Jordan Belfort was born in Queens, New York. He hustled ices to put himself through college, showing early entrepreneurial flair. His first business sent him bankrupt at twenty-four so he went down to Wall St with $100 in his pocket and ended up building one of the largest brokerages in America - the now infamous Stratton Oakmont. A hard partying lifestyle ended in crash and burn. Ultimately indicted by the federal government, Belfort served twenty-two months in prison, and time in rehab. He's now a highly successful motivational speaker.His story has been made into a Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese.He is currently living in Los Angeles.
Writer and educator Cynthia Bond has taught writing to homeless and at-risk youth throughout Los Angeles for over fifteen years.She attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, then moved to New York and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Cynthia acted for many years in New York with the Negro Ensemble Company. A PEN Rosenthal Fellow, Cynthia founded the Blackbird Writing Collective in 2011.At present, Bond teaches therapeutic writing at Paradigm Malibu Adolescent Treatment Center. A native of East Texas, she lives in Los Angeles with her daughter.Ruby, an Oprah Book Club 2.0 pick, is her first novel and it was shortlisted for the 2016 Baileys' Women's Fiction prize.cynthiabond.comfacebook.com/cynthiabondrubytwitter.com/cynthiabond
Helen Brown is a New Zealander living in Melbourne. She wrote Cleo to tell the story of the family cat chosen by her son who was tragically killed shortly after in a road accident. Cleo lived to be 24 and was an honoured family member. Cleo was sold in numerous international territories, becoming a bestseller in the UK, US, France, Australia and New Zealand. It provoked an enormous response from readers desperate to know what happened next. Helen's follow-up book titled After Cleo is available in paperback and ebook. The film based on Cleo is currently in pre-production. Website: www.helenbrown.com.au
Anne Buist is chair of Women's Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and author of the psychological thrillers, Medea's Curse, Dangerous to Know and This I Would Kill For. annebuist.comfacebook.com/anneebuist@anneebuist