Related to: 'The Owl at the Window'

11 literary debuts chosen by Waterstones to champion in 2013

Gavin Extence picked for Waterstones 11

Waterstones 11 pick "quirky" novel The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

Ali Knight

Ali Knight has worked as a journalist and sub-editor at the BBC, Guardian and Observer and helped to launch some of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard's most successful websites. She lives with her family in London.Visit Ali's website to find out more about her and her psychological thrillers at www.aliknight.co.uk and follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/aliknightauthor.

Andy Jones

In one form or another, Andy has always been a writer. At school, he passed notes in class and scribbled rude words on lampposts. At University, he wrote a PhD in biochemistry and forged tickets to various balls. And as an advertising copywriter, has written commercials for everything from baby food to booze. But it wasn't until he was well into his thirties that Andy stared writing fiction. If he could write a letter his younger self, it would urge him to stop messing about and get on with it. FOUR is his fourth novel, but should probably be his tenth. Find Andy on Twitter and Instagram @andyjonesauthor, and Facebook /andyjonesauthor.

Ann Bracken

Ann Bracken is currently a Fertility Counsellor & Psychotherapist at world-renowned London fertility clinic, The Lister Fertility Clinic, which is part of The Lister Hospital. She previously worked as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and Fertility Counsellor in SIMS IVF (2011-14), Ireland's largest fertility clinic, and has had many years' experience working within national health settings (UK and Ireland) as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist (CBT) and Mindfulness-Based Therapist. Ann qualified at Harvard University in Mind/Body Programme Training (specific to fertility support) under world-renowned psychologist and Mind/Body Programme pioneer, Dr Alice Domar, who is Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF, and is contributing a foreword to this book. Ann also runs an international online Fertility Counselling and Psychotherapy service at www.fertilitycounsellingonline.com

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly to see her family and do research, something she loves. She is addicted to writing and figures she'll have to live to be 120 at least to tell all the stories that keep popping up in her imagination and nagging her to write them down. She's also addicted to her own hero, to whom she's been happily married for many years.She is the bestselling author of over eighty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards, and Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006.You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

Carla Naumburg

Carla Naumburg, PHD is a clinical social worker, parent coach and author. Her writing has appeared in print and online publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.Carla has presented at Google on three separate occasions, and has spoken at a number of national and local social work, education, parenting, and mindfulness conferences. She is frequently contacted as an expert source for articles, podcasts, and virtual summits on mindfulness and parenting.

Chrissie Manby

Chrissie Manby is the author of twenty five romantic comedies including A PROPER FAMILY HOLIDAY, THE MATCHBREAKER and SEVEN SUNNY DAYS. She has had several Sunday Times bestsellers and her novel about behaving badly after a break-up, GETTING OVER MR RIGHT, was nominated for the 2011 Melissa Nathan Award. Chrissie was raised in Gloucester, in the west of England, and now lives in London. Contrary to the popular conception of chick-lit writers, she is such a bad home-baker that her own father threatened to put her last creation on www.cakewrecks.com. She is, however, partial to white wine and shoes she can't walk in. You can follow her on Twitter @chrissiemanby, or visit her website www.chrissiemanby.co.uk to find out more.

David Nicholls

David Nicholls is the bestselling author of US, ONE DAY, STARTER FOR TEN and THE UNDERSTUDY. His novels have sold over 8 million copies worldwide and are published in forty languages. David's fifth novel, SWEET SORROW, will be published by Hodder in July 2019. David trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. He is an award-winning screenwriter, with TV credits including the third series of Cold Feet, a much-praised modern version of Much Ado About Nothing, The 7.39 and an adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. David wrote the screenplays for Great Expectations (2012) and Far from the Madding Crowd (2015, starring Carey Mulligan). He has twice been BAFTA nominated and his recent adaptation of Patrick Melrose from the novels by Edward St Aubyn won him an Emmy nomination. His bestselling first novel, STARTER FOR TEN, was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club in 2004, and in 2006 David went on to write the screenplay of the film version.His third novel, ONE DAY, was published in 2009 to extraordinary critical acclaim, and stayed in the Sunday Times top ten bestseller list for ten weeks on publication. ONE DAY won the 2010 Galaxy Book of the Year Award. David's fourth novel, US, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014 and was another no. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. In 2014, he was named Author of the Year at the National Book Awards.

Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand grew up in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching/writing fellow. She now lives with her husband and their three children on Nantucket, Massachusetts, where her novels are set.You can follow Elin on Twitter @elinhilderbrand or find out more on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/ElinHilderbrand.

Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence lives in Sheffield with his wife and children. He has written two previous novels, the Richard and Judy bestseller, THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS and THE MIRROR WORLD OF MELODY BLACK, which was described as 'a cross between Bridget Jones' Diary and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' by a Simon Mayo Book Club reviewer.

