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
Gary Cockaday was born in Cromer, Norfolk, and for many years worked in banking. More recently he ran a sportswear company in Norfolk, retiring three years ago and giving the business to his two sons.
In his spare time he took up writing and amateur dramatics, and his short play Somebody's Daughter won best original script at NODA East some 20 years ago. His new book Full Circle has been a work in progress for 25 years, gathering dust until 2020, but is now complete and will be published by Hobart Books in the summer of 2022.
He lives in Dereham with his wife, sharing five children between them, and when not writing is to be found playing walking football. He has played for Norwich City FC for four seasons, the team he has supported his entire life. At the age of 61 he represented England in the sport’s first World Cup, later winning a second cap for England in their victory against the world champions, Wales.
Books: Full Circle (forthcoming)
Born and briefly raised in London before being emigrated to America, Robert lived first in Dayton, Ohio, then San Diego, California, before the Cohen family re-crossed the 'pond', and he did the rest of his upgrowing in Eastbourne. He studied at the University of East Anglia and now lives in the city of Brighton & Hove. He’s married to the actress and improviser Jenny Rowe.
As an actor he has performed on stage at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Rialto Theatre, Brighton and on the BBC in the sitcom Ideal.
He has written and performed five one-man shows and two plays, including The Ragged Regiment, winner of the Constance Cox Playwriting Prize.
Books: Architecture For Beginners (forthcoming)
Dr Victoria L. Humphreys is a novelist, poet, and writer of both print and digital stories. She completed her doctoral thesis in English and Creative Writing at the University of Southampton writing on World War Two narratives and the psychosocial mechanisms of intergenerational trauma. She has studied at the University of Ulster, the University of Surrey, and The Moscow State Institute for International Relations. In addition to wielding the pen, Victoria works as a battlefield guide covering the SOE in Paris, and the life and works of writers killed in France during the two world wars. In the past, Victoria has been a detective, a lecturer, and a private investigator. She was a finalist in the Sozopol Global Fiction Seminars for a chapter of her forthcoming novel, The Other Way. She is also the author of Not the Work of an Ordinary Boy (Stairwell Books, 2023). Born in Surrey, she has lived in Northern Ireland, Canada and Russia, but currently lives in Dorset with her husband, two children and pug.
Victoria co-presents ‘History with Humphreys and Reed’ on YouTube. She can also be found on Twitter: @drtorhumphreys
Books: The Other Way (forthcoming)
Thomas Meyer (writing as Tom Williams) was born in Northamptonshire. He is a retired Chartered Surveyor and, in his career, managed to visit most parts of the United Kingdom.
Military aviation and researching the history of abandoned airfields has been a lifelong interest. In 1992 he obtained a private pilot’s licence. He is married and lives with his wife and two dogs with frequent visits from his two sons and four grandchildren.
He has nurtured a particular storyline for a number of years and retirement has enabled him to fulfil the ambition by writing his first novel ‘Fightback’.
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.
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 published 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