Robin is our Chair - he has been writing seriously since 2005 and is still grumpy. Although he has completed six novels, no one has fallen over themselves to offer him a contract. This is partly because the early ones weren't very good, but also because he writes cross-genre fiction: blending crime, science fiction and adventure is very satisfying but makes it difficult to find a willing publisher. Actually, he gets grumpy even at the mention of science fiction. He prefers the term 'speculative fiction', which just goes to show.
He is inordinately proud of coming in the top 500 of the Dublin International Poetry Competition 2003. No one knows why. You can find his (not) winning entry on his blog - www.robintriggs.wordpress.com, along with assorted writerly ramblings. You can also find him on Twitter @RobinTriggs
Liah is our Spare Chair and Treasurer. Her published work is mainly in travel writing, though she has written for stage and screen and is now specialising in fiction. Passionate about history, she naturally tends to write historical fiction, though she doesn't stick to the average - supernatural elements (including vampires, before they got famous) as well as time travel and romance appear in her novels. Formerly a professional actor and dancer, she also has a degree in History of Art, Architecture and Design with applied English Language and Linguistics - not bad for someone who's also dyslexic. Liah is also working on her Master's degree in history.
Jan is our Deputy Chair and a professional writer and editor. Emulating Terry Pratchett’s William de Worde, her motto is ‘Words written for money’. After many years of writing non-fiction as a freelance (everything from ghost-writing autobiographies to science and technology copywriting) she has succumbed to the lure of attempting to write fiction – both historical and contemporary. Wearing her editorial hat she can bore for England on grammar, manuscript presentation and Why You Should Read the Submission Guidelines.
Tim is our computer expert: if you buy a train ticket in the UK from one of those touchy-feely machines, there’s a good chance Tim wrote the software inside it. He's an expert in preparing books for e-publication and thus a very useful person to have on board. His short story Socko’s First Day was published in 2012 in an e-anthology, but the ideas expanded themselves into a trilogy. The first volume, Wanted, is available as a paperback and e-book, and the second, Hunted, is coming soon.
Olivier was born to Dutch parents and was raised in Colombia and England. He is a rootless wanderer with itchy feet. He has spent the last few years living and working in The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sudan and Bulgaria, but he has every confidence that he will now finally be able to settle down in cozy old Oxfordshire.
His play, Death Takes A Lover, premiered on the London fringe in 2011, and was subsequently transformed into the first of his series of Victorian detective novels featuring DS John Billings. His current projects include The Ornamental Hermit (the second Billings novel) and Muchacha! - a series of novellas depicting the life of Hans and Annie, a young Dutch couple who emigrate to Colombia in the 1970s and struggle to find themselves a good and reliable maid.www.olivierbosman.com
Chris Evett is a 'futures' writer from Wantage. He has two small children and spends his time making up stories to send them to sleep. He writes short stories about the future and longer stories about monsters, myths and general weirdness - neither of which usually succeeds in getting the children to sleep.
Lizzy Huitson is chiefly a writer of poetry. She has had poems published in various journals and her chapbook “The God of Cold Girls and Cold Places” is due to be published by Dancing Girl Press in 2015. She can be found on Twitter (@LizzyHuitson) or wandering the Oxfordshire countryside talking to birds and insects.
Marissa de Luna
A professional Chartered Surveyor, Marissa took a brief career break in which she wrote her first novel, Goa Traffic. She self-published and it’s been a huge success on Amazon (perhaps her degree in Business Studies helped). Her second novel, The Bittersweet Vine, was published in 2013 by Thames River Press. She is currently working on several other projects including a light-hearted detective series set in Goa, where she grew up.
I started my writing career more than 50 years ago in Canada by walking into the offices of The Montreal Star, and demanding a job. Bare-faced cheek paid off, and I wrote news, interviews, even theatre reviews, until in 1960, they fired me for becoming pregnant with my first child! I then freelanced for magazines and radio (CBC) and had several adaptations of Moliere plays broadcast on both radio and television.
Back in England, children grown, I switched to academia, gained a doctorate in psychology at |Oxford University, became a psychotherapist and consultant to the Family Court, and published two non-fiction books with Random House:
Now retired, my third career is to be writing fiction. I have had a few short stories published in small magazines or on the web, but I find the longer form of the novel more congenial – both to read and to write. Prolixity appeals, alas.
War of Words: Women and Men Arguing (Chatto & Windus.1998; Vintage paperback 1999)
Also as Warum Maenner und Frauen sich nicht Verstehen (Munich, 1998: Lichtenberg)
Stop Dreaming, Start Living (London: Vermilion, 2004)
Also as Changez votre vie! Un programme unique pour vivre pleinement vos reves (Editions Caractere, 2005); Traumst du noch oder lebst du schon? (Ehrenwirth, 2005); Geniet van het leven: En maak je dromen waar (The House of Books, Antwerp, 2004)
Debbie Martin writes adult psychological thrillers as Debrah Martin and a Young Adult teen detective series under the pen name Lily Stuart. Debbie’s novels examine real people in real – but unexpected – situations, and the way their life transforms because of them. Her work has been described variously as intriguing, poignant, irreverent, quirky and page-turning.
She is widowed, has two daughters and moved to Wantage in 2013, describing it as the friendliest place she’s ever lived. She is also Chair of the Wantage (not just Betjeman) Literary Festival.
You can also follow her on @StorytellerDeb or find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DeborahMartin.Author
Dave has enjoyed a long career as a freelance journalist specialising in travel and tourism, and is currently working on a book about the history of holidays. His novel Nightfall was published by Citron Press in 1999; he is now working on another novel and his first play. He continues to write for travel industry and business travel publications, but between globe-trotting he finds time to be editor of the Oxford Drinker, the local magazine of the Campaign for Real Ale. He is also chair of Ab-FAG, the Abingdon Writers Fiction for Adults Group, which meets informally to consider full-length manuscripts.
Both the Oxford Drinker and Ab-FAG... just as well he doesn't gamble too.
Kathryn is primarily a poet, though she also writes short stories and some adult fiction. She also teaches English, is working on her PhD and has a young family. No, we don’t know how she finds time, either.