Qiu Xiaolong (pronounced 'Joe Shau-long') was born in Shanghai. The Cultural Revolution began in his last year of elementary school, and out of school, out of job, he studied English by himself in a local park. In 1977, he began his studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai, and then the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing. After graduation, he worked at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences as an associate research professor, published poems, translations and criticism, and became a member of the Chinese Writers' Association. In 1988, he came to Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. as a Ford foundation fellow to do a project on Eliot, but after the Tiananmen tragedy of 1989, he decided to stay on. He then obtained a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University and taught there. Having won several awards for his poetry in English, he moved on to write a novel about contemporary Chinese society in transition, which developed into the critically acclaimed, award-winning Inspector Chen series. The series has been translated into sixteen languages. In addition, Qiu Xiaolong has published a poetry collection, several poetry translations, and a collection of linked stories (also serialized in Le Monde). He lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.
Herman Wouk is the author of The Caine Mutiny, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Winds of War, War and Remembrance, and Inside, Outside. His latest novel is The Lawgiver, a romantic comedy about the seeming impossibility of making a movie about the life of Moses. Born in the Bronx in 1915, he has lived in Manhattan, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC. He now resides in Palm Springs, California.
Saul was born in London at some point during the 1970s. Saul's early years were noteworthy for his ability to run fast, an obsessive interest in cricket and the early signs of the chronic snoring that was to dog his later years.At university he acquired a reputation for being half-Jewish, and a penchant for donner meat with chips extra chilli sauce please. After uni he moved to Brighton to busk for a living, much to the almighty chagrin of his father.Since then Saul has spent an impressive amount of his adult life in gainful employment, and an equally impressive amount in the bath. He has been a freelance journalist since 2005 which means more time for baths again.Recently he has written features for the Guardian, sketches for the BBC and regular columns for Metro, Square Mile and the Ham & High.Follow his alter ego Alan Stoob on twitter @NaziHunterAlan An exclusive interview with Alan StoobHow did you start hunting Nazis? I was clearing my desk after 30 years with the Bedfordshire Constabulary and about to retire to Bournemouth when the phone rang and Simon Wiesenthal asked me to hunt Nazis in Bedfordshire. So I did that instead. It's strange that there seem to be so many in Bedfordshire. Why is that? People often ask me that, Amazon. It's all to do with the underground ratline that connects Bremen to Biggleswade and that has resulted in hundreds of elderly Nazis flooding the local area. Bedfordshire is the new South America, Dunstable its Paraguay. How did the book come about and what can readers look forward to in it? I always keep a diary. That way I'm able to keep track of Nazis I've hunted, videos I've lent out and such like. When esteemed publisher Hodder & Stoughton caught wind of my work as Britain's Premier Nazi HunterT and asked if I'd like to write a book I was immensely flattered - until I asked them about an advance (they said I'd have to pay THEM). So instead I sent them my diary from 2012.Describe an average day in the life of Alan Stoob.For security reasons I am unable to do that.Who is your top scalp in terms of Nazis? Top scalp would have to be evil Heinrich Schlump, the Plasterer of Paris - though Alois Purloin, the Muppet of Manheim, runs him a close second. Are there any at large?Of course. Clearly you haven't visited Biggleswade on market day. What is the best weapon against Nazis?The truth. In the book's character list, you make the distinction between 'Good Nazis' and 'Bad Nazis'. Talk us through that. Many of us have joined clubs, only to regret it later. I myself was once vice-president of the Dunstable Bowling Association until I recognised the sheer evil that lurked beneath the surface. That doesn't make me a bad person. The publication of Alan Stoob: Nazi Hunter will probably inspire others to follow in your footsteps. What are your top tips for beginners? Back off - this is my territory. Has your wife read the book? Indeed she has. She doesn't like the bits about her affair with late Henry Cooper, nor for that matter the passages that reference my fling with 1987 Businesswoman of the Year, Deborah Meaden. But overall she said it had her "gripped like a trout" (she's Dutch). What next for Alan Stoob? A bath, two episodes of Bergerac then bed.
Sally Worboyes was born and grew up in Stepney with four brothers and a sister, and she brings some of the raw history of her own family background to her East End sagas. She now lives in Norfolk with her husband, with whom she has three grown-up children. She has written several plays which have been broadcast on Anglia Television and Radio Four. She also adapted her own play and novel, WILD HOPS, as a musical, The Hop Pickers.
Daniel Woodrell was born in the Missouri Ozarks, where he still lives. He left school and enlisted in the Marines the week he turned seventeen, and received his BA at the age of twenty-seven. He also has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is the author of eight novels including Winter's Bone, the film of which was nominated for four Oscars in 2011, Woe to Live On, the basis for the film Ride with the Devil directed by Ang Lee, and Tomato Red, which won the PEN West Award for fiction in 1999. Five of his novels have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the year. His most recent novel was The Maid's Version, published by Sceptre in 2013.
David Wishart studied Classics at Edinburgh University. He then taught Latin and Greek in school for four years and after this retrained as a teacher of EFL. He lived and worked abroad for eleven years, working in Kuwait, Greece and Saudi Arabia, and now lives with his wife and family in Scotland.
Jacqueline Winspear is the creator of the New York Times and National Bestselling series featuring psychologist and investigator, Maisie Dobbs. Her first novel - Maisie Dobbs - received numerous award nominations, including the Edgar Award for Best Novel and the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. It was a New York Times Notable Book and a Publisher's Weekly Top Ten Pick. Since that time, Jacqueline's work has received many award nominations, and she has received the Agatha Award twice, the Macavity Award, the Alex Award, the Sue Feder Award for Best Historical Novel and the Bruce Alexander Award for Best Historical Novel. Her 'standalone' novel set in WW1, The Care and Management of Lies, was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in 2015.
