Related to: 'Picnic in the Storm'

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.

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

Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over thirty-five years. Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, she is the author of the Aurora Teagarden mysteries, basis for the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Aurora Teagarden original movies; the Midnight, Texas series, now airing on NBC; the Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series, basis for the HBO show True Blood; the Lily Bard mysteries; the Harper Connelly mysteries; and the co-author of the graphic novel trilogy Cemetery Girl. Harris now lives in Texas with her husband and two rescue dogs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Lara Adrian

With an ancestry stretching back to the Mayflower, Lara Adrian lives with her husband in coastal New England, surrounded by centuries-old graveyards, hip urban comforts and the endless inspiration of the dark Atlantic ocean.

Lee Child

This collaboration between twenty-two of the world's bestselling crime writers is edited by Lee Child.

Lisa Dickenson

Lisa Dickenson is the pseudonym for Beyoncé. OK, FINE, THAT'S NOT TRUE. Lisa lives by the Devon seaside, stuffing cream teas in the gobs of anyone who comes to visit, and writing stuff down that she hopes is funny. Her first novel was the copyright-infringing Sweet Valley Twins: The Twins Holiday Horror, which she wrote in primary school and gave up on after five pages. Twenty-ish years later Lisa went on to be a *real author* and wrote the Novelicious Debut of the Year, The Twelve Dates of Christmas, and never looked back.Follow Lisa online for all her book news and Beyoncé-obsessing:www.lisadickenson.comTwitter @LisaWritesStuffFacebook /LisaWritesStuffInstagram lisawritesstuff

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian writer and slam poetry champion of Afro-Caribbean descent. She is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Gil Scott Heron is on Parole and Nothing Here Needs Fixing. Her debut short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the Victorian Premier's Award Unpublished Manuscript Award (2013), the Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction (2015) and the Australian Book Industry Award for Literary Fiction Book of The Year (2015). Foreign Soil was also shortlisted for the Stella Prize for Australian Women's writing (2015). Corsair will publish her memoir The Hate Race in 2016.

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.

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

Peter Phelps

Peter Phelps is one of Australia's best-loved actors, regularly appearing in film, television and theatre productions. He is an AFI and Logie award winner and has directed episodes of All Saints and Home and Away. In 1994 he wrote the bestselling book Sex without Madonna: True confessions of a hired gun in Tinseltown (a wry look at his years in Hollywood). His second book, The Bulldog Track, is a very personal account of his grandfather's incredible survival in New Guinea during WWII, and his escape by the 'other Kokoda trail'.