Book Fair 2016

Hampshire Writers’ Society Published Members’ Book Fair

14th June 2016 from 6pm

The Stripe Building, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester

Come along and meet these fascinating authors who are members of the Hampshire Writers’ Society. Chat to them about their path to publication. Some will have their books available for sale and signing on the night.

Meet the Authors

Marion Dante

Marion Dante `1

Dropping the Habit

Published by Poolbeg Press. April 2007. ISBN: 978-1842235232

Marion Dante left home aged fourteen to spend thirty-three years in a convent.

Was she her Mother’s sin-offering?

When she returned to Civvie Street she said that she felt like an egg without a shell.

While recovering from cancer she discovered writing was therapeutic.

Fund-raising for The Fountain Centre in St Luke’s Cancer Centre, the Royal Surrey Hospital, provided her with a mission. Her effort has been recognised with an invitation to attend Buckingham Palace Garden Party 19/05/16.

Two of Marion’s novels are soon to be released:

Searching for Love;    Love….as Strong as the Tuscan Hills

Marion Dante   

Claire Fuller

Winner of the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize

Claire Fuller’s debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days is the story of Peggy Hillcoat, who is taken by her father to a European forest where he tells her that the rest of the world has disappeared. Peggy isn’t seen again for nine years.

The book won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize, was a Richard & Judy, and Waterstones book club book, and has been translated into ten languages. Claire lives in Winchester with her husband, and has two adult children.

Dai Henley

Blazing Obsession

Blazing Obsession shows how powerful revenge and obsession are, and how they can result in fatal consequences. The novel, which combines police procedural, legal drama and amateur sleuth genres, will appeal primarily to crime fans.

Following the sale of my successful businesses in 2004, I retired and joined a Creative Writing class in 2006 and still attend weekly. Writing has become my No 1 passion. I’ve also attended many workshops and seminars at the Winchester Writers’ Annual Conference.

I received Highly Commended awards for short stories at the Christchurch Writers annual competition in 2011 and 2012.

In 2010, I published my autobiography, B POSITVE! my blood group, which readers have described as an inspirational read.

 Celia Leofsy

The Company of Goblins

Celia has always been interested in writing and drawing. As a child, the stories and poems she wrote were brought to life by her sketches and illustrations.

The Company of Goblins, Celia’s first book, is for children aged 7 – 12 years and is fun for boys and girls alike, and of course contains sketches. Over the last four years Celia has given talks on Norse Mythology in schools, libraries and at festivals.

‘Identified by the Ljosalfar as the child prophesied in the Scrolls of Alfheimer, Izzy Green grows up unaware of her powers until she is nearly twelve. During a surprise visit to her father’s boss, she senses that something is very wrong. With her cat, Orlando, she is catapulted into a series of terrifying adventures when the Ljosalfar, the highest order of elves, enlist her help to find their diminishing source of power.

Masked behind digital communications and technology where no one need ever see them, the king of the goblins plots to take control of both human and magical domains. The first step is to secretly steal the teeth left out for the Tooth Fairy; the source of the Ljosalfar’s power.’


Maggie Farran, Sally Howard,

Karen Stephen, Catherine Griffin

Untitled  Maggie Farran, Sally Howard, Karen Stephen, Catherine Griffin

Secret Lives of Chandler’s Ford

‘Secret Lives of Chandler’s Ford’ features short stories that are contemporary,historical and futuristic. The writers live and work locally. Each of the writers has their own individual style. However they wanted a theme to unify the collection. As they all love Chandler’s Ford it became apparent that there could be no better backdrop to their stories.

Anthony Ridgway

A progress meeting Ant with Suzan Houching, who is illustrating the book.

Wizzy the Animal Whisperer

written by Anthony Ridgway and illustrated by Suzan Houching

Published by Little Knoll Press

Ant Ridgway’s new book, Wizzy the Animal Whisperer, is an adventure story about Wizzy the wheelchair, Dan, and friends, James and Sophie.

