctorates from thirteen universities.

Brent Weeks

Brent Weeks was born and raised in Montana. He wrote on bar napkins and lesson plans before landing his dream job years and thousands of pages later. He is the author of the internationally bestselling Night Angel trilogy, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. Brent lives in Oregon with his wife, Kristi, and their daughters.

Daphne Du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.

David Sedaris

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America's pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and his most recent book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, each of which became an immediate bestseller. The audio version of Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls was a Grammy nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. He is the author of the New York Times-bestselling collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Wicked Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer). He was also the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris's pieces appear regularly in the New Yorker and have twice been included in 'The Best American Essays'. There are a total of ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into twenty-nine languages.

Dorothea Tanning

Dorothea Tanning (1910 - 2012) was born in Galesburg, Illinois, and attended Knox College before moving to New York in the 1940s. There she began exhibiting at the Julien Levy Gallery, becoming known for her very personal and powerful surrealist paintings. In New York she met and married Max Ernst, moving with him to Arizona in the mid '40s, and then to France in the mid '50s. Two decades later, after Ernst's death, Tanning returned to New York, where she embarked upon a new and ambitious series of paintings, increasing both the scale and the scope of her work. Her work is included in collections at the Tate Gallery, the Georges Pompidou Centre, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Menil Collection, Houston. Tanning published her only novel, Chasm: A Weekend, when she was ninety-four. She also wrote a memoir and two collections of poetry.

Elizabeth Singer Hunt

Elizabeth Singer Hunt is best known as the award-winning author of the SECRET AGENT JACK STALWART chapter book series for younger readers. The 14-book series has been named a 'must read' for boys by the British Education Secretary, serialized by BBC Radio, and featured on Virgin Atlantic Airways' international flights.Elizabeth lives in California with her husband and two children, and is an advocate for the Eco-Soap Bank, a public health nonprofit working to save lives in rural Cambodia.

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975) is increasingly recognised as one of the best British writers of the twentieth century. She wrote her first book, At Mrs Lippincote's, during the war while her husband was in the Royal Air Force, and this was followed by eleven further novels and a children's book, Mossy Trotter. Her acclaimed short stories appeared in publications including Vogue, the New Yorker and Harper's Bazaar.

Evan Winter

Born in England to South American parents, Evan Winter was raised in Africa near the historical territory of his Xhosa ancestors. He always wanted to be a writer, but went to university first, tended bars in two countries, became a director and cinematographer, met a couple of con men in the process, was threatened by UK mobsters in a case of mistaken identity and became the creative director for one of the world's largest infrastructure companies, all before realising that the words in his head would never write themselves. So, before he ran out of time, he started writing them.

Gareth Hanrahan

Gareth Hanrahan's three-month break from computer programming to concentrate on writing has now lasted fifteen years and counting. He's written more gaming books than he can readily recall, by virtue of the alchemical transmutation of tea and guilt into words. He lives in Ireland with his wife and twin sons. Follow him on twitter @mytholder.

Geoff Tibballs

Geoff Tibballs is the author of numerous bestselling humour titles.

Josiah Bancroft

Before settling down to write fantasy novels, Josiah Bancroft was a poet, college instructor, and aspiring comic book artist. When he is not writing, he enjoys recording the Crit Faced podcast with his authorial friends, drawing the world of the Tower, and cooking dinner without a recipe. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Sharon, their daughter Maddie, and their two rabbits, Mabel and Chaplin.More examples of his work, including updates on upcoming instalments in the Books of Babel series, can be found at www.thebooksofbabel.com.

Katie Hickman

Katie Hickman is the author of eight books, including two bestselling works of non-fiction, Daughters of Britannia - in the Sunday Times bestseller lists for ten months and a twenty part series for BBC Radio 4 - and Courtesans. She has also written a trilogy of historical novels - The Aviary Gate, The Pindar Diamond and The House of Bishopgate - which have been translated into twenty languages. Her other books include two highly acclaimed travel books, including Travels with a Mexican Circus which was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. Born into a diplomatic family, she had a peripatetic childhood, growing up in Spain, Ireland, Singapore and South America; she has two children and lives in London.

