Ann Cleeves grew up in Herefordshire and Devon, and trained as a probation officer.
She began writing whilst living with her husband on a tiny island in the Dee estuary, where Tim had been appointed warden for the nature reserve.
Ann’s list of achievements and awards is incredibly long, but perhaps she is best known as the author of the phenomally-successful Shetland and Vera Stanhope novels, both of which have been adapted for TV.
She is a passionate champion for public libraries, and she went on to set up reading groups in prisons as part of the ‘Inside Books’ project, and became Cheltenham Literature Festival’s first reader-in-residence.
Last year, she completed the series of Shetland novels with Wild Fire, the 8th in the series. This year, she begins a new series with the novel The Long Call. The story is set in North Devon in an area called Two Rivers, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea.
Venue: Frinton Tennis Club, Holland Road, FRINTON Tickets: £12.50 (includes a glass of wine)
Alan Johnson was born in May 1950. He is a British Labour Party politician who served as Home Secretary from June 2009 to May 2010. Before that he filled a wide variety of cabinet positions in both the Blair and Brown governments, including Health Secretary and Education Secretary. Until 20 January 2011 he was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Johnson was the Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle until his retirement from politics in 2017.
His first book, This Boy, won the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Orwell Prize in 2013. His second, Please Mister Postman, won the National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year in 2014. His third, The Long and Winding Road, was published in 2016 and won the Parliamentary Book Award for Best Memoir. His latest book, In My Life, is an affectionate look back on the music which has filled Alan’s life.
Venue: McGrigor Hall, Fourth Avenue, FRINTON Tickets: £10.00 (there will be a pay bar at the event)
Vaseem Khan was born in London, and studied at the London School of Economics, gaining a degree in Accounting and Finance. After working for a number of years in India as a Management Consultant, he returned to the UK in 2006 to work at the University College London for the Department of Security and Crime Science.
The Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series is set in India. The first novel in the series The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra was published on August 13th 2015 by Mullholland Books. His latest in the series is Bad Day at the Vulture Club.
Vaseem has won a number of awards and many of his novels have been selected as ‘Best Reads’.
When Ruth Fitzgerald was six she wanted to be a writer but her teacher advised her to get a proper job. She followed that advice for many years but kept getting in trouble for giggling in management meetings. One day when Ruth was drinking a cup of tea (her favourite thing to do) a funny character called ‘Emily Sparkes’ popped into her head and started talking. Now Ruth writes books and stories instead of attending meetings and everyone is much happier, especially the managers. Ruth lives in Suffolk with her family, three chickens and a very tiny dog.
One day I was sitting, minding my own business when a girl popped into my head and started talking. She was fed up with her parents for being a bit useless and fed up with her friends for being, well, a bit rubbish at being friends. The more she told me, the funnier it got, so I started to write down what it was like to be Emily Sparkes. Now lots of people tell me they feel just like Emily, too.
Crime and Wine
with Isabelle Grey and Elly Griffiths
Isabelle Grey graduated from Cambridge and became a freelance journalist before focusing on screenwriting and fiction. She is the author of two standalone novels and an Essex-based crime series featuring DI Grace Fisher. She has written for film, radio and television, including episodes of such long-running series as Wycliffe, Midsomer Murders and The Bill.
Elly Griffiths read English at King’s College London, worked in a library, for a magazine, then became Editorial Director for children’s books at HarperCollins. Her bestselling series of Dr Ruth Galloway novels, featuring a forensic archaeologist, have won the CWA Dagger in the Library, and been shortlisted three times for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.
Born in Nigeria then educated at Cambridge, Edward Stourton is perhaps best known as a presenter of BBC Radio Four programmes including The World at One and The World this Weekend and is a regular contributor to the Today programme where for ten years he was one of the main presenters. His last book Auntie’s War is a journey through WW2 with the BBC and his new book celebrates 150 years of Hodder & Stoughton.