Meet our fabulous authors, but first take a peek at our beautiful author showcase trailer produced by Avalon Graphics
Now meet Famous Five Plus members
Pauline Barclay - Years ago I gained a BA (Hons) degree from the Open University. Today I spend my time writing fiction. I have four books published: Sometimes It Happens... Magnolia House, Satchfield Hall and Storm Clouds Gathering.
I live in the Canary Isles with my husband and our two lovely rescue doggies who think they own us...!
I am also the person behind Famous Five Plus.
You can also catch up with me on my web site. http://www.paulinebarclay.co.uk/ or my Blog http://paulinembarclay.blogpot.com/
Gilli Allan - I was born in
I did not go to
Oxford or .
Instead, after leaving school at sixteen, with only 5 indifferent GCE passes, I
went to Cambridge .
(It may not have been one of the more prestigious schools of art, but Croydon fostered
the disparate talents of some notable alumni, including Ray Davies, Malcolm
McClaren and Mervyn Peake.) Croydon Art College
I did not work on any of the broadsheets, in television or publishing, but did a variety of jobs - shop assistant, beauty-consultant and barmaid. I also had a job which consisted of picking up American tourists and sending them on a free sightseeing tour of
culminated in lunch at the Hilton. The unsuspecting holidaymakers were then
subjected to an intense sales-pitch, selling London real estate. I was no good at this ‘commission
only’ job and, unsurprisingly, didn’t enjoy it.
I was very relieved when I eventually landed the job of my dreams,
working as an illustrator with an advertising design studio. I eventually went
I married and resumed writing while my son, Tom, was a toddler. My first ever completed novel, Just Before Dawn, was published less than 2 years after I finished the first draft. My second, Desires & Dreams, followed it onto the book shelves eight months later. But my publisher was new and it was small. It failed to achieve the required marketing push and wide distribution which would have given its authors - and itself - any real prospect of success. Though they were available in libraries, I never saw my novels in a book shop, other than in my own home town. The publisher ceased to trade after about five years.
My husband was head-hunted and I found myself living in Gloucestershire. Not only had I lost my support network of friends and family, I’d also lost my publisher, so I knuckled down and continued to write what I had always written, with the intention of finding a new publisher. But my books, which could be described as women’s contemporary relationship fiction, are unconventional, subversive and surprising. Though there is always a love story at their core, they never followed the current band-wagon (whatever it happened to be at the time), and they failed to spark any interest in publishers, or even literary agents. So, with the dawning of the new digital age, and specifically the birth of the Kindle, I decided to self-publish.
I have been a school governor, a contributor to local newspapers and was one of the initiators of the successful community shop in my village. Still a keen artist I regularly attend a weekly art class, design Christmas cards and have recently been commissioned to illustrate a children’s book - which tells the story of the Viking King, Harald Hardrada - to coincide with the Viking exhibition at the British Museum, in the spring of 2014.
She joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association and spent the next few years honing her craft. It was at an RNA Conference that she met Amanda Grange (Mr D’Arcy’s Diary) who was self publishing her back catalogue on Amazon -quite an innovation at the time. Mandy encouraged Lizzie to write from her heart and not to focus too overtly on what she ‘believed’ agents and publishers were looking for.
After some deliberation, Lizzie formed the New Romantics 4 with three other members of the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and went down the self-publishing route. It was the best decision she ever made. With help and encouragement from Mandy and the other three members of NR4 she finished Tall, Dark and Kilted and published it as a paperback and formatted it for kindle download on all amazon sites in November 2012.
Since then she has written and published Boot Camp Bride and has designated November 2013 her promotional month. Boot Camp Bride has won Lizzie a nomination in the New Talent Award at the forthcoming Festival of Romance. Watch this space !!
Chris Longmuir - was born in Wiltshire and now lives in Angus. Her family moved to Scotland when she was two. After leaving school at fifteen, Chris worked in shops, offices, mills and factories, and was a bus conductor for a spell, before working as a social worker for Angus Council (latterly serving as Assistant Principal Officer for Adoption and Fostering).
Chris is an award winning novelist and has published three novels in her Dundee Crime Series. Night Watcher, the first book in the series, won the Scottish Association of Writers’ Pitlochry Award, and the sequel, Dead Wood, won the Dundee International Book Prize, as well as the Pitlochry Award. Missing Believed Dead is the third book in the series.
Chris has recently published the first book in a new series set just after the First World War. This series features Kirsty Campbell, Dundee’s first policewoman.
Her crime novels are set in Dundee, Scotland, and have been described as scary, atmospheric, page turners. Chris also writes historical sagas, short stories and historical articles which have been published in America and Britain. Writing is like an addiction to me, Chris says, I go into withdrawals without it. She is currently working on a new Kirsty Campbell novel and a non-fiction book entitled Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution.
