Related to: 'Departures'

Alex Gray

Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the DHSS, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English. Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles and commissions for BBC radio programmes. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers' Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing. A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, her previous novels include Five Ways to Kill a Man, Glasgow Kiss, Pitch Black, The Riverman, Never Somewhere Else, The Swedish Girl and Keep the Midnight Out. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.

Alexei J. Cohen

Alexei's editorial skills were honed on the pages of Racquet & Golfer, McCall's, and Family Circle. Before leaving Brooklyn he made frequent contributions to TimeOut New York. In London he rode the dotcom wave and was the launch editor of Fine Wine magazine. He returned to the print world in Rome and joined a publisher specializing in art, culture, and cinema. Since then he has translated, edited, and written several books.

Allison Williams

Allison Williams earned her MFA in creative writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where her fiction thesis won the Jason Wenger Award for Literary Excellence. Her journalistic work has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and a nomination from the City and Regional Magazine Association. As senior editor at Seattle Met magazine, she covers travel and the outdoors by hiking every trail and driving every road she can find on a map.

Alyssa Mastromonaco

Alyssa Mastromonaco served as assistant to the president and director of scheduling and advance at the White House from 2009 to 2011 and as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for operations at the White House from 2011 to 2014. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? with Lauren Oyler and a contributor to Crooked Media.

Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly is a world-renowned, award-winning comedian, musician, presenter, author and actor.

Busy Philipps

Busy Philipps is an American actress. She got her first break on the seminal high school show Freaks and Geeks, and went on to star in Dawson's Creek, ER, White Chicks, Cougar Town and I Feel Pretty. Philipps lives in Los Angeles.

Cameron Hewitt

Born in Denver and raised in central Ohio, Cameron Hewitt settled in Seattle in 2000. Ever since, he has spent three months each year in Europe, contributing to guidebooks, tours, radio and television shows, and other media for Rick Steves' Europe, where he serves as content manager. Cameron married his high school sweetheart (and favorite travel partner), Shawna, and enjoys taking pictures, trying new restaurants, and planning his next trip.

Chris Brookmyre

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full-time novelist with the publication of his award-winning debut Quite Ugly One Morning, which established him as one of Britain's leading crime authors. His Jack Parlabane novels have sold more than one million copies in the UK alone, and Black Widow won both the McIlvanney Prize and the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.

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.

Deborah Rodriguez

Deborah Rodriguez spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. She also owned the Cabul Coffee House, and is now a hairdresser and a motivational speaker. Deborah currently lives in Mexico where she owns the Tippy Toes Salon. To learn more about her visit www.debbierodriguez.com

Denis O'Connor

Denis O'Connor trained as a psychologist and teacher. Throughout his career he taught in schools and lectured in colleges and universities. He is retired and lives with his wife Catherine and his two Maine Coon cats in a remote country cottage in Northumberland.

Emma Fraser

Emma Fraser emigrated to Africa with her Gaelic-speaking parents when she was nine years old and remembers lying in bed and listening to her father playing the bagpipes. She returned to the Western Isles of Scotland years later and went on to qualify as a nurse, working in Edinburgh and Glasgow before leaving to study English Literature at Aberdeen University. Emma began writing when her daughters started school and she has published three historical novels, two of which were shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Her third book, The Shipbuilder's Daughter, was inspired by, as always, true events - this time by the Glasgow shipyards where her grandfather once worked.Keep up to date with Emma by following her on Twitter (@EmmaFraserBooks) or becoming her friend on Facebook (www.facebook.com/emmafraserauthor).

Evelyn Shillington

Born in 1893, Evelyn Shillington carefully documented her life as an army wife in the second world war, accompanying her husband, Captain Rex Shillington, around his postings. She died in 1981.

John Waters

John Waters is an American filmmaker, actor, writer and visual artist best known for his cult films, including Hairspray, Pink Flamingos and Cecil B. DeMented. He is also the author of a memoir, Role Models. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Jon E. Lewis

Jon E. Lewis is a historian and writer, whose books on history and military historyare sold worldwide. He is also editor of many The Mammoth Book of anthologies, including the bestselling On the Edge and Endurance and Adventure.He holds graduate and postgraduate degrees in history. His work has appeared in New Statesman, the Independent, Time Out and the Guardian. He lives in Herefordshire with his partner and children.Praise for his previous books:England: The Autobiography:'A triumph' Saul David, author of Victoria's ArmyThe British Soldier: The Autobiography:'this thoughtful compilation . . . almost unbearably moving.' Guardian'Compelling tommy's eye view of war.' Daily Telegraph'What a book. Five stars.' Daily Express

Larry Sloman

Mike Tyson is the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, and the first boxer ever to hold the three biggest belts in prizefighting - the WBC, WBA, and IBF world heavyweight titles - simultaneously. Tyson's enduring appeal has launched him into a career in entertainment: he was a standout in the blockbuster films The Hangover and The Hangover Part II, and recently he has earned tremendous acclaim for his one-man show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth. Tyson has launched a clothing company, Roots of Fight, and Tyrrhanic Productions, which currently has several film projects in development. In 2011 he was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Kiki, and their children.Larry "Ratso" Sloman is best known as Howard Stern's collaborator on Private Parts and Miss America. Sloman's recent collaborations include Mysterious Stranger, with magician David Blaine; Scar Tissue, the memoir of Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis; and Undisputed Truth with Mike Tyson. His biography of Houdini, The Secret Life of Houdini, is soon to be a major motion picture for Lionsgate.miketyson.com@miketyson

Lisa Ballantyne

Lisa Ballantyne is the author of the Edgar Award-nominated The Guilty One which was translated into nearly thirty languages. Her second novel, Redemption Road, was a USA Today Bestseller. Originally from Armadale, in Scotland, she now lives in Glasgow.

M.C. Beaton

M.C. Beaton is the author of both the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series, as well as numerous Regency romances. Her Agatha Raisin books are currently being turned into a TV series on Sky. She lives in Paris and in a Cotswold village that is very much like Agatha's beloved Carsely.

Martin Fletcher

Martin Fletcher arrived in Northern Ireland in 1997 after seven years as Washington Correspondent of THE TIMES. His previous book, ALMOST HEAVEN WAS SHORTLISTED FOR THE 1999 THOMAS COOK TRAVEL BOOK AWARD. He is now European Correspondent of THE TIMES.

Rick Steves

Since 1973, Rick Steves has spent about four months a year exploring Europe. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Rick produces a best-selling guidebook series, a public television series, and a public radio show, and organizes small-group tours that take over 30,000 travelers to Europe annually. He does all of this with the help of more than 100 well-traveled staff members at Rick Steves' Europe in Edmonds, WA (near Seattle). When not on the road, Rick is active in his church and with advocacy groups focused on economic and social justice, drug policy reform, and ending hunger. To recharge, Rick plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade Mountains, and spends time with his son Andy and daughter Jackie. Find out more about Rick at www.ricksteves.com and on Facebook.Connect with Rick: facebook.com/RickSteves twitter: @RickStevesinstagram: ricksteveseurope