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JAMIE O'DOWD. Jamie's latest novel, A Brief History of a Dot, follows a 12 year old boy as his life is turned upside down following the outbreak of civil war in his home country. Desperate to reach the milestone age of 13 and finally become a man, Dot finds that the adult world is not all that he hoped it would be. Following the murder of his father, he flees his home aboard an overcrowded fishing boat destined for the shores of Europe, Dot soon learns that greed and selfishness go hand in hand with becoming a man. When the boat is prevented from docking on the shores of Europe, Dot is inspired to make a life or death decision to try and save the lives of those on board. But before he plunges into the freezing sea, he commits to putting down his life story on paper - his brief history.

 

Originally from Nottingham, England, Jamie is currently based in the sunny Middle Eastern island of Bahrain where he lives with his wife and two children. It is from this remote location he recently completed a Masters in Children's Literature through Manchester Metropolitan University. Having worked as an actor, club promoter and events manager in the past, Jamie now devotes his time to writing and teaching English and Media Studies at an international school. When asked to describe the motivation behind his writing, Jamie cites social justice and the welfare of young people as being at the core of the stories he likes to tell. When away from the classroom and his latest writing project, Jamie likes to cook, follow football and develop his film-making skills.

 

Ken Kreisler is a published children’s book author, marine journalist, and outdoor enthusiast who considers blimps, wind farms, alternate energy sources, and sustainability cool.

During both undergraduate and graduate studies, and earning a B.A. degree in English and an M.F.A. in Theater, he received his United States Coast Guard Master’s License and worked as a charter boat captain during the summer seasons and when school was not in session.

Upon graduation from college, Ken began a successful career as a middle school teacher with a concentration in creative writing before joining the mastheads of the top boating magazines in the industry. As Senior Editor, Deputy Editor, and Creative Video Editor, Ken won many awards for his editorial contributions and industry-wide accolades for his on-camera video work.

Ken and his family split their time between the isle of Manhattan, their home on the New Jersey Shore, and West Palm Beach, Florida.

 

LAS AUTORAS

 

Laura Molina Vara (Madrid, 1977) y Mónica Llamas Mendoza (Madrid, 1974) son amigas y maestras de la escuela pública desde hace casi 20 años. Llegaron a esta profesión con la ilusión de poner su granito de arena para construir una infancia y un mundo más justo y feliz. Ambas comparten el placer por la literatura infantil y creen firmemente en ella como una de las mejores herramientas para transmitir valores a la infancia.

 

LA ILUSTRADORA

 

Nuria Llamas Mendoza (Madrid, 1975). Desde pequeña pasaba horas y horas dibujando, imaginando y plasmando mundos paralelos que a través del papel le permitían expresar su forma particular de ver la vida. Con la idea de crear y transformar el mundo que le rodeaba, se decidió por el diseño, en particular el mundo de la moda y más concretamente en el calzado. Sin dejar de lado su pasión y con influencia de anime y el manga, decide cursar un máster en Dibujos Animados y Bellas Artes, siendo a lo largo de su vida la ilustración, uno de sus grandes hobbies.

 

Kevin Drugan

 

Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, I now live in London with my wife, two children, far too many pets and a ridiculously large number of books. I have spent the last twenty years working at senior executive level for a number of charities and social enterprises, especially supporting young people and those at greatest disadvantage.

I grew up in a very deprived part of Glasgow where books and the local library were my escape so I don't have an actual, single inspiration although I do love John Steinbeck, Emile Zola, Albert Camus, Graham Greene and a lot of Scottish writers who should be much better known, particularly Alasdair Gray.

Growing up, I always wanted to be a writer and I have always written short stories for my own enjoyment but life, career and a ridiculously large mortgage always seemed to get in the way of pursuing the dream. It wasn't until I started telling bedtime stories to my children that I began to write again after a lengthy break (even then, that was mainly to remember them so I didn't keep repeating myself or lose details!). Outside of all this, I cook and read a lot and follow football religiously, sometimes even managing two at the same time. I also cycle a lot but I'm currently on a sabbatical from that following a serious accident.

 

Jennifer Smith

Jen lives in the Midlands with her husband and two children. With a Masters Degree in Medieval History, Jen loves castles and King John a little too much. Strangely un-British, she does not like tea, oranges or marzipan, but adores French cheese, guava juice and Chinese food (not together).

When not writing, Jen can often be found pointing out historical inaccuracies in period dramas, being a Lady that lunches with close friends and playing board games with her family. Note: her handbags are always heavy due to multiple books (just in case she needs them). 

 

Mary Rose Callaghan

Mary Rose Callaghan was born in Ireland and emigrated to the United States in 1975, where she lived for many years.  She has written nine novels, some of which have been translated into German and Danish, and was an assistant editor of The Dictionary of Irish Literature.  She is also a playwright and biographer, and an award-winning short story writer. Her memoir, The Deep End, was published in 2016 by the University of Delaware Press.  She is currently working on a new novel.  She was married to Robert Hogan, a drama critic, and now lives in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, where she teaches and writes.

 

Elizabeth Meade Howard is an award winning journalist, former reporter and author of Aging Famously: Follow Those You Admire to Living Long and Well.
Aging Famously....won the 2019 International Book Awards, for Health 50+ books.

Previously a lecturer at the University of Virginia, Ms. Howard has contributed articles on health, aging, women and families to numerous U.S. publications from 
People Magazine to The Washington Post. She is the art editor for Streetlight Magazine online and a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors.
Also a filmmaker, Ms. Howard has made several documentaries about remarkable older women which have aired on Virginia public broadcasting. She lives
in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband, John. She enjoys writing children's stories for her granddaughter, Lydia Grace. 

