2014 Festival: authors

See below for a summary or use the pull down menu on the Author tab for more detailed biographies and a photo of each individual author.

MATT BIGGS

small photo of Matt BiggsGardeners’ Tea Time

Matt Biggs is best known for his appearances on the long running BBC Radio 4 programme Gardeners’ Question Time. He has been a professional gardener for over 20 years, since studying at Pershore College of Horticulture and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Read more …

 

 

LIONEL BIRNIE

small photo of Lionel BirnieSo You Want to Publish Your Own Book?

Lionel is a journalist, author and publisher who specialises in books on cycling. He ghosted cycling track legend Rob Hayles’s memoir Easy Rider: My Life on a Bike but has published a number of books independently through his own Peloton Publishing company. Read more …

 

 

STEVE CLARIDGE

This Sporting Life

Steve Claridge has experienced life at every level of football, from non-league Weymouth to scoring the last-minute winner in a Wembley play-off in 1996 to help Leicester City reach the promised land of the Premier League and lift the League Cup with the Foxes a year later. Read more …

DAWN FINCH

photo of Dawn FinchBrotherhood In the Belfry

Dawn grew up on a London overspill council estate and spent much of her childhood escaping by reading books from local libraries. When the careers officer asked her at the age of 12 what she wanted to do she replied “a writer and a librarian”. Read more …

 

 

MARK HALSEY

photo of Mark HalseyThis Sporting Life

Mark Halsey was the longest-serving full-time professional referee in the English game when he retired at the end of the 2012-13 season after a 20-year career that included a remarkable 14 years in the Premier League. Read more …

 

 

SUE HAMPTON

photo of Sue HamptonWriters’ Workshop

Sue Hampton worked as a teacher before pursuing a career in writing. Her first children’s book Spirit and Fire was published in 2007 and she has gone on to write 18 books aimed at 9-15 year-olds including Shutdown, Just for One Day and the Waterhouse Girl. Read more …

 

 

CLIVE HAYWARD

photo of Clive HaywardStart the Day with a Story

Clive trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His theatre work has involved numerous West End appearances including Ted Punch in Ducktastic! directed by Kenneth Branagh at the Albery; Friar Francis alongside David Tennant in Much Ado About Nothing at Wyndhams and Bernard Woolley in Yes Prime Minister at the Trafalgar Studios. Read more …

 

PETE JOHNSON

photo of Pete JohnsonHow to Train Your Parents

Pete was inspired to be a children’s writer after reading 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith at the age of nine – and penning a letter to her. With a village pub called The Spotted Dog he should be at home in Flamstead for Books in the Belfry. Read more …

 

 

JOHN MOLE

photo of John MolePoetry Please

Poet John Mole has won several prizes, including an Eric Gregory Award, the Cholmondeley Award, and the Signal Award for children’s poetry. He has been writer in residence at Magdalene College, Cambridge and resident poet for Poet in the City since its inception in 1998. Read more …

 

 

CLARE MULLEY

photo of Clare MulleyThe Spy Who Loved.

Clare Mulley is the award-winning author of two biographies, The Spy Who Loved, which uncovers the hidden life of Christine Granville, Britain’s first female special agent of the Second World War, and The Woman Who Saved the Children, which explores the life of Eglantyne Jebb, the controversial founder of Save the Children. Read more …

 

VIKKI ORVICE

photo of Vikki OrviceIn Conversation

Vikki Orvice has been a journalist for 29 years, the last 23 spent on national newspapers including The Observer and The Daily Mail. In 1995 she joined The Sun as a staff football writer, the first female appointment of its kind by a tabloid in this country. Read more …

 

 

TONY PARSONS

photo of Tony ParsonsIn Conversation

Tony Parsons is a journalist, broadcaster and author who began his career on the New Musical Express, writing about punk rock. He is renowned for his best-selling novels on the trials and tribulations of modern life, notably the multi-million selling Man and Boy, which won the Book of the Year prize in 2001. Read more …

 

 

IAN RIDLEY

photo of RidleySo You Want to Publish Your Own Book?
This Sporting Life

Ian Ridley is the author of 10 football books, including the number one best-selling Addicted with former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams, which was nominated for the William Hill Sports book of the Year, and Tales from the Boot Camps with Steve Claridge. Read more …

 

AMANDA SMITH

photo of Amanda SmithSo You Want to Publish Your Own Book?

Amanda is a former model who was forced to self-publish Toxic No More after first receiving a six-figure advance from a major publishing house only to then find herself locked in a lengthy court battle when they then changed their mind. Read more …

 

 

JONATHAN STROUD

photo of Jonathan StroudGhostbusters

Jonathan is the author of the best-selling Bartimaeus Trilogy and his new series Lockwood and Co. Born in Bedford he grew up in St Albans but, between the ages of seven and nine, was often ill and spent most of his days in the hospital or in his bed at home. Read more …

 

 

LAURA TRINDER

photo of Laura TrinderMake Your Own Book

Laura studied Fine Art at university where she claims she was pretty much discouraged from drawing. Now a children’s illustrator she founded Improper Books in 2009, a comic and graphic novel imprint that focuses on Gothic stories and fairy-tales. Read more …

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