Katrina Charman

Katrina Charman lives in a small village in the middle of South East England with her husband and three daughters. Katrina has wanted to be a children's writer ever since she was eleven, when her school teacher set her class the task of writing an epilogue to Roald Dahl's Matilda. Her teacher thought her writing was good enough to send to Roald Dahl himself. Sadly, she never got a reply, but the experience ignited her love of reading and writing. She is the author of a number of forthcoming picture books and leveled readers.

Leo Ruickbie

Dr LEO RUICKBIE, PhD (Lond), MA, BA (Hons), Associate of King's College, is a professional writer, editor, social scientist and historian, specialising in controversial areas of human belief and experience. His PhD is from King's College, London, for his thesis on contemporary witchcraft and magic use, building on research on the theory of re-enchantment that won him an MA with distinction from Lancaster University. He is the author of several books - Witchcraft Out of the Shadows (2004 and 2011), Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician (2009), A Brief Guide to the Supernatural (2012), A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting (2013) and The Impossible Zoo (2016) - as well as numerous publications in scholarly journals, magazines, such as Fortean Times, and newspapers, including the Daily Express. He is also the co-editor with Dr Simon Bacon of Little Horrors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Anomalous Children and the Construction of Monstrosity (2016), and with Dr Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie of The Material Culture of Magic (forthcoming).As well as writing, he is the editor of the Paranormal Review, the magazine of the Society for Psychical Research, established in 1882 for the scientific study of what we now call the 'paranormal', and has worked on several editorial projects for the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (Romano-German Central Museum) in Mainz, Germany. In addition, he is an elected member of the Royal Historical Society, a council member of the Society for Psychical Research, a committee member of the Gesellschaft für Anomalistik (Society for Anomalistics), as well as a member of the Parapsychological Association and the Royal Anthropological Institute. He has appeared several times on the Travel Channel series Mysteries at the Castle and his work has been mentioned in the media from the Guardian to Radio Jamaica. Not only has his expertise been sought by film companies, museums and charities, but he is also cited in the current student book for A-Level Sociology in the UK. He can be found on the web at www.ruickbie.com.

Nigel Cawthorne

Nigel Cawthorne is the author of a number of successful true crime and popular history books. His writing has appeared in over 150 newspapers, magazines and partworks - from the Sun to the Financial Times, and from Flatbush Life to The New York Tribune. He lives in London.

Noel Streatfeild

Noel Streatfeild was born in Sussex in 1895 and was one of three sisters. After working in munitions factories and canteens for the armed forces when the First World War broke out, Noel followed her dream of being on stage and went to RADA where she became a professional actress.She began writing children's books in 1931 and Ballet Shoes was published in 1936. She quickly became one of the most popular authors of her day. She was one of the first winners of the Carnegie Medal and was awarded an OBE in 1983.

Peter Kenny

Thirty years working as an actor, musician, designer and director in Theatre and Radio; Peter has worked for: A&BC Theatre Co. The Royal Shakespeare Co. and The BBC Radio Drama Co. An award winning narrator of audio-books he has recorded over 100 titles, everything from: Iain M. Banks, Neil Gaiman, and Andrzej Sapkowski to Claire North, Jonas Jonasson Jeremy Vine and Paul O'Grady. He has worked with many of the major publishing houses including, Little Brown, Orion/Gollancz, Hachette, Harper, Hodder, Pan MacMillan, ISIS, RNIB, Podium and Penguin. Visit www.peterkenny.com @PeterKennyVoice

Sarah Dunant

Sarah Dunant is the author of six crime novels for which she won two Silver Daggers. Cultural commentator - for many years she presented The Late Show - she was editor of War of the Words (Virago 1994). Her two previous novels, Transgressions and Mapping the Edge, were the subject of major acclaim.

Sherrilyn Kenyon

New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon is a regular in the #1 spot. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre in which she writes. More than 60 million copies of her books are in print in more than one hundred countries. Her current series include Deadman's Cross, The Dark-Hunters, The League, and Chronicles of Nick. Her Chronicles of Nick and Dark-Hunter series are soon to be major motion pictures.

Sonia Purnell

Sonia Purnell is a biographer and journalist who has written for The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, and The Sunday Times. Her book First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill was a book of the year in the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and Lenny Letter, and was shortlisted for the Plutarch Award for Best Biography. Her first book, Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition, was longlisted for the Orwell prize.