Chris is a member of the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers Association and the Scottish Association of Writers. She designed her own website and confesses to being a techno-geek who builds computers in her spare time.
Madalyn Morgan I have been an actress for more than thirty years working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television. I am also a radio presenter and journalist, writing articles for newspapers and magazines.
I was brought up in a busy working class pub in the market town of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live. There were so many wonderful characters to study and accents to learn. My parents wanted me to get a ‘proper job,’ which I did. I became a hairdresser, but at twenty-four I gave up my successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at E15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.
In 2000, with fewer parts available for older actresses, I taught myself to touch type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau, and started writing. I loved it. So, after living in London for thirty-six years, I came back to Lutterworth, swapping window boxes and a mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write.
I am currently writing the third novel in the Dudley Sister’s Saga. China Blue is Claire’s story. It’s a love story set in England and France, with the WAAF, SoE and French Resistance. Applause, my second novel (published March 2014), is set in London during the Blitz and sees the second Dudley sister, Margot, climb from usherette in a West End theatre to the leading lady. The first in the quartet, Foxden Acres, is Bess Dudley’s story. It is about the strength of women, letting go and moving on. Set in the Midlands it features the RAF and an army of land girls.
Foxden Acres and Applause are available on Amazon in paperback and e-book.
Tanya J Peterson - I am passionate about issues that involve mental illness and mental health/wellness for all people, so I write novels with themes involving the human experience of mental illness. I have a mental health blog (www.tanyajpeterson.com/blog), and I participate in events both off- and online to increase awareness and understanding and to end stigma. I’m active in my local NAMI chapter, and I give presentations and speak at conferences. I’m passionate about mental health because I have a unique combination of experiences that have put me on both sides of the proverbial couch. I have a Master of Science degree in counseling and am a nationally certified counselor. I've volunteered my services in schools and communities (I've also been a high school teacher) in order to help people help themselves. And I've been the recipient of help as a patient. After sustaining a traumatic brain injury after a car accident (and a couple other concussions in the months/years following that accident due to acts of stupidity and clumsiness), I was on an intense roller coaster ride that had me in and out of a behavioral health hospital. It was during this time that I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder. I've been there -- on both sides, helper and helpee. So armed with a desire to help people, to teach about the realities of mental health, and a love of writing, I've set out to combine these things. My most recent novel, Leave of Absence, became available in April, 2013. A new one, also dealing with mental illness, is already in the works.
I'm married and have two children, a daughter in high school and a son who's almost done with elementary school. We live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. I love the outdoors -- hiking, biking, tent camping, kayaking, and show shoeing. I often drag my family along on these adventures, but sometimes I enjoy quiet solitude. I also like attending symphony performances. Especially, though, I like quiet evenings at home with my family.
Eileen Schuh has published three novels in her young adult BackTracker series, THE TRAZ, FATAL ERROR and FIREWALLS. THE TRAZ is also available in a School Edition. As well, she has as an adult Science Fiction novella to her credit (SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT) and is planning the summer 2014 release of her second SciFi, DISPASSIONATE LIES.
In THE TRAZ, grieving and alone, thirteen-year-old Katrina Buckhold, experiences depression, illicit drugs, gangs and betrayal as she struggles to find somewhere to belong. In FATAL ERROR, she faces the social, legal and emotional consequences of her year in The Traz biker gang.
Katrina enters adulthood in FIREWALLS, scarred but determined. Despite her deepest desires, her intelligence and her spunk, she eventually realizes that in order to seize her future, she must deal with her Post Traumatic Stress. However, that turns out to be a very difficult task.
Having written the BackTracker novels to inspire teens and the adults in their lives, Schuh is pleased to have been invited to present her books to children in venues such as the North Slave Young Offenders Facility, the St. Paul Alternate Education Centre, and schools and libraries throughout North Eastern Alberta.
Although Schuh’s SciFis are written for adults, they also integrate the psychological drama that pervades her YA novels. SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT, with its tangled relationships, weaves intense emotion into the science of multi-universes. Two worlds, two lives—too much for one woman.
Her soon-to-be-released near-future tale DISPASSIONATE LIES explores female sexual against a backdrop of high-tech science, governmental and pharmaceutical conspiracies, espionage, and perhaps even murder.
Schuh, born Eileen Fairbrother in Tofield, Alberta lives in Canada’s northern boreal forests and draws her inspiration from the wilderness, her grandchildren, family, and friends, and her adopted community of St. Paul, Alberta.
I live with my lovely husband, who I've been with since I was just 16. You could call us childhood sweethearts. We've no kids but plenty of cats and dogs (and my husband would say bikes and cars too...yes, he's a bit obsessed with anything with an engine!). My books todate are Raven, December Moon & The Lost Soul