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Biographies: My favorite writers

Today's post is going to be all about my favorite authors. I will be sharing their biographies as well as what books of their's I have. I hope that this post introduces you to some new authors to try if you haven't already.


Philippa Gregory was born on 9 January 1954 in Nairobi, at that time serving as capital city of British Kenya (modern-day Republic of Kenya), the second daughter of Elaine and Arthur Percy Gregory, a radio operator and navigator for East African Airways. When she was two years old, her family moved to Bristol, England. She was a "rebel" at Colston's Girls' School. She then went to journalism college in Cardiff and spent a year as an apprentice with the Portsmouth News before she managed to gain a place on an English literature degree course at the University of Sussex, where she switched to a history course. She worked in BBC radio for two years before attending the University of Edinburgh, where she earned her doctorate in 18th-century literature. Gregory has taught at the University of Durham, University of Teesside, and the Open University, and was made a Fellow of Kingston University in 1994. Gregory wrote her first novel Wideacre while completing a PhD in 18th-century book history, and living in a cottage on the Pennine Way with first husband Peter Chislett, editor of the Hartlepool Mail, and their baby daughter, Victoria. They divorced before the book was published.Following the success of Wideacre and the publication of The Favoured Child, she moved south to near Midhurst, West Sussex, where the Wideacre trilogy was set. Here she married her second husband Paul Carter, with whom she has a son. She divorced for a second time and married Anthony Mason, whom she had first met during her time in Hartlepool. Gregory now lives on a 100-acre farm in the North York Moors National Park, with her husband, children and stepchildren (six in all). Her interests include riding, walking, skiing, and gardening.


Johanna Lindsey

Johanna Lindsey (born Johanna Helen Howard, March 10, 1952), is one of the most popular American writers of historical romance novels worldwide. All of her books reached the New York Times bestseller list, many reaching No. 1. Her father was Edwin Dennis Howard, a soldier in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, where she was born. The family moved about a great deal when she was young. Her father always dreamed of retiring to Hawaii and after he died in 1964, Lindsey and her mother settled there to honor him.

In 1970, when she was still in school, she married Ralph Bruce Lindsey, becoming a young housewife. The marriage continued, the couple residing in Hawaii and producing three children; Alfred, Joseph and Garret, who already have made her a grandmother. After her husband's death, Lindsey moved to Maine and has not remarried. Lindsey wrote her first book, Captive Bride, in 1977 "on a whim". The book was a success, as have been the forty-nine novels that followed. As of 2006 more than fifty-eight million copies of her books have been sold worldwide, and her work has been translated into twelve languages.Owing to their diversity of settings Lindsey's work covers a number of romance sub-genres, including medieval, Regency, western, Viking, and even science fiction. Her most popular books are a series of Regency sagas about the fictional Malory family.


Tessa Dare is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling American historical romance novelist. She has authored fifteen novels and novellas and created four different series. In 2012, she won the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for Best Regency Historical Romance for her book A Night to Surrender.During childhood, her family moved often and books took on an important role for her. She says they became "my refuge, my entertainment, my source of information on all sorts of topics... in a way, they were my home. Whenever I felt lonely or uprooted, opening a familiar book gave me comfort. I would read through dinner, read through classes, read into the wee hours of the night, and, yes, I even read while walking!" Dare works as a part-time librarian and currently resides in Southern California, USA with her husband and two children.Her first publicly seen fiction was Jane Austen fan fiction written under the pen name Vangie. Shortly afterward, she entered and won the first Avon Fan-lit contest and her short story "Forget Me Not" was published as Chapter Four of the Harper-Collins e-book, These Wicked Games. It was from this competition that she broke into publishing, along with the other winner, Courtney Milan. Dare then signed with Ballantine to publish her debut novel, Goddess of the Hunt. In 2011, she switched to Avon with the first book in her Spindle Cove series, A Night to Surrender. When asked why she mixes serious emotion with humor, she tied it back to her first date with her husband. "I ran into a flagpole, face-first. More than a decade later, we're still laughing about it. So the juxtaposition of comic absurdity and deeply felt emotion just seems real to me, because it mirrors my own life."


Joanne Rowling was born on 31st July 1965 at Yate General Hospital near Bristol, and grew up in Gloucestershire in England and in Chepstow, Gwent, in south-east Wales. Her father, Peter, was an aircraft engineer at the Rolls Royce factory in Bristol and her mother, Anne, was a science technician in the Chemistry department at Wyedean Comprehensive, where Jo herself went to school. Anne was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when Jo was a teenager and died in 1990, before the Harry Potter books were published. Jo also has a younger sister, Di.

