John McArdle is a retired adversarial lawyer living in the North East of England. Starting his first law firm with his business partner at the age of 25, he has spent his professional life fighting for justice for his clients against big businesses in a system that favoured the well off. He chose not to act for big institutions because going home at night thinking that he had preserved a large sum for a big insurance client at the expense of a pensioner did not make him feel good. Winning a large sum for the pensioner is much more his style and it was upon this ethos that he built his businesses.
John is a life-long supporter of Sunderland Football Club and a supporter of the children’s organisation UNICEF. He is now happily retired, enjoys a game of golf, and lives near Darlington with his wife Gillian.
At 26 yrs old I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I was married and my daughter was 18 months old. After Chemotherapy, mastectomy and radiotherapy I was told that I had a 15% chance of living for the next three years. Well here I am three years later…. all be it divorced and one house move later.
My daughter is now six years old and after a looooong stint on the online dating game I am happily in a relationship. Follow my journey through the lows of diagnoses and the highs of online dating all wrapped up with thought provoking poems and fantastic illustrations.
Andy lives in Epworth with his wife Emily, their daughters Ruby, ten and Martha, one and their pet dog Molly.
From a very young age Andy loved stories and he was never far away from a book. Through his teens he developed a love for writing which continues to this day. What started as a story for his eldest daughter for Christmas has led to his very first book.
Andy is currently the minister at Epworth Baptist Church and in his spare time enjoys watching sports, walking and exploring new places.
A budding writer from early childhood, Stephanie penned her first short story; ‘Alison and the Magic Skiping Rope’ (with one ‘p’!) at the tender age of six. If not busy writing stories or poems, Stephanie was immersed in Enid Blyton mysteries which fired her already lively imagination and kindled an enduring love of books.
Since escaping from a busy working life, Stephanie has realised a lifelong dream and written her debut novel ‘The Woodsman’. Inspired by a love of Nature and walking, ‘The Woodsman’, a tale of everyday magic, is steeped in legend and folklore.
Stephanie lives in a small hamlet on the Nottinghamshire border where she fulfils another passion by putting on live music in the tiny village hall. When not reading, she can usually be found dancing to her 1954 Wurlitzer jukebox or exploring wild places with her husband Andy and rescue whippet Stanley in their camper van.
Cathy has had a fascination with the sea, islands and sailing for her whole life but a childhood visit on board the Canberra in Hong Kong harbour (which was thrillingly followed by a brass band, ticker tape sail-away), left her with a complete obsession about cruising and cruise ships which she continues to indulge at every possible opportunity! Cathy hates queues, coaches and standing in line and likes to see much local colour as possible without any risk of missing the ship!
Her philosophy is that there is nothing better than a day at sea so if we have to spend some time ashore then we should make every moment count! The portExplore world sprang from her need for port focused travel advice that she could not find in conventional guide books. It has now grown to include the talkExplore Facebook Group where members can share advice and information, her popular Blog and a monthly column in the new Cruise Addicts Magazine.
When not on a cruise ship, escaping her real life as a small business owner in Kent, Cathy can be found at home with her husband Tony and quite possibly their two grown up daughters and families too.
I was born and grew up in Retford with my mum, dad and sister – who I am very close with. As a child my Dad told me endless bed time stories and I always loved how he could create something from his own imagination. I knew that when I left school, I wanted to pursue English as I’d grown up with a love of books. I spent four years studying English language, literature and education at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln and then went on to become a primary school teacher.
My favourite time of the day at school, no matter the age group I’ve taught, has always been story time. Roald Dahl, Julia Donaldson and Michael Morpurgo; all these people have created amazing stories and when I read them to my children in class, I see the anticipation on their faces and watch them completely lose themselves in the story.
Having always dreamed of writing my own book, I started on my very first story idea with a character I named Ed. What started as a single character soon turned into a chapter and then a manuscript. Aside from teaching and story writing, I love nothing more than country hikes, trips to new places and any type of music from rap and pop, to Motown and soul.
Dawn enjoys writing romantic thriller novels, in which she takes her readers to beautiful locations on an emotional rollercoaster ride of deep suspense and sensual fiery passion.
