Related to: 'Picnic in the Storm'

Anna Seghers

ANNA SEGHERS (1900-1983) was born Netty Reiling in Mainz, Germany, into a Jewish family. In 1924 she received a doctorate in Art History from the University of Heidelberg, and in the same year her first story, written under the name Antje Seghers, was published. During this time, she came into contact with many left-wing intellectuals, including her husband, a Hungarian economist, and began writing in earnest. By the end of 1928, Anna Seghers had joined the Communist Party, given birth to two children and was awarded the Kleist Prize for her first novel, The Revolt of the Fishermen of St Barbara.As Jew, a Communist and a revolutionary writer, she was blacklisted in Nazi Germany and left for France in 1933 with her family. After the Nazi invasion in 1940, she was forced to flee again and, with the aid of Varian Fry, she and her family sailed from Marseilles to Mexico on a ship that included Victor Serge, André Breton and Claude Lévi-Strauss among its passengers.Seghers gained international recognition with The Seventh Cross (1942), which became a bestseller. It was the basis for the 1944 MGM film starring Spencer Tracy and was one of the only depictions of Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War in either literature or film. It has been translated into more than thirty languages.After the war Seghers moved to East Berlin, where she became a prominent figure of East German letters, actively championing the work of younger writers from her position as president of the Writers Union. Among Seghers' internationally acclaimed works are The Seventh Cross; Transit (1944); Excursion of the Dead Girls (1945); The Dead Stay Young (1949); and the story collection Benito's Blue (1973).

Beth Kempton

Beth Kempton has a Masters Degree in Japanese and has spent many years living and working in Japan, which she considers her second home. Over the years she has studied papermaking, flower arranging, pottery, noren-making, calligraphy, the tea ceremony, and weaving in Japan. Collectively these experiences have led to a deep love of the country and a rare understanding of cultural and linguistic nuances. She has been inhaling the magic and mystery of Japan - and been influenced by its philosophy and aesthetics - for over two decades. Beth is also an award-winning entrepreneur and self-help author, and co-founder of the online design magazine MOYO (which is Japanese for 'pattern'). She describes herself as a wanderer, an adventurer and a seeker of beauty.As Founder and CEO of Do What You Love, Beth has produced and delivered online courses and workshops that have helped thousands of people all over the world to discover their passion, explore their creativity and live a more inspired life.Named a 'Rising Star' by Spirit & Destiny Magazine, Beth was also nominated as Kindred Spirit Magazine Mind Body Spirit Blogger of the Year 2017. Her blog was recently named one of the Best Happiness Blogs on the Planet. She is the author of 'Freedom Seeker: Live more. Worry less. Do what you love." (Hay House, 2017). She previously trained in TV presenter skills at NTV in Tokyo, and many moons ago hosted her own TV show on Yamagata Cable Television in northern Japan. Beth has written about Japan and Oriental philosophy in various publications including Wanderlust, Yoga Magazine and Where Women Create.Beth is the mother of two small girls who fill her with joy every single day. www.bethkempton.com

Carole Matthews

Carole Matthews is the Sunday Times bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the top ten bestsellers The Cake Shop in the Garden, A Cottage by the Sea, Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses, The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas and Calling Mrs Christmas. In 2015, Carole was awarded the RNA Outstanding Achievement Award. Her novels dazzle and delight readers all over the world and she is published in more than thirty countries.For all the latest news from Carole, visit www.carolematthews.com, follow Carole on Twitter (@carolematthews) and Instagram (matthews.carole) or join the thousands of readers who have become Carole's friend on Facebook (carolematthewsbooks).

Claire North

Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated author whose debut novel was written when she was just fourteen years old. She has fast established herself as one of the most powerful and imaginative voices in modern fiction. Her first book published under the Claire North pen name was The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which became a word-of-mouth bestseller and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The follow-up Touch was described by the Independent as 'little short of a masterpiece'. Her next novel The Sudden Appearance of Hope won the 2017 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and The End of the Day was shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award. Her latest novel 84K received widespread critical acclaim and was described by bestselling author Emily St. John Mandel as 'an eerily plausible dystopian masterpiece'. She lives in London.

David Roberts

David Roberts worked in publishing for over thirty years, most recently as a director, before devoting his energies to writing full time. He is married and divides his time between London and Wiltshire.

Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane is the author of bestsellers Mystic River, Shutter Island, Gone Baby Gone, and Live By Night, all of which have been made into award-winning films. He is one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed authors of his generation and the recipient of the Shamus Award for Best First Novel, the Edgar, Anthony and Barry awards for Best Novel, and the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction. His work has been translated into over three dozen languages. He has written for The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, Bloodline, and the forthcoming Mr Mercedes, based on the Stephen King novel. Dennis was born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and lives in California with his family.

