Elinor Glyn

Elinor Sutherland was born in St Helier, Jersey, the younger daughter of Douglas Sutherland (1838–1865), a civil engineer of Scottish descent, and his wife Elinor Saunders (1841–1937). Her father died when Elinor was two months old and her mother returned to the parental home in Guelph, Ontario, Canada with her two daughters, Lucy Christiana and Elinor. Back in Canada, Elinor was schooled by her grandmother, Lucy Anne Saunders, in the ways of upper-class society. This early training not only gave her an entrée into aristocratic circles on her return to Europe, but it led to her being considered an authority on style and breeding when she worked in Hollywood in the 1920s.Her mother remarried a Mr. Kennedy in 1871 and when Elinor was eight years old the family returned to Jersey. When

there her schooling continued at home with a succession of governesses.Elinor married Clayton Louis Glyn (1857–1915), a wealthy but spendthrift landowner, on 27 April 1892. The couple had two daughters, Margot and Juliet, but the marriage apparently foundered on mutual incompatibility although the couple remained together. As a consequence Elinor had affairs with a succession of British aristocrats and some of her books are supposedly based on her various affairs, such as ‘Three Weeks’ (1907), allegedly inspired by her affair with Lord Alistair Innes Ker. That affair caused quite a furore and scandalized Edwardian society and one of the scenes in the book had one unnamed poet writing,Would you like to sinWith Elinor GlynOn a tiger skin?Or would you preferTo err with herOn some other fur?She had began her writing in 1900, starting with a book based on letters to her mother, ‘The Visits of Elizabeth’. And thereafter she more or less wrote one book each year to keep the wolf from the door, as her husband was debt-ridden from 1908, and also to keep up her standard of living. After several years of illness her husband died in 1915.Early in her writing career she was recognised as one of the pioneers of what could be called erotic fiction, although not by modern-day standards, and she coined the use of the world ‘It’ to mean at the time sex-appeal and she helped to make Clara Bow a star by the use of the sobriquet for her of ‘The It Girl’. On the strength of her reputation and success she moved to Hollywood in 1920 and in 1921 was featured as one of the famous personalities in a Ralph Barton cartoon drawn especially for ‘Vanity Fair’ magazine. A number of her books were made into films, most notably ‘Beyond the Rocks’ (1906), which starred Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson, and she was a scriptwriter for the silent movie industry, working for both MGM and Paramount Pictures in the mid-1920s. In addition she also had a brief career as one of the earliest female directors.In 1927, by which time she had published 32 novels, she once again appeared in some verse of the day. Songsmith Lorenz Hart immortalised her in his song ‘My Heart Stood Still’ when he wrote,I read my PlatoLove, I thought a sinBut since your kissI’m reading missus Glyn!She was so universally popular and well-known in the 1920s that she even made a cameo appearance as herself in the 1928 film ‘Show People’.As well as her novels, she wrote wrote magazine articles for the Hearst Press giving advice on ‘how to keep your man’ and also giving health and beauty tips. In 1922 she published ‘The Elinor Glyn System of Writing’, which gives an insight into writing for Hollywood studios and magazine editors.In later life she moved to the United Kingdom, settling in London. She wrote over 40 books, the last of which was ‘The Third Eye’ (1940) and she died in Chelsea on 23 September 1943, being survived by her two daughters.Gerry WolstenholmeNovember 2010

Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel is the bestselling author of many novels including Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Bring Up the Bodies, Book Two of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, was also awarded the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Book Award. She is also the author of A Change of Climate, A Place of Greater Safety, Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, An Experiment in Love, The Giant, O’Brien, Fludd, Beyond Black, Every Day Is Mother’s Day, and Vacant Possession. She has also written a memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. Mantel was the winner of the Hawthornden Prize, and her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times,The New York Review of Books, and the London Review of Books. She lives in England with her husband.

Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella has sold over 40 million copies of her books in more than 60 countries, and she has been translated into over 40 languages.Sophie Kinsella first hit the UK bestseller lists in September 2000 with her first novel in the Shopaholic series – The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (also published as Confessions of a Shopaholic). The book’s heroine, Becky Bloomwood – a fun and feisty financial journalist who loves shopping but is hopeless with money – captured the hearts of readers worldwide. Becky has since featured in seven further bestselling books, Shopaholic Abroad (also published as Shopaholic Takes Manhattan), Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic & Sister, Shopaholic & Baby, Mini Shopaholic, Shopaholic to the Stars and Shopaholic to the Rescue. Becky Bloomwood came

to the big screen in 2009 with the hit Disney movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, starring Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy.Sophie has also written seven standalone novels which have all been bestsellers in the UK, USA and other countries around the world: Can You Keep A Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, Wedding Night, and My Not So Perfect Life, which was a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for Best Fiction in 2017. In 2014 she published a Young Adult novel Finding Audrey about a teenage girl with social anxiety and her madcap family, and in January 2018, Sophie published her first illustrated book for young readers about the charming adventures of a mother-daughter fairy duo, Mummy Fairy and Me (also published as Fairy Mom and Me).Sophie’s latest novel, Surprise Me, published in February 2018, presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.Sophie wrote her first novel under her real name, Madeleine Wickham, at the tender age of 24, whilst she was working as a financial journalist. The Tennis Party was immediately hailed as a success by critics and the public alike and became a top ten bestseller. She went on to publish six more novels as Madeleine Wickham: A Desirable Residence, Swimming Pool Sunday, The Gatecrasher, The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements.Sophie was born in London. She studied music at New College, Oxford, but after a year switched to Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She now lives in London, UK, with her husband and family.Visit Sophie’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SophieKinsell…Series:* Shopaholic

Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout is the author of several novels, including: Abide with Me, a national bestseller and BookSense pick, and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. In 2009 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book Olive Kitteridge. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker. She teaches at the Master of Fine Arts program at Queens University of Charlotte.

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr is the author of five books, The Shell Collector , About Grace , Memory Wall , Four Seasons in Rome and All the Light We Cannot See . Doerr’s fiction has won four O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. He has won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the Story Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Award, and the Ohioana Book Award three times. Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho. Become a fan on Facebook and stay up-to-date on his latest publications.

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and he was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland. Visit him online at www.alexandermccallsmith.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Irvine Welsh

Probably most famous for his gritty depiction of a gang of Scottish Heroin addicts, Trainspotting (1993), Welsh focuses on the darker side of human nature and drug use. All of his novels are set in his native Scotland and filled with anti-heroes, small time crooks and hooligans. Welsh manages, however to imbue these characters with a sad humanity that makes them likable despite their obvious scumbaggerry. Irvine Welsh is also known for writing in his native Edinburgh Scots dialect, making his prose challenging for the average reader unfamiliar with this style.

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei was a Tuscan (Italian) physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of science”, and “the Father of Modern Science.” The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, taught in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, named the Galilean

moons in his honour, and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, improving compass design.Galileo’s championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime. The geocentric view had been dominant since the time of Aristotle, and the controversy engendered by Galileo’s presentation of heliocentrism as proven fact resulted in the Catholic Church’s prohibiting its advocacy as empirically proven fact, because it was not empirically proven at the time and was contrary to the literal meaning of Scripture. Galileo was eventually forced to recant his heliocentrism and spent the last years of his life under house arrest on orders of the Roman Inquisition.

Maggie Stiefvater

New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been formed by a desire to leave a mark, resulting in spray-painted cars, sharpie-covered computer printers, ink-splattered walls, and stories told in books, in magazines, and on stages. Maggie Stiefvater lives in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.