Henry Blofeld

Henry began writing about cricket, for The Times, in May 1962 and in 1972 he started his long career as a commentator with the BBC's Test Match Special. During his career he has written for numerous papers and broadcast for both radio and television for many networks around the world especially in Australia and New Zealand. Between 1991 and 1993 he joined Sky Television before returning to Test Match Special after the death of Brian Johnston early in 1994. Since 2002 Henry Blofeld has performed in his humorous one-man show in theatres all round the country, and later he teamed up with his former TMS producer, Peter Baxter, for more than 250 two-man shows. He also had a successful partnership with England Spin Bowler, Graeme Swann. Henry now tours the country with his one man show.

Henry Normal

Henry Normal is an English comedian, television producer, poet and writer. He co-wrote The Royle Family, The Mrs Merton Show, Paul and Pauline Calf's Video Diaries, Coogan's Run, The Tony Ferrino Phenomenon, Dr Terrible's House of Horrible and The Parole Officer. He is Managing Director of Baby Cow Productions Ltd, which he set up with Steve Coogan, responsible for bringing The Mighty Boosh and Gavin and Stacey to the screen, amongst many others.

Jessica Thompson

Jessica Thompson is an author living in London.Born in Yorkshire in the late eighties, she then lived in France and Kent, before moving to the big city she loves so much.Her very first 'novel', written in her early teens, is so old it was stored on a floppy disc. She spent most of her childhood reading her latest poems and stories to her long-suffering but inspirational parents, who encouraged her to continue sharpening her skills as a writer.This passion for writing continued and flourished, and she eventually trained to become a reporter with the National Council for the Training of Journalists. She was a reporter for two major newspaper groups for six years, before working in charity communications and digital marketing while writing novels.Jessica loves singing, running, eating out and spending time with friends. She is currently studying with the Open University.To find out more you can visit Jessica's website http://jessicathompsonbooks.com/, her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-Thompson-books/251309534929956?fref=ts or follow her on twitter @Jthompsonauthor

John Mole

John Mole has been at home in Greece for thirty years. "Like Odysseus making his legendary way home to his birthplace Ithaca, the island of Evia was the goal of my life's journey. It was better than Birmingham." He has had a varied international career, from banking in the USA and Athens to jacket potato restaurants in Russia. Meanwhile, he published comic novels and management books, including the perennial bestseller 'Mind Your Manners'.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is the bestselling author of more than 100 inspirational books, including The Power of Simple Prayer, Approval Addiction, Power Thoughts and Battlefield of the Mind. Joyce's 'Enjoying Everyday Life' radio and television programmes are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Juliet Grames

Juliet Grames was born outside of Hartford, Connecticut, into a tight-knit Italian-American family. She attended Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history from Columbia College. For the last fifteen years she has worked in book publishing, and is currently Associate Publisher at Soho Press, where she edits literary fiction, crime fiction, and literature in translation. She lives in Brooklyn.

Lorna Byrne

Lorna Byrne has been seeing and talking to angels since she was a baby. Now that her family is raised she talks openly about what she has learned. She lives quietly in rural Ireland. She is the author of the international bestsellers Angels in My Hair, Stairways to Heaven, A Message of Hope from the Angels and Love From Heaven. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. For more information, visit www.lornabyrne.com or follow Lorna on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lornabyrneangels

Mary Jane Grant

Mary Jane Grant is an experienced writer, a professor of creative thinking, a consultant in marketing, and a student of mindfulness. She divides her time between London and Toronto.

Nicky Gumbel

Nicky Gumbel is the pioneer of Alpha. Alpha is an international organisation that runs the Alpha Course which is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Nicky read law at Cambridge and theology at Oxford, practised as a barrister and is now vicar of HTB in London.@nickygumbel

Pam Ayres

It's over 30 years since Pam first appeared on the TV talent show 'Opportunity Knocks', and since then her comic poems have contributed enormously to the wider appeal today of all forms of poetry. Many of Pam's poems feature in anthologies used in schools around the world. She's been a regular on TV and Radio over the years - on BBC Radio 2 with her own series, The Comedy Quiz, Pam Ayres' Sunday Afternoon and Pam Ayres' Open Road, and on Radio 4 in Just A Minute, That Reminds Me, The Right Time, Wireless Wise, and her own recent Radio 4 series Ayres On The Air. She was awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 2004.

Peter Allison

Only 19 when he left Australia, Peter Allison arrived in Africa thinking he'd have a short holiday before going home to a 'proper job'. But Peter ended up falling in love with the continent and its wildlife, and after a few years was hired by Southern Africa's largest safari operator to train all their experts; over a decade later, his short holiday in Africa still isn't over.