Andrew Williams worked as a senior producer for the BBC's flagship Panorama and Newsnight programmes, and as a writer and director of history documentaries. He is the author of two bestselling non-fiction books, The Battle of the Atlantic and D-day to Berlin, and four acclaimed novels, The Interrogator, (shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Silver Dagger Award and the Ellis Peters Award), To Kill a Tsar, (shortlisted for the Ellis Peters Award and the Walter Scott Prize), The Poison Tide and The Suicide Club. You can find out more about Andrew Williams and his writing at www.andrewwilliams.tv and www.hodder.co.uk, and you can follow him on twitter at @AWilliamswriter or on Facebook.
Adam Williams, whose family has lived in China since the late nineteenth century, was born and raised in Hong Kong. For the last eighteen years he has been representative in Beijing of a Far East trading conglomerate. In 1999 he received an OBE for services to Sino-British trade. Adam lives in China and Italy and has three children. To find out more, visit Adam's website www.adam-williams.net or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/_AdamWilliams.
The Irish born Wilde, in 1871, attended Trinity College, Dublin; there he won a Berkeley Gold Medal for Greek, and was elected to a Queen's Scholarship. He went on to Oxford taking a scholarship at Magdalen. Writing plays, he captured a wide audience in England; his dialogue was marked with skill and ingenuity. He was a homosexual, and was tried and found "guilty" of it, and spent two years in prison at hard labour on account of it. In what turned out to be a very celebrated case, Wilde brought an abortive legal action in 1895 against the Marquis of Queensberry (Queensberry had objected to Wilde's association with his son Lord Alfred Douglas). He was exiled to Paris, there to die a broken man.
Matt Whyman has written novels and non-fiction for children and young adults, including the critically acclaimed Boy Kills Man. He also writes regularly for Bliss and Marie Claire magazine. Matt is married with four children and lives in West Sussex, England.
Zoe Whittall is the author of The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (2001), The Emily Valentine Poems (2006), and Precordial Thump (2008), and the editor of Geeks, Misfits, & Outlaws (2003). Her debut novel Bottle Rocket Hearts (2007) made the Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year and CBC Canada Reads' Top Ten Essential Novels of the Decade. Her second novel Holding Still for as Long as Possible (2009) won a Lambda Literary Award and was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. Her writing has appeared in the Walrus, the Believer, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Fashion, and more. She has also worked as a writer and story editor on the TV shows Degrassi and Schitt's Creek. Born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, she has an MFA from the University of Guelph and lives in Toronto.
Phyllis A. Whitney is one of the best-known writers of classic suspense in the world all her novels hitting the top 10 bestseller lists in the US. She was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and received the Agatha Award from Malice Domestic - both awards for lifetime achievement.
Barbara Whitnell spent many years in Africa, the West Indies and Hong Kong. She now divides her time between Cornwall and London. She and her husband have four grown-up children and six grand-children.
Tony White is the author of novels including Foxy-T (Faber and Faber) and Shackleton's Man Goes South (Science Museum). He has edited the short story anthologies Britpulp (Sceptre) and - with Matt Thorne and Borivoj Radakovic - Croatian Nights (Serpent's Tail). Other recent works include the novellas Missorts Volume II (Situations), and Dicky Star and the Garden Rule (Forma) which was commissioned alongside new works by the artists Jane and Louise Wilson to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. A former writer in residence at the Science Museum and Leverhulme Trust writer in residence at UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, White is currently a visiting research fellow at King's College London. Tony White lives and works in London where he is chair of London's art radio station Resonance 104.4fm.
Oli White is a 21-year-old British vlogger who creates quirky comedy entertainment videos, ranging in content from celebrity interviews and challenges to collaborations with fellow vloggers. Oli started making videos in 2012 and his vlogs across his three YouTube channels, OliWhiteTV, OliWhiteVlogs and OliWhiteGames, are watched by millions of viewers every month. Originally from Hertfordshire, Oli now lives in London.
Mary Wesley was born in Berkshire. She wrote two children's books before publishing her first adult novel in 1983 at the age of 70. Since then she has produced a succession of books dealing with middle-class mores, each written with ironic, detached amusement, and taking an unblinered, though compassionate look at sexual values. One of the best known is The Camomile Lawn, which considers sexual and emotional relationships in the turmoil of World War II. It, like several of her novels has been made into a television series.
Patricia Wentworth was born in Uttarakhand, India but as a young girl moved to London to study at Blackheath High School for Girls. After writing several romances she turned her hand to crime fiction. She wrote dozens of bestselling mysteries before her death in 1961, and is recognised as one of the mistresses of classic crime fiction.
Louise Wener was born and raised in Ilford, East London. In the mid nineties, after years of singing into hair brushes and working in dead end jobs, she found fame as lead singer with the pop band Sleeper and went on to record three top ten albums and eight top forty singles. She is now a full time author and mother of two.
Louise Welsh is the author of eight novels including The Cutting Room, A Lovely Way to Burn and Death is a Welcome Guest. She has received numerous awards and international fellowships, including an Honorary Doctor of Arts from Edinburgh Napier University and an honorary fellowship from the University of Iowa's International Writing Program. Louise Welsh is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow.