Some of the members of Ampthill Writers’ Group.
Rob Baker is a pianist and music teacher, who spent eight years living in West Africa. During most of that time, he blogged about his adventures (on his website), which then led him into writing a full scale book. “Adventures in Music and Culture” recounts Rob’s musical travels through Togo and Benin in a somewhat unreliable Land Rover. He currently teaches music in Bedfordshire and is working on his second book.
Adam Croft is a professional author from Flitwick who is best-known for his light comedy murder mystery series, The Kempston Hardwick Mysteries. The first book in the series, Exit Stage Left was adapted into a radio play featuring Robert Daws, Stephen Palfreman, Ted Robbins and Emily Atack. He’s also written two non-fiction books, including We Need to Talk About Adam, a frank account of his battles with depression, the profits of which are being donated to mental health charities. More recently he has branched out into acting. Find out more about Adam from his website.
Alanna Collen is a full-time science writer whose first popular science book, 10% Human, about the role of the human body’s trillions of microbes in maintaining health and happiness, was published in April 2015 by HarperCollins. Alanna’s career has alternated between writing and scientific research, including a PhD in evolutionary biology and a stint writing for the wildlife website ARKive, as well as the odd article for the Sunday Times Magazine. She is currently working on her second book about the science of weight gain, and the role of environmental chemicals known as obesogens in disrupting our appetites and metabolisms.
Dr John Emsley was at King’s College London for 22 years and produced over 100 original research papers. He was also chemistry consultant and writer for New Scientist. In 1990 he moved to Imperial College to become their Science Writer in Residence and also wrote a column for The Independent newspaper for 7 years. He subsequently moved to a similar position at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. His first popular science book was The Consumer’s Good Chemical Guide which won the Science Book Prize of 1995. Since then he has written another 12 books, most of which have been translated into other languages.
Brian Kerr has lived in Bedfordshire for around 25 years following a career working overseas, mostly in Africa. Trained as a soil scientist he has applied his knowledge of the environment to unravelling the landscape history of Bedfordshire and in his forthcoming book, An Assuming County: The Making of the Bedfordshire Countryside, (Dec 2014), he traces the history of one English county in a way which is accessible to the non scientist. His book is a readable account of the geology, and landscape for walkers, those interested in nature conservation, planners, and the general public with an interest in the countryside. He continues to work on soil and agricultural applications and has recently been engaged in projects in the UK, Ireland, Rwanda, and Tanzania. He presently holds a post as a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University in Bedfordshire, UK.
Diana Jackson is a writer of historical fiction who dabbles in murder too. She has two novels in her Riduna series published, ‘Riduna’ set on the island of Alderney in the late 19th Century and ‘Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home’ which takes the series to the Southampton area, through The Great War to 1920. There is a third in the pipeline. Diana has also compiled a memoir, ‘The Life and Demise of Norman Campbell’ but her most recent project is her, soon to be launched, murder mystery ‘MURDER, Now and Then,’ set in the heart of mid Bedfordshire in 1919 and 2019. Although Diana’s original novel was published by Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie, she now self publishes and has set up a company cooperative, Eventispress, through which she is helping other local writers to realise their dream to get their manuscripts into print.
Emma Riddell completed an MA in Creative Writing in 2013 and is aiming to maintain that momentum as she writes her first adult novel, The Other Daughter. In this gothic tale the Frankenstein myth is appropriated into contemporary family life amid concerns about infertility and human cloning. Previously, Emma has commissioned, edited and written articles on business and finance, but is currently working part-time to concentrate on her fiction writing. Emma’s aspirations, aside from getting her novel published, involve sitting on a sofa, dunking digestives, and discussing writing with Sarah Waters. Find her tweeting on reading, writing and all things furry/feathery @EmmaERiddell
Jeremy Ramsden mostly writes research papers and reviews in scientific journals but has also authored a number of textbooks, including Bioinformatics (3rd edition in preparation), Applied Nanotechnology (now in its 2nd edition) and Nanotechnology: An Introduction. He has also edited (and contributed a significant proportion of) Spiritual Motivation: New Thinking for Business and Management and Complexity and Security. His most recent venture is a series of books for young children: Folktales from Different Lands, on which he is working together with illustrator Mariam Margishvili. Vol. 3, recently released, is Tiidu the Piper.
Liam O’Dell is a writer, blogger and poet. Since 2012, Liam has been writing about a variety of topics, including his life, on his blog: The Life of a Thinker. As well as blogging, Liam is working on his first novel and is also a presenter on Siren FM in Lincoln where he’s studying Journalism. You can get more information about Liam and his writing on Twitter, @lifeofathinker, and on his blog
Philip Whiteley is an author with ten published books in management and business. The self-published title Meet the New Boss was shortlisted for the 2010/2011 Management Book of the Year Award. He writes fiction under the name PJ Whiteley, and his first novel Close of Play appeared in April 2015. Departing radically from the work-related themes of his non-fiction, he has penned a romantic comedy described by the publisher Urbane Publications as ‘a thoughtful, honest story of love and manners, of missed opportunities and a chance at redemption’. He works full-time as professional author, undertaking many projects as a ghostwriter. He speaks Spanish, plays five-a-side football and supports Leeds United – a commitment requiring rather more reserves of heroic optimism than writing a book. He tweets sporadically at @Felipewh, and blogs about serious stuff here: http://felipewh.wordpress.com/
Rachel Lewis started blogging in 2006 but has been writing fiction since 2010 when she had a go at NaNoWriMo and fell in love with creating stories. Since then she’s continued to write blogs and dabbled in journalism and FanFiction, before getting down to work on her first original novel, which will be released in late 2018. Rachel has been involved with Ampthill LitFest organising committee and works part-time as an Administrator. You can catch up with Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_J_Lewis or find out more about her via her website.
Richard Farquharson has published two books: Musings from Maulden and More Musings from Maulden. Inspired by the sublime and the ordinary, these combined diaries, travelogues and personal jotters include descriptions which never disappoint. Richard also opens in these a door on the world of Monasteries and Convents, allowing us to journey alongside him as he enters into these otherwise largely hidden places. He has also written a number of short stories and other works which can be viewed on his website. In March 2016 one of Richard’s haiku compositions was selected for inclusion and discussion in the Good Friday 2016 broadcast from Things Unseen and in April 2016 one of his poems “Miracles Beyond” was chosen for inclusion in a book of religious poetry to be published by United Press called “Aspects of Faith”.