Related to: 'Elektra's Adventures in Tragedy'

Alex Rawlings

Alex Rawlings has been fascinated by languages and determined to learn as many as possible for as long as he can remember. He was born and raised in London, where he spoke English and Greek at home, studied German, French and Spanish at school, picked up Dutch, Afrikaans, Hebrew, Italian and Catalan on the side, then studied Russian and German at Oxford University, where he was named Britain's Most Multilingual Student in 2012 after being tested for fluency in all those languages in a competition run by Harper Collins. Since then he has studied many more, including tricky ones like Hungarian and Serbian, and has lived in five different countries, teaching languages, coaching learners, and organising conferences and workshops around the world for language enthusiasts. Alex's writes his practical advice and detailed observations on language learning on his popular blog RawLangs.com, and has also contributed to online and offline publications by the British Council, the European Commission, the Guardian, the Evening Standard, and to the blogs of several language learning companies. This book was conceived in Russia, planned in Hungary, written in Spain, and published in London. Alex travels the world speaking and learning new languages with his Hungarian dachshund, Zoltán.

Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad, The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York. A Pulitzer Prize winner and a recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, he lives in New York City.

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is the author of the hugely popular Morland Dynasty novels, which have captivated and enthralled readers for decades. She is also the author of the contemporary Bill Slider Mystery series, as well as her new series, War at Home, which is an epic family drama set against the backdrop of World War I. Cynthia's passions are music, wine, horses, architecture and the English countryside.

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.

Emma Blair

Emma Blair was a pen name for Scottish actor and author Iain Blair, who began writing in his spare time and whose first novel, Where No Man Cries, was published in 1982. During a writing career spanning three decades he produced some thirty novels, but his true identity remained a secret until 1998 when his novel Flower of Scotland was nominated for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year award. He was one of Britain's most popular authors and his books among the most borrowed from libraries. Iain Blair died in July 2011.

Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee is a black belt martial artist, a former corporate strategist, and action movie aficionado. Born and raised in Calgary, Canada, she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her family. Lee is the award-winning author of the YA science fiction novels Zeroboxer and Exo; Jade City is her adult debut.

Frank Tallis

Dr Frank Tallis is a writer and clinical psychologist. He has held lecturing posts in clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry and neuroscience at King's College London. He has published over 30 scientific papers in international journals and has written a textbook on cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He has written three works of psychology for the lay reader: Changing Minds (a history of psychotherapy), Hidden Minds (a history of the unconscious) and Lovesick (an exploration of the relationship between romantic love and mental illness).

Jeffrey Cranor

Jeffrey Cranor co-writes the hit podcast, novel and touring live show Welcome to Night Vale. He has also written more than one hundred short plays with the New York Neo-Futurists, co-wrote and co-performed a two-man show about time travel with Joseph, and collaborated with choreographer (also wife) Jillian Sweeney to create three full-length dance pieces. Jeffrey lives in New York State.

Joseph Fink

Joseph Fink created and co-writes the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, novel and touring live show. In his mid-twenties he started Commonplace Books, producing two collections of short works which he edited at his office job when his boss wasn't looking. He is from California but doesn't live there anymore.

Karen Dionne

Karen Dionne drew heavily on her experiences during the 1970s in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to write The Marsh King's Daughter, when she and her husband lived in a tent with their six-week-old daughter while they built a tiny cabin. Karen carried water from a stream, made wild apple jelly over a campfire (and defended it against marauding raccoons), sampled wild foods such as cattail heads and milkweed pods, and washed nappies in a bucket (which Karen says is every bit as nasty as it sounds). She enjoys nature photography and lives with her husband in Detroit's northern suburbs.

Katherine Wilson

Katherine Wilson was born and raised in Wash­ington, DC. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University, where she was taught by Toni Morrison and Peter Sellars. She has lived in Italy for the past nineteen years, working in television, film and theatre. Most recently, she acted in Giuseppe Tornatore's The Best Offer with Geoffrey Rush and Donald Sutherland. She lives in Rome with her husband and two children.

L. M. Montgomery

L. M. Montgomery was born in 1874 on Prince Edward Island, Canada, where she spent her childhood living with her grandparents in an old farmhouse. A prolific writer, she published many short stories, poems and novels, many of which were inspired by the years she spent on the beautiful Prince Edward Island. Anne of Green Gables and its sequels have always been amongst the most popular of children's classics. Montgomery died in Toronto in 1942 and was buried on her beloved island.

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.

Lisa Kleypas

Lisa Kleypas is the author of numerous historical romance novels. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts and competed in the Miss America pageant. After graduating from Wellesley College she published her first novel at twenty-one. Lisa is married and has two children. Visit her at www.lisakleypas.com

Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham has twice won the Theakston's Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel of the Year, and has also won a Sherlock Award for the Best Detective created by a British writer. Each of the novels featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne has been a Sunday Times bestseller. Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat were made into a hit TV series on Sky 1 starring David Morrissey as Thorne, and a series based on the novels In the Dark and Time of Death was broadcast on BBC1. Mark lives in north London with his wife and two children.

Nicholas Sparks

With over 105 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved storytellers. His novels include thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. All Nicholas Sparks' books have been international bestsellers and have been translated into more than fifty languages. Eleven of his novels have been adapted into major films - The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook and The Choice. For all the latest news from Nicholas Sparks, sign up for his e-Newsletter at www.nicholassparks.com, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @NicholasSparks.

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card is the award-winning author of the Ender saga, the Alvin Maker series and the Homecoming series. He lives with his wife and children in the US.

Paula McLain

Paula McLain received an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan and has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the author of two collections of poetry, as well as a memoir, Like Family. Her novels include The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun. She lives in Cleveland with her family.

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

Running Press

Running Press, Running Press Kids, and Running Press Miniature Editions publish books that inspire, entertain and delight readers with innovative formats and irresistible packages for humor, pop culture, activity, cooking and self-help titles. The long-running miniature editions program features original bestsellers like Grow Your Own Mini Bonsai and top licenses like Harry Potter.