Donato Carrisi

Donato Carrisi was born in 1973 and studied law and criminology. He won four Italian literature prizes for his bestselling debut The Whisperer. Since 1999 he has been working as a TV screenwriter, and he lives in Rome.

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.

Frances Brody

Frances Brody is the author of ten mysteries featuring Kate Shackleton as well as many stories and plays for BBC Radio, scripts for television and three sagas, one of which won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award. A Woman Unknown was short-listed for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her stage plays have been toured by several theatre companies and produced at Manchester Library Theatre, the Gate and Nottingham Playhouse. Jehad was nominated for a Time Out Award.Frances lived in New York for a time before studying at Ruskin College, Oxford, and reading English Literature and History at York University. She has taught in colleges, and on writing courses for the Arvon Foundation.

Ian W. Shaw

Ian W. Shaw is the author of six books: The Bloodbath, On Radji Beach, Glenrowan, The Ghosts of Roebuck Bay, The Rag Tag Fleet and Murder at Dusk. The Bloodbath was nominated for a Victorian Premier's Literary Award and was shortlisted in the Local History category. Ian is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and holds postgraduate degrees from Monash University and the University of Michigan. After ten years as a secondary school teacher, Ian worked in the Commonwealth public service and private enterprise for three decades, and is an expert on security issues. He lives in Canberra.

Jenny Eclair

Jenny Eclair is the author of four critically acclaimed novels: Camberwell Beauty; Having a Lovely Time; Life, Death and Vanilla Slices and Moving. One of the UK's most popular writer/performers, she was the first woman to win the prestigious Perrier Award and has many TV and radio credits to her name. She lives in South-East London.

Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher is the no. 1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera and the Cinder Spires novels. He lives in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Jonathan Clements

Jonathan Clements is the author of many books on East Asian history, including biographies of Empress Wu, Admiral Togo, the statesman Prince Saionji and Coxinga, the Japanese-born 'pirate king'. He divides his time between London, England and Jyväskylä, Finland. His website is schoolgirlmilkycrisis.com

Kate Ellis

Kate Ellis was born and brought up in Liverpool and studied drama in Manchester. She is the author of the Wesley Peterson murder mysteries as well as the Joe Plantagenet mysteries and the Albert Lincoln Trilogy set in the aftermath of the Great War.She has twice been shortlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger and for the CWA Dagger in the Library award.Visit Kate online at: www.kateellis.co.uk

Keigo Higashino

Keigo Higashino is the single bestselling, best-known novelist in Japan and around Asia, with numerous television and film adaptations of his work appearing in several languages. He's the author of The Devotion of Suspect X, which was the finalist for the Edgar Award for best novel, and Malice, among many others. He lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong lives in rural Ontario, Canada, with her family and far too many pets. She is the author of the international bestselling Women of the Otherworld series, and many other highly acclaimed novels, including the Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising YA trilogies, and the Cainsville series.

L.C. Tyler

L. C. Tyler was born in Essex and educated at Jesus College Oxford and City University. His comic crime series featuring author-and-agent duo Ethelred Tressider and Elsie Thirkettle has twice been nominated for Edgar Allan Poe Awards and he won the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award with Herring in the Library. His latest crime series is set in the seventeenth century and features lawyer John Grey.He has lived and worked all over the world, but has more recently been based in London and Sussex. To find out more about L. C. Tyler visit www.lctyler.com or follow him on twitter @lenctyler.

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.

Nelson DeMille

Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille, then moved with his parents to Long Island. He graduated from Elmont Memorial High School, where he played football and ran track.DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army where he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69). He saw action in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division and was decorated with the Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.After his discharge, DeMille returned to Hofstra University where he received his bachelor's degree in Political Science and History. He has three children, Lauren, Alexander, and James, and he and his wife reside on Long Island.DeMille's first major novel was By the Rivers of Babylon, published in 1978, and is still in print as are all his succeeding novels. He is a member of American Mensa, The Authors Guild, and is past president of the Mystery Writers of America. He is also a member of International Thriller Writers and was chosen as ThrillerMaster of the Year 2015. He holds three honorary doctorates: Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University, Doctor of Literature from Long Island University, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College.

Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and moved to New York when she was six, where she attended the Julia Richman High School and Barnard College. In her senior year she edited the college magazine, having decided at the age of sixteen to become a writer. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was made into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, and was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1999 by Anthony Minghella. Graham Greene called Patricia Highsmith 'the poet of apprehension', saying that she 'created a world of her own - a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger' and The Times named her no.1 in their list of the greatest ever crime writers. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously, the same year.