Guest authors 2016

Biographies of writers

In January Dr Mimi Thebo inspired our audience with her talk, Finding Your Voice. Mimi has had seven books published in the last ten years and lectures on the BA and MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.  Her latest work, DREAMING THE BEAR was published on the 1st February 2016 and is set in Yellowstone Park, aimed at young readers. She blogs on writing at My Glamorous Literary Life and her author site aimed at a young audience is

Also readings by Judy Darley, Catherine Bell, Alison Powell and Paul McIntyre, ofBristol Novelists.

Tobias Jones joined us in February. Tobias is an author, broadcaster and Observer columnist and spoke about   “Inventing your own Language – how to make-up new words and mine old ones”. He  has published three novels and four works of non-fiction. He has been a columnist for the Observer and for Internazionale, and has made documentaries for the BBC and for RAI. His next book is set in 1549.

Writer and broadcaster Sanjida Kay discussed writing and psychological thrillers at Novel Nights in March. Her  fifth novel, and her first thriller, Bone by Bone,  was published by Corvus Books on 3rd March 2016.

Lucy Robinson is the best-selling author of four critically-acclaimed novels: The Day We Disappeared, The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me, A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger and The Greatest Love Story of All Time, all of which are published by Penguin.  Prior to writing Lucy worked in theatre production and then factual television, working on documentaries for all of the UK’s major broadcasters. Her writing career began when she started a blog for Marie Clare.

In May we had a panel discussion on marketing your books with three independently-published authors. Debbie Young is the author of warm, funny fiction and helpful, friendly non-fiction, including how-to books for self-published authors. She is the Commissioning Editor of the Alliance of Independent Authors‘ Advice Centre blog, a speaker on self-publishing and book marketing, and a regular panellist of BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Book Club. She founded and directs the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival ( and runs author groups in Bristol and Cheltenham. She is never bored. Twitter:@DebbieYoungBN

Dan Jeffries was born with an incredibly rare vascular condition that left him blind in one eye from birth, ‘Me, Myself & Eye’ explores what it’s like living with one of the world’s rarest medical conditions — and then finding out you have another one. Set in Bristol,  Dan recounts school, University, love, creativity and everything in-between. Always willing to embrace new technology, Dan’s story encourages the reader to use their mobile device whilst reading to view images, documents, video and more, all designed to enhance the reading experience. Published by Tangent Books, available as iBook, eBook and Audio Book coming soon.

Fraud, blackmail, murder and cocaine habits feature in AA Abbot’s Up In Smoke, After The Interview, and (most recently) The Bride’s Trail, published by Perfect City Press. She’s also contributed short stories to anthologies, like A Dark Imagined Bristol by the Bristol Fiction Writers’ Group. All books are available as paperbacks and e-books. Find out more at, read her blogs, and subscribe to her newsletter to receive a free e-book of short stories, which isn’t available anywhere else.”

Babs Horton

In June, Babs Horton came to talk to us about writing memoir. Babs is an award winning novelist. Her first book, A Jarful of Angels, ( Simon and Schuster, 2003) won the Pendleton May prize and was short-listed for the Authors’ Club ‘First novel’ award. Dandelion Soup was published in 2004,Wildcat Moon(2006.) Recipes for Cherubs (2009) and Holy Mackerel (2014). She was a contributor to Beryl Cook (UPP, 2009) and her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies worldwide.

Babs was born in Tredegar, South Wales, and brought up in London in a variety of pubs and attended seven different schools eventually moving to Plymouth where she graduated from the College of St Mark & St John. She was a teacher for many years, working with children with behaviour problems and for 10 years taught English in an adolescent unit for students with mental health problems and is a firm believer in the power of literature in soothing the troubled mind. She is an RLF fellow at the University of Plymouth, Learning Development Advisor and consultant fellow. She regularly visits schools, universities and libraries giving lively workshops on creative writing, literacy and essay writing. Last year she was involved in the Immersive Writing pilot scheme at the University of Plymouth.