Chris Russell is a writer and musician based in London. Since forming The Lightyears in his teens he has toured the world, playing everywhere from Wembley Stadium to Glastonbury Festival. He has worked as a music reviewer and features writer, and is currently writer-in-residence for Byte the Book. As well as Mockstars, Chris is also the author of a successful series of novels for young adults: Songs About a Girl, Songs About a Boy and Songs About Us.
Books by Victor Canning
Paul Flower was born and raised in Michigan and still resides there. He has been writing professionally for more than 37 years. While much of his career has been spent in advertising and marketing, he worked in broadcasting for a short time. Paul has one previously published novel to his credit, and his writing has appeared in national and regional magazines. He and his wife have four grown children and a rapidly evolving number of incredibly beautiful and intelligent grandchildren.
Jennifer Stone was born in Essex and spent her formative years living within its borders and enjoying the delights of the multiple night clubs and alcopop-swigging opportunities available. After a stint in North Wales acquiring a degree and a further spell in Leeds, training to be a teacher, she returned to the south of England to teach English in a variety of schools. She is currently head of English at a boarding school in Suffolk and has just completed her MA in Creative Writing (Crime) at UEA. She lives with her wife and their small son.
Gabby Hutchinson Crouch
Gabby Hutchinson Crouch (Horrible Histories, Newzoids, The News Quiz, The Now Show) has a background in satire, and with the global political climate as it is, believes that now is an important time to explore themes of authoritarianism and intolerance in comedy and fiction. The Darkwood Series does so in a funny, engaging way that never loses the warmth of humanity, even as its villainous Huntsmen try to dehumanise their victims as well as anonymising and dehumanising themselves. Drawing on inspiration from other satirical stories set in a magical universe such as Shrek and the Discworld novels, the Darkwood adventures create a world where readers can enjoy more grown-up versions of fairytales, while also holding up a mirror to our own society.
Born in Pontypool in Wales, and raised in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, Gabby moved to Canterbury at 18 to study at the University of Kent and ended up staying and having a family there.
Books by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch
Peter Maughan’s early ambition to be a landscape painter ran into a lack of talent – or enough of it to paint to his satisfaction what he saw. He worked on building sites, in wholesale markets, on fairground rides and in a circus. And travelled the West Country, roaming with the freedom of youth, picking fruit, and whatever other work he could get, sleeping wherever he could, before moving on to wherever the next road took him. A journeying out of which came his non-fiction work Under the Apple Boughs, when he came to see that he had met on his wanderings the last of a village England. After travelling to Jersey in the Channel Islands to pick potatoes, he found work afterwards in a film studio in its capital, walk-ons and bit parts in the pilot films that were made there, and as a contributing script writer. He studied at the Actor’s Workshop in London, and worked as an actor in the UK and Ireland (in the heyday of Ardmore Studios). He founded and ran a fringe theatre in Barnes, London, and living on a converted Thames sailing barge among a small colony of houseboats on the River Medway, wrote pilot film scripts as a freelance deep in the green shades of rural Kent. An idyllic, heedless time in that other world of the river, which later, when he had collected enough rejection letters learning his craft as a novelist, he transported to a river valley in the Welsh Marches, and turned into the Batch Magna novels.
He is married and lives currently in Wales. Visit Peter’s website at http://www.batchmagna.com.
Books by Peter Maughan
Jane Lovering was, presumably, born, although everyone concerned denies all knowledge. However there is evidence that her early years were spent in Devon (she can still talk like a pirate under the right conditions) and of her subsequent removal to Yorkshire under a sack and sedation.
She now lives in North Yorkshire, where she writes romantic comedies, one or two of which have won awards. Owing to a terrible outbreak of insanity she is now the minder of three cats and two terriers, one of which is a Patterdale and therefore as insane as Jane. Though smaller, and cuter, obviously.
Jane’s likes include marshmallows, the smell of cucumbers and the understairs cupboard, words beginning with B, and Doctor Who. She writes with her laptop balanced on her knees whilst lying on her bed, and her children were brought up to believe that real food has a high carbon content. And a kind of amorphous shape. Not unlike Jane herself, come to think of it.
She had some hobbies once, but she can’t remember what they were. Ask her to show you how many marshmallows she can fit in her mouth at once, though, that might give you a clue.