The young Jo grew up surrounded by books. “I lived for books,’’ she has said. “I was your basic common-or-garden bookworm, complete with freckles and National Health spectacles.” Jo wanted to be a writer from an early age. She wrote her first book at the age of six – a story about a rabbit, called ‘Rabbit’. At just eleven, she wrote her first novel – about seven cursed diamonds and the people who owned them.Jo studied at Exeter University, where she read so widely outside her French and Classics syllabus that she clocked up a fine of £50 for overdue books at the University library. Her knowledge of Classics would one day come in handy for creating the spells in the Harry Potter series, some of which are based on Latin. Her course included a year in Paris. “I lived in Paris for a year as a student,” Jo tweeted after the 2015 terrorist attacks there. “It’s one of my favourite places on earth.”After her degree, she moved to London and worked in a series of jobs, including one as a researcher at Amnesty International. “There in my little office I read hastily scribbled letters smuggled out of totalitarian regimes by men and women who were risking imprisonment to inform the outside world of what was happening to them.” She said later. “My small participation in that process was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life.”Jo conceived the idea of Harry Potter in 1990 while sitting on a delayed train from Manchester to London King’s Cross. Over the next five years, she began to map out all seven books of the series. She wrote mostly in longhand and gradually built up a mass of notes, many of which were scribbled on odd scraps of paper. Taking her notes with her, she moved to northern Portugal to teach English as a foreign language, married Jorge Arantes in 1992 and had a daughter, Jessica, in 1993. When the marriage ended later that year, she returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, with Jessica and a suitcase containing the first three chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.In Edinburgh, Jo trained as a teacher and began teaching in the city’s schools, but she continued to write in every spare moment.Having completed the full manuscript, she sent the first three chapters to a number of literary agents, one of whom wrote back asking to see the rest of it. She says it was “the best letter I had ever received in my life.”The book was first published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books in June 1997, under the name J.K. Rowling.The “K” stands for Kathleen, her paternal grandmother’s name. It was added at her publisher’s request, who thought a book by an obviously female author might not appeal to the target audience of young boys.Her first novel was published in the US by Scholastic under a different title (again at the publisher’s request), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in 1998. Six further titles followed in the Harry Potter series, each achieving record-breaking success.In 2001, the film adaptation of the first book was released by Warner Bros., and was followed by six more book adaptations, concluding with the release of the eighth film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, in 2011.J.K. Rowling has also written two small companion volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry’s school books within the novels. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages were published in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. In December 2008, a third companion volume, The Tales of Beedle the Bard was published in aid of her international children’s charity, Lumos. In 2012, J.K. Rowling’s digital company Pottermore was launched, where fans can enjoy news, features and articles, as well as content by J.K. Rowling.In the same year, J.K. Rowling published her first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy (Little, Brown), which has now been translated into 44 languages and was adapted for TV by the BBC in 2015. Under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, J.K. Rowling also writes crime novels, featuring private detective Cormoran Strike. The first of these, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was published to critical acclaim in 2013, at first without its author’s true identity being known. The Silkworm followed in 2014, Career of Evil in 2015 and Lethal White in 2018. All are published by Little, Brown. The first three books have been adapted for a major television series for BBC One, produced by Brontë Film and Television.J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement speech was published in 2015 as an illustrated book, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination (Sphere), and sold in aid of Lumos and university-wide financial aid at Harvard.In 2016, J.K. Rowling collaborated with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany on an original new story for the stage. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two is now running at The Palace Theatre in London’s West End and at the Lyric Theatre on Broadway, with an Australian production due to open in February 2019. The script book was published (Little, Brown) to mark the play’s opening in July 2016, and instantly topped the bestseller lists.Also in 2016, J.K. Rowling made her screenwriting debut with the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a further extension of the Wizarding World, released to critical acclaim in November 2016. A prequel to Harry Potter, this new series of adventures featuring Magizoologist Newt Scamander is planned as a five-film series. The second installment, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was released in November 2018.The screenplays were published (Little, Brown) to coincide with each film release: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The Original Screenplay (2016) and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald The Original Screenplay (2018).J.K. Rowling has been married to Dr Neil Murray since 2001. They live in Edinburgh with their son, David (born 2003) and daughter, Mackenzie (born 2005).


My Books

Philippa Gregory's books take up almost the top shelf of my bookcase. I have almost every book now and just need a few more to have them all. I absolutely love her writing and while some historical facts are questioned I think she does an amazing job bringing the history to life.

Johanna Lindsay's books also take up almost a full shelf. I love her writing style and her books are very interesting. Yes the cover's can be questionable but I never judge a book by it's cover.

Tessa Dare's books are the smallest bunch on my bookshelf, at least for books by the same author. I recently found her books at the library and fell in love. I love her books, they are charming, funny and very interesting. There are still more that I want to get but this is it for now.

J.K. Rowling's books while well read are still in a prestigious spot on my shelves. I love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and if I ever need to escape my life for a while I always grab my trusted copy of Harry Potter and escape for a while. I still need the newest screenplays and illustrated versions. I have the first two books illustrated versions.


Hope you enjoyed today's post. If you have a favorite author share them with me and I will definitely give them a try. I am always looking for new books to read.

See you next time:)

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