Matthew d'Ancona is the Editor of the Spectator. He contributes regularly to several other publications and makes frequent radio and television appearances. He appeared in Prospect's list of Britain's 100 most influential intellectuals, as reported in the Independent (23 June 2004).
Lucy Daniels is the author of the bestselling children's book series, Animal Ark, which have sold nearly 3 million copies in the UK alone, and more recently, the Animal Ark Revisited series for adults. Lucy Daniels is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of celebrated author Victoria Holmes and real-life vet, Sarah McGurk. Victoria Holmes grew up on a farm surrounded by animals, and started writing at a young age. After studying English at the University of Oxford, Vicky worked with horses for a year before becoming an English teacher, then moved on to become an editor at Working Partners in London. Over the past two decades, Vicky has been the creator and editor of dozens of well-known series, including Animal Ark, Heartland, Rainbow Magic, Puppy Patrol, Chestnut Hill and, most famously, Warrior Cats. As the creator, editor and, later, author, of the Warrior Cats books, Vicky has travelled around the world to meet fans, appeared in numerous TV and radio interviews, and had a tiny taste of the celebrity lifestyle. She is still happiest at home in her medieval thatched cottage in the Somerset countryside, with her beloved horse Nick for company.Sarah McGurk grew up in the Yorkshire Dales, and was inspired by James Herriot to become a veterinary surgeon some thirty years ago. A few years after she qualified, Sarah realised she wanted to follow him further, into the world of veterinary writing. She began with short stories, then longer works of fiction, related to her work in general practice and in emergency and critical care. Her special interests include anaesthesia and pain relief, and low-stress techniques in small animal handling. Sarah currently lives in Norway, where she works in a local veterinary practice and speaks Norwegian fluently.Currently, Vicky and Sarah collaborate on the Animal Ark Revisited series, returning to the beloved setting of Welford and favourite characters from the original children's books. The first Animal Ark Revisited novel, Summer at Hope Meadows, picks up the story again with Mandy now in her twenties and working as a qualified vet. Full of countryside-charm and plenty of pet rescues, the Animal Ark Revisited series will capture the hearts of original readers of the series, as well as new readers looking for romantic escapism in a small village veterinary surgery.
Thirty-two year old Olivia Darling was born and raised in Cornwall. At the age of eighteen she fell in lust with an Italian art student in St Ives and ran away to Tuscany in hot pursuit of him. The love affair didn't last but Olivia's sojourn in Montepulciano inspired a much more enduring passion for Vino Nobile. She divides her time between Tuscany and London, where she writes her novels of sex, love and luxury.
Martin Davies grew up in North West England. All his writing is done in cafes, on buses or on tube trains, and an aversion to laptops means that he always works in longhand. He has travelled widely, including in the Middle East and India, and substantial parts of THE UNICORN ROAD were written while travelling through Sicily. He works as a consultant in the broadcasting industry.Translation rights in Martin's books have now been sold in Germany, Sweden, Poland, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Korea, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Holland.
Peter Ho Davies
One of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists, Peter Ho Davies is the author of the bestselling novel The Welsh Girl and the story collections The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love. The Welsh Girl, a Richard and Judy Book Club selection was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the IMPAC International Literary Award; The Ugliest House in the World won the John Llewelyn Rhys and PEN/Macmillan prizes; Equal Love, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Asian American Literary Award. Davies is also a recipient of the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts in the US, where his work has appeared in Harpers, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review and been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, Davies now makes his home in the US where he teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Jonathan Davies is the author of three previous novels (all published by Hodder). He is a criminal barrister and Crown Court Recorder with chambers in the Middle Temple. He lives in South London.
Sarah De Carvalho
In 1992 Sarah de Carvalho left her glittering, well-paid media career in London to live and work amongst the street children of Rio de Janeiro's slums. Sarah founded the Happy Child Mission which is dedicated to providing physical, educational and spiritual care for street children. Today, Happy Child runs 9 homes in two major cities in Brazil and has rescued, rehabilitated and reintegrated over 7500 children.