She has worked in interior design, international stockbroking and banking, advertising, law, marketing and radio. Having been personal assistant to some of the most senior men and women within their fields she has had access to, and enjoyed partying in, some of the most exclusive and famous venues.
Dawn enjoys holidaying in idealistic locations and has travelled extensively around the world, using these life experiences as inspiration for her books. As well as living in her home country of England, she has lived in Spain and South America.
Currently Dawn lives in Bedfordshire with her family and is working on novels set in the Balearic Islands, Spain, Ecuador and USA.
Robert Fish is a true Islonian. He was born in Epworth and has lived there all his life. He can trace his Isle roots back to 1543.
He attended Epworth Church of England Primary School and Frederick Gough Grammar School before training as a teacher in Durham. For all but two years, his teaching career was spent in schools in the Isle. During this time he also worked as an Advisory Headteacher, and a school inspector. He retired from headship in December 2006 and spent eight years as a school inspector for Lincoln Diocese of Education, working on test development for The National Foundation for Educational Research and on the International Primary Curriculum, a role that saw him work with schools in Kenya, India and Sri Lanka. Since 2014 he has devoted much of his time to writing books on local history and World War One.
Born in York in 1956, Sarah lived in Singapore with her parents during her early childhood before boarding at a ballet school in the north of England from the age of 11. She began a career in the Civil Service in London, including working in the Home Secretary’s Private Office, before moving to Sheffield with her first husband in the late 1980s. After accepting a position with a public relations company and going on to become Head of PR with an agency in Leeds, she set up on her own in 1994. A Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Sarah has also held positions as a non-executive director with an NHS Yorkshire hospital, including Chair of its Clinical Governance Committee, and as a Trustee with the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation.
Sarah now lives in West Yorkshire with her second husband. Her favourite pastimes are scuba-diving, ballroom dancing, Pilates, ballet, table tennis and writing.
Born in Huddersfield on 15th October 1944, Andrew Pearce has been fortunate enough never to have been required to reside outside his hometown or to work outside West Yorkshire.
Educated at Huddersfield College and New College he left school in 1962 and trained as a Chartered Accountant with Messrs Armitage & Norton of Huddersfield.
Qualifying (and marrying) in 1968, Andrew was appointed a partner in the firm in 1976; and later with international firm, KPMG. This was in 1987 by which Andrew had become managing partner of A&N, Huddersfield. He now moved to the larger firm’s Leeds office in order to assume responsibility for KPMG’s national Building Society practice; and, in 1995, this led to him becoming Finance Director of Yorkshire Building Society, and transferring his base to their Bradford headquarters.
Retiring from full-time work in 2001, Andrew took up a non-executive directorship with Coventry Building Society the same year. He later became the Coventry’s deputy chairman before totally retiring from work in 2009.
Andrew has four sons and five grand-children and is happily married to his sweetheart from teenage years, Linda. Outside work and family his interests have tended to focus on a variety of sports and, in particular, football, cricket and golf.
He began writing ‘Of Amos, ‘Erbert and Friends – Flying High with Huddersfield Town’, his first, book in 2006.
Born in Liverpool in 1930, Noel Bradley was the youngest of six children. Three of his siblings died before he was born and his mother died when he was just five years old, such was the harshness of life in Liverpool during the Great Depression. Liverpool was a prime Luftwaffe target in World War 2 and Noel, along with many other children, was evacuated in 1939.
In 1946, Noel joined the RAF as an apprentice engineer and married his sweetheart, Jean in 1952 after meeting her only twice! Overseas for months at a time and separated from his wife and daughter, he bought himself out of the RAF in 1954 and moved to the Bristol Aircraft Company where he worked on the new cutting edge innovation of the era; the jet engine.
1955 saw a move into farming in Jean’s native Scotland, but in 1956 Noel, craving a return to engineering, became a mining engineer in the Midlothian coalfields. In 1968, mining took the family to the coalfields of Nottinghamshire, where Noel worked at Bevercotes and Harworth pits, followed by Bold colliery in Lancashire. He also spent some time as a mining engineer in West Bengal, India.
When he retired from mining in 1987 Jean and Noel moved back to Scotland and bought a property near Hawick, which they converted into a successful guest house. Jean sadly passed away in 2000, and Noel sadly passed away in May 2019.
Born one month premature, Eileen spent the first few weeks of her life in a hospital incubator in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. It was 1949 when keeping alive a baby weighing less than three pounds was as much a matter of luck as medical know-how. Eileen figures her luck came through a nickname given by her Grandfather. A farmer on the northern prairie, this granddad had an anaemic cow that started life as a calf sitting at death’s door. Despite her illness, the cow named ‘Ikey’ lived to a ripe old age. Grandpa thought the same good fortune would come to anybody sharing that same name. So Eileen faded into the background and Ikey stuck—although at some point along the way it got shortened to Ike. And, seven decades later, the good luck continues as well. Although it didn’t start out looking as if that would be the case.
Childhood arthritis and severe allergies meant lots of time in bed for young Ike. Silver linings circled this grey cloud though, as she spent many hours of her bed-ridden days travelling to imaginary places. In each adventure she saw herself healthy and strong. During adolescence she recorded her gallantry in stories and journals. Picturing her body differently seemed to make dreams come true.
Ike got well enough to enter University, and her schooling was paid for in large part by programs to aid people with severe diseases or medical conditions. After receiving an advanced degree in 1972, Ike wanted to give back for the assistance she received. At an early age she learned that true success in life is not measured by fame or fortune, but rather in the ability to overcome obstacles. Her primary goal became helping others who faced grave difficulties and needed support to achieve their own health and happiness.
Ike spent her early career setting up children and family service programs for tribal people in South Dakota, USA. Experiences on the reservation shaped the rest of her life. She spent the next thirty years travelling and writing about her cross-cultural immersion and lasting commitment to family and friends in native communities.
Now a mother of a daughter and son as well as grandmother to three grandchildren, Ike still travels approximately half of each year, writing magazine articles and lecturing around the world. In addition to her work and cherished time with family, she continues to keep personal journals, and loves to read, draw and paint. She also enjoys yoga and taking long walks in nature. Her greatest passion is discovering the mystical and enchanting aspects of our world.
Another Giant World is Ike’s second published novel and the first for a youthful audience.
I felt compelled to write Ursu’s story, and having done so I didn’t know what to do with it. I had no idea whether it was good or not or how to go about publishing it in some way. I had never before written a book.
By chance I was introduced to Jane who not only gave me the confidence to publish, but also held my hand throughout the administrative process. A year on from publication in spring 2018, Jane continues to give me huge support. Publishing can be a confusing and challenging sphere. Jane understands the industry and underpins this with a very friendly, accessible style, and with honesty and kindness. I wouldn’t have published without her. Anyone publishing through JJMoffs is in safe hands.
Although I had self-published my previous books, ‘Misadventure, Mayhem, Myth and Murder’ was my first with a publisher. I chose JJ Moffs as it was a local and independent publisher and from the outset I knew I had made the right choice. Jane was consistently professional, courteous and honest, and her guidance and attention to detail was of the highest order. She kept me informed of the deadlines at each stage and left me confident the book would be finished to my satisfaction – as it was! The whole process was privately and publicly rewarding, so much so that I am embarking on two other books with her.
For anyone seeking to publish their first book, or for more experienced authors wishing to extend the scope of their writing, I strongly recommend Jane and all her team at JJ Moffs, Publishing
My Dad’s dream (then aged 86 years) was to have his poetry published. As family members we all thought that the poems were good, but we wanted an outside, honest opinion. Fortunately for us Jane was very impressed and emotionally engaged by what she had read. My Dad no idea how to proceed to get his work into print, but Jane had all the knowledge and drive that we needed to start the ball rolling and keep it going for the best outcome we could have hoped for. Her knowledge, skill, dedication and effort were wholly responsible for the finished product “Thirties Child – A living history in verse”.
The absolute joy for both Jane and myself at my dad’s excitement when he picked up his first copy of his own poems in print, is unforgettable.
Jane’s sincere and honest investment in the people she meets creates strong bonds and trust in her abilities. Without Jane, the book Thirties Child would never have happened. I cannot recommend this independent publisher highly enough.