OUR FESTIVAL 2019 PARTICIPANTS
MORGEN BAILEY. Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her Editing your Fiction weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others.
QUENTIN BATES. Quentin Bates is the co-founder of the crime writing festival Iceland Noir with Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Ragnar Jonasson. He is one of the very few British authors who is writing Scandi Noir set in Iceland and who has a deep understanding of the place. He has been married to an Icelandic woman for 30 years and has spent nearly a decade living there. As someone who speaks the language and understands a lot of the subtext of what goes on there, he is more qualified than most to write about Iceland. Quentin’s debut novel, Frozen Out was a powerful novel that wove environmental concerns, anonymous scandal blogging, and the financial crisis into a murder mystery in small-town Iceland and was described as ‘a great read’ by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Cold Breath is the sixth novel featuring Quentin’s protagonist, Sergeant Gunnhildur and the series of novels she features in have their origins in a deep affection for Iceland and its people, and an intimate knowledge of Icelandic society and its language, customs and quirks. Quentin (or Graskeggur ‘grey beard’ as he’s affectionately known in Iceland) made his escape from suburbia at the end of the seventies as a gap year turned into a gap decade spent in the north of Iceland. He worked ashore and at sea before returning to England and, once finally ashore for good, drifted by accident into journalism and fiction. Today Quentin divides his time between the north of Iceland and the south of England.
ALISON BRUCE. Alison Bruce is the author of eight crime novels and two non-fiction titles. Her first novel, Cambridge Blue (2008), was described by Publishers Weekly as an ‘assured debut’ and introduced both detective, DC Gary Goodhew, and her trademark Cambridge setting. She went on to complete the DC Goodhew series with a further six novels before writing the psychological thriller I Did It for Us. Alison was born in Croydon and grew up in Wiltshire before moving to Cambridgeshire in 1998. She worked as an electroplater, taxi driving and band promoter and spent ten years working in the IT industry before leaving to concentrate on completing her first novel. Alison is a proud supporter of local libraries and is the patron of Lakenheath Library in Suffolk. She teaches creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.
WEST CAMEL. Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel is an editor at Orenda Books, and also edits The Riveter magazine for the European Literature network. Several of his short scripts have been produced in London’s fringe theatres, and he was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. His first novel, Attend, a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told blend of contemporary and historical fiction, with a hint of magic realism, has been widely compared to the work of Armistead Maupin.
ADINA CAMPBELL. Adina Campbell is the BBC’s Community Affairs Correspondent. The brief includes leading coverage of the UK’s diverse population and communities, giving a voice to sometimes under-served audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Major stories recently covered include the first FGM conviction in the UK, deforestation and soybean expansion in Brazil and Michelle Obama’s UK visit. She previously worked in the BBC Specialists team as a Health Correspondent and spent time as a reporter in the UK general newsgathering team. Adina’s former news patch was based out of the BBC newsroom in Oxford where she reported and presented stories on South Today. She enjoys keeping fit and plays regional netball.
JANE DAVIS. Jane Davis spent her twenties and the first half of her thirties chasing promotions in the business world, but when she achieved what she’d set out to do, she discovered that it wasn’t what she wanted after all. It was then that she turned to writing. After her first novel, Half-Truths and White Lies, won an award which aimed to find ‘the next Joanne Harris’, it took Jane a little while to work out that all she really wanted to be was a slightly shinier version of herself. Seven further novels, which straddle contemporary, historical, literary and women’s fiction genres, have earned her comparisons to authors such as Kate Atkinson, Maggie O’Farrell and Jodi Picoult. An Unknown Woman was Writing Magazine’s Self-Published Book of the Year 2016. Most recently, Smash all the Windows was the winner of The Selfies Award for best self-published work of Fiction 2019, awarded at the London Book Fair. Jane's favourite description of fiction is ‘made-up truth’.
ROBERT DAWS. Robert Daws is a British theatre and television actor best known for his roles in long running TV series such as the award winning Outside Edge, Jeeves and Wooster, Roger Roger, Rock and Chips, Casualty, Midsomer Murders, Sword of Honour and, most recently, as Dr Thomas Choake in Poldark. His theatre work includes Michael Frayn's Alarms and Excursions, The Secret of Sherlock Holmes and Yes Prime Minister in London's West End. He has worked extensively for BBC Radio, most notably co-cereating the returnin police detective series, Trueman and Riley with Brian B Thompson. His first crime novella, The Rock, set on sunny Gibraltar, was published in 2012 and made the top of the Amazon Bestseller list five times. His second Sullivan and Broderick murder mystery, The Poisoned Rock, was published in September 2016. The third in the series is Killing Rock. Robert has three children, Ben, Betsy and May, and is married to the actress Amy Robbins.
NOELLE HOLTEN. Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering cases of domestic violence and abuse. She has three Hons BAs – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Dead Inside is her debut novel and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.
