Bill Arnold was born in Corby in the East Midlands in the 1960s. Destined for the town’s steelworks, Bill joined the army to escape the drudgery of life in a down-at-heel British town.
His few short years in the infantry were set against the backdrop of Soviet invasion of Germany and nuclear war, but they were defined by his tour of Northern Ireland, the only British military conflict of the time. It's this transformative period in his life that he writes about in his semi-autobiographical works.
Bill now lives a moderately peaceful life in Wiltshire with his wife and a dog called Spangles.
Books: X-Trot Foxray
Marc Brosnan was born in Cardiff and now lives and works in Pembrokeshire. At 17 years of age he joined the Merchant Navy to see the world, and then after five years left to pursue a career in the Post Office. Deciding on a second career change in the early 1990s, Marc became a Probation Officer after qualifying at University College Swansea with an MSc (Econ) and a Diploma in Social Work, a role he has held for the past 30 years.
Mainly writing in his spare time, Marc has written two novels featuring ex-Mossad assassin Ben Wiener. Marc also writes plays for stage and radio. In the late 80s, BBC Radio 4 aired his first play, Christmas Crackers. Marc’s latest stage play Dance of the Seven Tea Towels will be performed at the Grand Theatre, Swansea in 2022.
Books: The Steinberg Diamonds
Sam Burnside was born in Co. Antrim and now lives and works in the city of Derry~Londonderry where he was founder and first Director of the Verbal Arts Centre, an educational charity established in 1992 to promote literature in all its forms. Described by the Derry Journal as ‘one of the most important literary figures living in the north west’, his work has received praise for its craftsmanship (‘verse that is even-pitched and meticulously crafted’, Linenhall Review) and for the ways in which it sympathetically explores the experience of living in Northern Ireland.
He is the author of The Cathedral a long poem that won the Sunday Tribune/Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry in 1989. His work has attracted a number of literary prizes, including an Allingham Poetry Prize, the University of Ulster’s McCrea Literary Award for Literature and a Bass Ireland Award. His poetry has been published and broadcast widely. Sam was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to the arts.
Books: My Name Is Rebecca
Robert Chandler was born in Glasgow, but now finds himself in Norfolk after a career in IT security that took him to every inhabited continent.
Winner of several national short story competitions, Robert has also seen his short play performed by a local theatre, written a script for a ghost-themed dinner evening held at Norwich’s Guildhall, and developed a murder mystery game for Black Shuck Gin. Writing as Iain Andrews, his non-fiction work, 'Thomas Bilney, The Norwich Martyr', is available through online booksellers.
Books: Rosary Road
Originally from Oxford, Olivia Reynolds was born into a liberal academic family with expectations that she would never actually work for a living. Rebellious as a teenager, she avoided university by moving to bedsit land in west London at just 18 years of age, and immersed herself fully into 1980s hedonism.
After years of partying she eventually settled down to a life of freelance journalism which morphed into writing fiction. She has produced numerous short stories prior to her her first novel Joyride.
Olivia now lives on a farm in Lincolnshire with her dogs and guard geese.
David Roy was born in Bangor, Northern Ireland in the mid '60s. After a number of years in the army he left a life in uniform to read for a degree, ultimately qualifying as a secondary school teacher.
He is the author of many books, the first written in 1994 as an account of his service in the first Gulf War. His book 'The Lost Man', the first of his Ted Dexter adventures, featured on ITV's 'The Alan Titchmarsh Show' where it was shortlisted in The People's Novelist competition.
As well as being a soldier, David has been a dishwasher, a teacher, a civil servant, a security guard, a welfare assistant and an ambulance crew member. He is married and now lives in the north of England with his wife and two daughters.
Judy Upton is a playwright-turned-novelist from Shoreham-by-Sea on the south coast of England. She has written extensively for stage and screen and has won several awards, including The George Devine Award for stage play Ashes and Sand, Verity Bargate Award for Bruises and Croydon Warehouse International Playwriting Award 2016 for Once Around The Sun.
Plays include: Ashes and Sand, Royal Court; Bruises, Royal Court; Sliding With Suzanne, Royal Court; Team Spirit, National Theatre; Sunspots, The Red Room; Noctropia, Hampstead Theatre. She has had seven plays on BBC Radio 4, including 2019 Drama Of The Week, The Bulbul Was Singing.
As a screenwriter Judy's feature films are Brighton-set Ashes and Sand, produced by Open Road Films and Matador Pictures; and My Imprisoned Heart produced by Sci-Fi London. A TV drama All In The Mind was shown on BBC1, and her short films are Exposed, Milk and Blame It On The Boogie.
Books: Out Of The Frying Pan
S. Nadja Zajdman
S. Nadja Zajdman is a Canadian author. Her fiction and non-fiction writing has been featured in newspapers, magazines, literary journals and anthologies across North America, in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. In 2021, Zajdman received an award from The Society of Authors in London. With Hobart she will publish I Want You To Be Free, the memoirs of her mother, the noted Holocaust activist and educator Renata Skotnicka-Zajdman. In 2022 Zajdman’s collection of linked stories, The Memory Keeper, and story collection, Bent Branches, will also be published.
Books: I Want You To Be Free