 

Naomi Zucker

Naomi Zucker began her working life as a copy editor for a Boston publisher, then, after her first child was born, became a free-lance editor. That led to her editing her husband’s earliest books and then to her writing with him two award-winning books on American refugee policy.

Naomi’s days were filled with research, writing, and the teaching of writing at the University of Rhode Island. But all the while, she longed to write for children—her own, whose demands for “one more story, ple-ease” led to very extended bedtimes, and the children for whom she volunteered, first in schools and later in state foster care.

Then one day—as the fairy tales exclaim—while she sat in a bus in Istanbul, immobilized by hordes of suitcase-laden shoppers, a brown bear lumbered by her window. By evening, the bear had become the inspiration for her first middle-grade novel, Benno’s Bear, translated into Dutch as Benno’s Beer. That book won starred reviews and awards, as did her next two middle-grade novels, Callie’s Rules and Write On, Callie Jones.

All the while, her children were growing up in the house she had designed, and which she and her husband filled with books and art and memories. Now her children return with their spouses and their own children. And the stories still flow, from Naomi’s lips and from her fingers.

 

Nancy Noel Fudge

enjoys developing fun and interesting stories for many genres. She and her illustrator Erin Corcoran have produced two children’s books, “The Salt Mine Adventure” ©2017 and “The Castle Road” ©2018. She is currently working on “Stay Strong,” a children’s book to help families navigate quarantine and “I Fit the Bed,” an early reader to transition toddlers from crib to bed. Fudge actively organizes and moderates an on-line beta reading group and participates in several writing workshops. She worked for sixteen years teaching space science and space history, ten of those years through her own organization. She holds a degree from Brigham Young University in Education and Theater. She is employed as a contract teacher and often travels throughout the world organizing events and lectures. Watch for more projects to come.
Also watch for upcoming projects under her other pen names. 
Jack Fudge writes the “Unity Chronicles,” a dark science fiction-fantasy series. Of the hundreds of races, only eight survived. The long dead civilization had genetically altered the races to control them, but left to their own governing, the Unity holds itself together by a thread. The Unity chronicles follows individuals from each race as they transform their civilization, and not for the better. Coming soon.     
Noel Fudge writes biblical spiritual stories to make the Bible easy and accessible. Jeremiah was the most documented and prolific writer in the old testament. Then why do few people know his amazing story? Fudge guides readers through his life, writings, and his history as Jeremiah witnesses the fall of the nations to Babylon. Coming soon. 

 

SIOFRA O¨DONOVAN

Siofra O’Donovan is from Wicklow, Ireland. After graduating with a degree in English Literature and History of Art from UCD, Dublin, she started to write novels. She worked in Krakow, Poland in universities and schools from 1994 to 1996 and spent the next nine years traveling back and forth from India to study classical and colloquial Tibetan and to research her travelogue, Pema and the Yak, published by Pilgrims Books in 2007. She was funded by the Arts Council of Ireland for her research. Pema and the Yak, based on the lives of Tibetan Exiles in India, is an insightful travelogue  the lives of Tibetan lamas, DJs, Himalayan Kings and Queens, doctors, spies, guerrilla fighters, poets and artists in several Indo-Tibetan border areas. “It’s everything the armchair traveller with spiritual leanings could hope to read about Tibet in exile.” O.R. Melling, author of the Faerie Chronicles. It was republished on Amazon Kindle under the title Lost in Shambhala in 2015. 

She studied classical and colloquial Tibetan in the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (2002-3). From 2004-6 she was writer in residence in Co, Louth, Ireland under the Arts Council and Louth County Council. She is on the Writers in Schools Poetry Ireland panel and the Writers in Prisons panel. She published Malinski, a novel, (Lilliput Press, Dublin 2000), and Pema and the Yak, a travelogue (Pilgrims Books, Varanasi and L.A., 2006). Yours Til Hell Freezes is a biography of the Irish martyr Kevin Barry, and will be published in September 2020. 

For the last ten years she has been writing historical fantasy fiction for Middle Grade and Young Adult readers. The Secret of Pocock Grange is a fantasy that travels through history as a faery tale.  Dark Forest is a historical fantasy set in 12th Century France which was funded by the Arts Council of Ireland for research and travel costs. 


Endorsments for The Secret of Pocock Grange 

“When the borders of ordinary reality dissolve, we find ourselves in the greater realm of myth. Like all the best fantastical fiction, Siofra O'Donovan's Baba Yaga and the Dreamers holds up an enchanted mirror to our own world. A magical read for all ages.”
 
O.R.Melling, author of ‘The Faerie Chronicles’ 
 
 “Síofra O’Donovan's new book is powerful, timely and fiercely imaginative. She is an extremely gifted writer -sui generis, muscular yet gentle. This is indeed a fine piece of work.”
 Patrick McCabe, author of ‘The Butcher Boy’
 

 “This is a fast-moving narrative, powered by terse, wry dialogue and a plot which vividly interweaves fantasy and history. The Secret of Pocock Grange movingly suggests that Lost Souls can be redeemed and that that past is the best evidence we have that a future might exist. Síofra O’Donovan has the gifts of a myth-maker, with an eye for poetic detail.  She understands those strange and beautiful moments when the metaphors of poetry become literal in our lives, as children face the challenges of the adult world.”
Professor Declan Kiberd, School of English, Drama and Film, UCD, Ireland