LESLEY LODGE. Lesley Lodge grew up in the New Forest with holiday jobs in a racing stable and a palomino stud farm. She took her MA in Colchester, was a journalist on Middle Eastern projects and then spent many years working on regeneration projects in Sheffield and Peckham. Lesley’s non-fiction work has included articles for professional journals and a book on horses in film and tv: Lights! Camera! Gallop! The Story of the Horse in Film. She has had several short stories published. Blues to Orange, about a farmer ruined by the foot and mouth outbreak, was a Luton Literary Prize Winner. She has twice been a Runner-up Prizewinner in the British National Short Screenplay Competition and is a past Time Out and Jim Beam Whiskey Cult Film Buff of the Year. Her first novel, historical crime thriller Wayland’s Revenge, was published by Matador, the self-publishing arm of Independent Publisher Troubador, in 2018. She now lives on a smallholding bafflingly close to Luton.
FIONA VIGO MARSHALL. Fiona Vigo Marshall is the author of Find Me Falling, published by Fairlight Books on 21 March 2019. After graduating from Somerville College, Oxford, Fiona started her career at a local newspaper. She then continued pursuing journalism in Mexico, working for the daily English language newspaper for Mexico City, The News, covering news and features. On her return to London, Fiona worked as a publisher and freelance writer. Her short stories and poems have been nominated for numerous awards, including the V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, which she won in 2016 with her short story ‘The Street of Baths’. Her work has also appeared in Ambit, The Royal Society of Literature Review, The London Journal of Fiction, and many other publications. Find Me Falling is her debut novel.
A B MORGAN. Alison Morgan, Ali to her friends, was born and bred in rural Bedfordshire where she lives with her husband and slightly potty dog. She has now retired from the NHS where she worked across the county as a Registered Mental Health Nurse and clinical manager for nearly thirty years before taking up writing. Creating the type of book she enjoys reading, she is now the author of several crime thrillers the first of which, A Justifiable Madness, was published in 2017. With four more crime novels published since, Ali has become a prolific full-time writer. Her books have proven popular and been well received by readers who look for an unusual storyline away from the standard police procedural or private detective. Her latest, Fat Chance was published in January this year and, like all her previous novels, contains intrigue, humour and some astounding insights into mental illness. When she’s not beavering away at the keyboard, Ali can be found giving talks and readings, running workshops at the county library, having a social slurp with other members of The Ampthill Writers’ Group and occasionally appearing on BBC Three Counties Radio as a lifestyles panel member. Anything else? Oh yes, riding Bernard – a Triumph Bonneville.
LEIGH RUSSELL. Leigh Russell has sold over a million books in her Geraldine Steel crime series which has been translated into several languages, including Chinese. Leigh has been shortlisted for two CWA Dagger Awards, and has twice been a Finalist for The People's Book Prize. She serves on the board of the Crime Writers Association, and chairs the CWA Debut Dagger judges. She is a Royal Literary Fellow. Her latest novel is Rogue Killer.
DAVE SIVERS. BeaconLit founder Dave Sivers is the author of the popular Archer and Baines series of crime novels set locally in Aylesbury Vale. His other writing includes the Lowmar Dashiel crime fantasy novels, short fiction (published and prize winning), articles and columns in magazines and newspapers, and material for the amateur stage. Dave has appeared at numerous literary events, including Thame Arts and Literature Festival, BardAid, Mulbarton Words Week, Noir at the Bar Harrogate and BeaconLit and is a regular speaker at libraries, WIs and other groups. He is a past Chairman of Chiltern Writers.
GEORGIA TWYNHAM. Award Winning Author Georgia Twynham has written four books in a series of six aimed at the Young Adult market, which were recorded by AudioGo and have a firm following across the globe. Born in Wellingborough in 1972, she was brought up with her two older brothers in a sleepy Leicestershire village until at the age of fifteen, her parents decided to move abroad, taking her with them. A new country and a new language helped her come out of her shell and for eleven years, she lived and worked on the beautiful island of Menorca. Georgia wrote short stories and poetry from an early age but her real passion for writing didn't truly emerge until she was 31. Writing for her own website and articles for magazines helped to support her and her daughter. Georgia felt there was a need for a strong British female heroine. She also wanted a main character that had a normal family, with problems that most teenagers/young adults in this country might be experiencing and could relate to. And so Val Saunders, daughter to Mike and Susan Saunders and the protagonist of her 'Thirteenth' Series, was born.
JANE WENHAM-JONES. Jane Wenham-Jones is an author, journalist, presenter, interviewer and creative writing tutor who lives in Broadstairs, Kent, a town that appears in three of her novels. She is the author of six novels: Raising the Roof; Perfect Alibis; One Glass is Never Enough; Prime Time (shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Comedy of the Year award) and Mum in the Middle, with her latest The Big Five O due to be published in July. She has also written two non-fiction writing guides Wannabe a Writer; and Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of, and a humorous diet book, 100 Ways to Fight the Flab and Still Have Wine and Chocolate. As a journalist she has written for The Guardian, The Bookseller, Booktime, Sunday Express, Daily Express, The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times and numerous women’s magazines. She is a regular contributor to Woman’s Weekly and has a monthly advice column in Writing Magazine. A member of Equity, Jane has done her share of daytime TV on little-watched, now defunct channels, but has also presented for the BBC on both TV and radio, works the after-dinner circuit, talks to writers groups and conferences, and has been a celebrity speaker for P&O. She has hosted the Romantic Novel Awards – the RNA’s annual awards for the best in Romantic Fiction – for the last eight years, and presents many events at literary events and book festivals across the UK and abroad. She is a founder member of BroadstairsLit.