Julianna is an award-winning poet, novelist, and young adult writer. For years, she has been thinking about writing a futuristic dystopian novel about a society of haves - the Pure, who escaped the apocalypse and live in an uncontaminated dome-covered city - and have-nots - the wretched survivors who live in the nearly-destroyed outside world.
Louise Mensch is the author of fifteen novels under the name Louise Bagshawe. She has been a top ten bestseller and has been published in more than eight languages. Her most recent novel, BEAUTY, was written as Louise Mensch, the name for which she became known in the UK as an MP for the Conservative Party. She is a columnist for the Sun newspaper and a digital publishing executive. Louise has three children, and is married to Peter. She lives with her family in New York.
Raffaella Barker is the author of Come and Tell Me Some Lies, The Hook, Hens Dancing, Summertime, Green Grass, Phosphorescence, A Perfect Life and Poppyland. She lives in Norfolk with her family.
Nevada Barr is an award-winning novelist and New York Times bestselling author. She began her career as an actress, during which time she became interested in the environmental movement and started working in the National Parks during the summers - Isle Royale in Michigan, Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and then on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi. Nevada Barr has written a series of mysteries featuring park ranger Anna Pigeon as well as numerous other books, short stories and articles. She currently resides in New Orleans.
Bateman was a journalist in Northern Ireland before becoming a full-time writer. His first novel, DIVORCING JACK, won the Betty Trask Prize, and all his novels have been critically acclaimed. He wrote the screenplays for the feature films DIVORCING JACK and WILD ABOUT HARRY and the popular TV series MURPHY'S LAW starring James Nesbitt. Bateman lives in Ireland with his family.
Ronan Bennett was born and brought up in Belfast, and has a Ph.D. in history from King's College, London. He is the author of The Second Prison (shortlisted for the Irish Times/Aer Lingus prize), Overthrown By Strangers, The Catastrophist (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award) and most recently Havoc, in its Third Year (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004). He has written screenplays for film and t.v. for BBC1 - and also works as a journalist.
Mary Berry is the nation's favourite baker and home cook. The much-loved judge of The Great British Bake Off, Mary is the author of more than 70 cookbooks. Mary is loved for her practical and unfussy approach to cooking, but when she is at home, she loves to be with her family and tending her garden - her other great passion.
Alan Bissett was born in Falkirk in 1975. His acclaimed first novel, BOYRACERS, published whilst he was still a student, was based on his adolescent experiences growing up there. His ambitious second novel, THE INCREDIBLE ADAM SPARK, was extraordinarily well received. A full-time writer and playwright, he has acted onstage in his own 'one-woman show', 'Times When I Bite', which was also adapted for film. His plays 'The Ching Room', 'Turbo Folk' and 'The Moira Monologues' have all been recent stage successes. The Shutdown won two Jim Poole awards for Best Scottish Short Film 2009. Alan has also been a support act for Malcolm Middleton, The Vaselines and Zoey Van Goey. He currently is much in demand as a live performer of his own work.
Evie Blake is from London. She is married with two children and is currently busy writing her next novel. For more about Evie Blake visit her website www.evieblake.com or follow her on Twitter @EvieBlake1
RAYMOND BLANC is renowned for his passion for seasonal, sustainable and organic produce. When sourcing food for his two Michelin-starred restaurant, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, he makes sure to know everything about its provenance. With his gardeners, he has cultivated herb beds, a two-acre vegetable garden, a mushroom valley and heritage orchard. Raymond champions an ethical approach to cooking with sourcing and seasonality at the heart of it. He is involved in many movements and is honorary President of The Sustainable Restaurant Association and Vice President of Garden Organic. THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, KEW is a world-famous scientific organisation, holding an unrivalled position for its outstanding collections of plants and fungi, artefacts and art, world-class Herbarium as well as its expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development. From its beginnings as a small physic garden in 1759 it has grown to become a top international visitor attraction and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kew's 132 hectares of stunning landscaped gardens and iconic glasshouses make it one of the world's best-loved gardens, a paradise for plant lovers, offering a wealth of ideas and inspiration to all.
Susan Breen lives in New York with her husband and children and teaches fiction at the Gotham Writers' Workshop in Manhattan.
Kevin Brophy grew up in a military barracks on Ireland's west coast and now lives in Galway. He has written various non-fiction titles previously and his chequered career includes stints as a postman and teacher, barman and businessman. He has lived in Ireland, England and Poland but feels most at home in Germany.
Benita Brown was born and brought up in Newcastle by her English mother, the youngest of thirteen children, and her Indian father, who came to Newcastle to study medicine and fell in love with the place and the people. After meeting her husband while she was at drama school in London, Benita returned to her home town and worked as a teacher and broadcaster before becoming a full-time writer, publishing many much-loved novels. Sadly, Counting the Days was Benita's last book, as she passed away in April 2014 following a sudden illness. She will be greatly missed.
Tanya Byrne was born in London and studied in Surrey, where she still lives with her cat who goes by several names, none of which he actually answers to. After eight years working for BBC Radio, she left to write her debut novel, Heart-Shaped Bruise, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, and longlisted for the Branford Boase Award. Tanya was also shortlisted for New Writer of the Year at the National Book Awards. She has travelled all round the country; to speak to crowds at the Edinburgh festival and to classrooms of young people.
Stephen Bywater left school at sixteen to join the Merchant Navy. He now lives with his family in Bedford, where he teaches English. The Devil's Ark is his first novel.