About the Authors

Cally Taylor lives in Bristol with her boyfriend and baby son, and their ridiculously large DVD/book/music collection. She shares her ‘study’ with the washing machine and a surf board and writes her novels in any spare moments she can squeeze in between the day job and her social network addiction. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and been published by a variety of women’s magazines including My Weekly, Take a Break Fiction Feast and Woman’s Own. Her debut novel Heaven Can Wait has been translated into 13 languages and was voted ‘Debut Novel of the Year’ by chicklitreviews.com and chicklitclub.com. Her second novel, Home for Christmas, was published by Orion in November 2011. You can find out more about Cally by checking out her website at www.callytaylor.co.uk.

Tamsyn Murray’s New Year’s resolution in 2008 was ‘to stop faffing about and take writing seriously’. After a few false starts (or ‘rejections’, as they’re more commonly known), she sold her first short story to My Weekly in May that same year. Since then, her stories have been published in a number of women’s magazines both in the UK and further afield. Having never really grown up, she quickly found her niche as a children’s author but still dabbles in the occasional short story and is ‘working’ on an adult romantic comedy novel. One day, she might actually get further than typing ‘Chapter One’… Follow her on Twitter @TamsynTweetie or at www.tamsynmurray.co.uk.

Karen Clarke is a writer and part-time library assistant. Her short stories have appeared in women’s magazines in the UK, Australia and Sweden and her first novel, My Future Husband, will be published by Random House in Germany in 2012. Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, three children and dog and when she’s not working, writing, reading, or messing about on the Internet, she remembers to update her blog at Write Writing Written.

Bernadette James was brought up in Cornwall and now lives in Surrey with her husband. She has had numerous short stories published in women’s magazines in the UK and overseas and has won or been shortlisted in competitions for both poetry and short fiction, including shortlistings for the Bristol Prize, the Yeovil Literary Prize and the New Writer prize (under her real name of Sherri Turner). Her work has also appeared in several short story anthologies.

Jill Steeples loves writing short stories, particularly those with a twist in the tail, and her work has appeared in popular women’s magazines in the UK, Scandinavia and Australia.  She was a contributor to four of the Sexy Shorts charity anthologies published by Accent Press and the more recent ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ anthology. She’s currently working on a romantic novel and was a finalist in the 2011 Mills & Boon New Voices Competition. She lives in Leighton Buzzard with her husband, two teenage children and mad English Setter.

Kathleen McGurl lives by the sea in Bournemouth, and writes in the time remaining after slotting in a full time job, bringing up two teenage boys, and caring for a disabled mother. She has had dozens of stories published in women’s magazines and is currently working on a historical novel, which grew out of an obsession with family-history research.
Her blog, Womagwriter, aims to share information about the women’s magazine fiction market and has proved popular with other writers.

Sally Quilford was born in South Wales, and now lives in the Peak District with her husband and four westies. She is a columnist for Writers Forum magazine, and has also had countless stories and articles published in magazines in Britain and abroad. She is the author of seven My Weekly Pocket Novels.

You can find out more about Sally at www.sallyquilford.co.uk.

Northamptonshire-based writer Helen M Hunt writes short stories and features. Her short stories have appeared in a variety of women’s magazines and she regularly writes non-fiction for Writers’ Forum and Writing Magazine. Helen also writes book reviews and runs the book review site Bookersatz. When she isn’t writing she has a full time job looking after four cats. You can find out more about her, including details of her writing workshops and short-story critique service, on her blog Fiction is Stranger than Fact.

Sarah Dunnakey lives in West Yorkshire, where her day job is writing and verifying questions for TV quiz shows. Her story ‘The Marzipan Husband’ was broadcast on Radio 4 in July 2011. She has been placed or shortlisted in several short story competitions including second place in the 2011 Calderdale Prize, runner–up in the Fish Prize 2008 and winner of a WEA competition in 2008. Her work has also appeared in a number of short story anthologies. She has recently written her first novel.

On the outside, Helen Kara looks like a reasonably normal Englishwoman, but the inside of her is inhabited by several worlds and hundreds of characters.  Most of the time she hides this well, masquerading as a charity fundraiser by day and a sociable person by night.  Yet she is never happier than when she has her feet up on the sofa, laptop open, and time to catch up with some of the people who live in her head.

Jenny Maltby was born in Jersey (the rock off the coast of France, rather than the newfangled American one), but has somehow ended up living in a medieval East Sussex village for the past ten years with her two teens and the smelliest dog in the county. Having had pieces and short stories published in First Edition magazine, You’re Not the Only One and Your Messages anthologies, Jen is now working on a philosophical comedy novel. This largely involves staring out of the window, preoccupied with conversations between people who don’t really exist. She blogs at Two Moons Tonight.

Deborah Carr lives in Jersey with her patient husband, two teenagers and a grumpy Miniature Schnauzer. She spends most of her free time sitting on a pink, Lloyd Loom chair writing novels in her shed. As well as having previous work included in an anthology for the charity War Child, she’s had a few pieces published in women’s magazines in the UK, won a gold certificate for a short story in a local competition and has just finished her sixth novel. She blogs at Deb’s Daydreams in the Plotting Shed.

Leigh Forbes has been writing since she could, and had produced a very short, very bad, novel by the age of eleven. Things have improved since then: after many years working on non-fiction, she began writing short stories in 2007, and has been published in The Weekly NewsThe People’s Friend, and two anthologies. When she’s not up some Scottish mountain in the fog, Leigh runs a web-development business and drinks coffee. She has a husband, three children, three bee hives, and Asperger’s syndrome. She blogs at The Art of Subtle Procrastination and tweets @writeleighso.