Miguel De Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra lived an unsettled life of hardship and adventure. After studying in Madrid (1568-69), he took part in the sea battle at Lepanto (1571) and in 1575 he was captured by pirates. Cervantes spent five years as a slave until his family could raise enough money to pay his ransom. His first play, LOS TRATOS DE ARGEL (1580), was based on his experiences as a Moorish captive. During the next 20 years he led a nomadic existence, also working as a purchasing agent for the Spanish Armada and a tax collector. He suffered a bankruptcy and was imprisoned at least twice, and wrote DON QUIXOTE in prison.
Jeffery Deaver is the award-winning author of three collections of short stories and 32 internationally bestselling novels, including the 2011 James Bond novel Carte Blanche. He is best known for his Lincoln Rhyme thrillers, which include the number one bestsellers The Vanished Man, The Twelfth Card and The Cold Moon, as well as The Bone Collector which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. The first Kathryn Dance novel, The Sleeping Doll, was published in 2007 to enormous acclaim. A three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader's Award for Best Short Story of the year, he has been nominated for an Anthony Award and six Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. He won the WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award in 2001 and in 2004 won the Crime Writers' Association Steel Dagger for Best Thriller with Garden of Beasts, and their Short Story Dagger for The Weekender from Twisted. Jeffery Deaver lives in North Carolina and California. Visit his website, www.jefferydeaver.com, Facebook page, www.facebook.com/JefferyDeaver, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JefferyDeaver.
Daniel Defoe's cutting works of satire are as well-loved today as they ever were.
Eric Delve is vicar of St Luke's Maidstone, Kent and runs the Detling Festival. He travels extensively, speaking in churches and at conferences, and at Echoes in Eternity events around the country.
Charles Dickens, whose pen name was Boz, is regarded by many as one of the world's greatest authors. His father, a navy clerk, was - like the fathers in many of Dickens' novels - constantly in and out of debtor's prison, and Dickens was sent to work in a blacking factory at the age of twelve. His parents' failure to educate him was a source of great bitterness to him, and he reacted to this indifference by working incredibly hard for his entire life. Beginning as an office boy in a lawyer's office, in time he became a parliamentary reporter and then a journalist. He wrote The Pickwick Papers at the age of twenty-four, and captured the popular imagination in a way no other novelist had done previously. He continued writing and reading his works in public until his sudden death in 1870.
Robert Douglas retired, aged fifty-five, in 1994. He intended to paint, write short stories and lie about the house watching old films. A one-off article he wrote about six weeks spent with a condemned man in Bristol prison led to him being told 'You should write.'His first book - the bestselling NIGHT SONG OF THE LAST TRAM - is centred around his Glasgow childhood and became the first book in the popular trilogy detailing his life as a miner, dock worker, doss-house resident, soldier, prison screw - and survivor.He hasn't painted for years.
Roma Downey is an actress, singer and producer from Derry, Northern Ireland. She is best known as Tess's angel/employee in the successful American TV series Touched by an Angel. She is married to television producer Mark Burnett.
Daphne Du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London and educated at home and in Paris. She lived most of her life in her beloved Cornwall, the setting for most of her novels.
Emily is the founder of cliterati.co.uk, the UK's original female-focussed erotica site. She has had 27 books published internationally, including two fundraising erotica anthologies for Macmillan Cancer Support. She has written for titles including Glamour, Psychology Tomorrow, the Sunday Mirror and Cosmopolitan.
Jessica Duchen was born in London and grew up with music and writing as twin passions. She has written for publications including The Independent and BBC Music Magazine and as a music journalist has interviewed most of today's greatest musicians. Her books include biographies of the composers Gabriel Fauré and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. As a pianist she plays in a duo with her violinist husband. They live in south-west London.