My name is Anthony Ridgway. I have cerebral palsy. I first had the idea for Wizzy because children often stop me when I am out and about in the local park in my electric wheelchair. They ask their parents. ‘What is the matter with that man?’  Some people get embarrased and walk away; sometimes I have to explain, ‘My legs don’t work.’

The name Wizzy came about from a friend, Leo, who used to call my chair, ‘Wizzy Wheelchair.’

Wizzy is a talking wheelchair with attitude! Dan and Wizzy are like two friends.Dan’s father designed the chair so Dan is able to be independent, using Wizzy’s amazing abilities. They have some terrific adventures together. I hope you will enjoy reading about them.

My mum and dad, Grethe and Mike, have helped me hugely over the years.My dad used to write things down for me. Sadly he has now died.

I write now using a computer programme developed by Dolphin Computer Access. I type using a large keyboard and the computer speaks out each letter. In this way, I build the sentences. My mum helps me edit, which is especially useful when the programme uses automatic spell check with sometimes amusing results.

I would also like to thank my creative writing teacher, Barbara Large MBE, for her support and encouragement since we first met in 2008, and for helping me to polish up my writing.

The book will be launched on 29th October at The Point, Eastleigh

 Suzan Houching

‘My Story in Colour’  a New Forest artist’s book

This beautiful book My Story in Colour by New Forest artist, Suzan Houching, took two years in the writing – and painting – so its launch in May 2015 was a really big occasion.

Over one hundred people came to the book launch to celebrate Suzan’s achievement, and to toast the success of her book. Waterstones Shop Manager, Lisa Furness, said, “I’m delighted. More books were sold on that evening than at any other local book launch I can remember in ten years of working for Waterstones.”

 MY STORY IN COLOUR is full of Suzan’s stories, illustrated with over a hundred of her acrylic paintings, plus new pen and watercolour sketches, and family photos. Through the book’s 146 pages you can trace five generations of Dorset and Hampshire history – Suzan’s grandfather farmed in Dorset before moving to Brockenhurst, her aunt bred the famous New Forest pony ‘Dolly Grey IX’, her parents, and then Suzan and her husband, Ted, ran village pubs, and following this lived in the New Forest, as do their children and grandchildren now.

The result is a totally irresistible book. Many of the launch guests sat down in the Waterstones café as soon as they had their books signed and became totally absorbed, just as Hannah Gordon did before she wrote the Foreword for the book, in which she says, ‘As I turned the pages I found myself being immediately drawn into a wonderful, sunny world.

When Suzan was a child, her family were busy farming and running the pub, but she preferred to find a quiet place where she could draw and paint. During an art lesson at school, Suzan was asked to illustrate the scene from Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, where the postman, Willy Nilly, and his wife are in their kitchen steaming open letters before delivering them. It was then that she discovered her love of painting ordinary people going about their business.

The familiarity and quirkiness of Suzan’s paintings will make you smile, and sometimes laugh out loud. Not only her words, but every picture tells a story – all universal stories too.

You can see more about this book by clicking on this link –

MY STORY IN COLOUR by Suzan Houching, ISBN: 978-0-9927220-5-0, is published by Little Knoll Press and is available to buy at £17.99 from Waterstones, Ringwood, other Waterstones shops and independent bookshops by request, and from

Marion Bond

Its Own Place

Marion Bond was born in Dumbarton, in 1955 and subsequently attended The University of Glasgow, where she studied English Language and Literature.

The next three and a half decades were spent in teaching English at independent and comprehensive schools and Sixth Form colleges, in Glasgow, Yorkshire and Hampshire.

Successful in international poetry competitions, including the University of Southampton International Writers Conference and the Wells Festival of Literature and a reviewer for poetry magazines, such as South, she has performed her work alongside Ruth Padel, Don Paterson, Chris Logue, Jo Shapcott and Wendy Cope at venues as diverse as The Edinburgh Fringe, The Gantry, The New Forest Arts Centre and Winchester Cathedral.

For the last twenty years or so, Marion has been writing and publishing poetry in small presses.

She favours blank verse, but enjoys experimenting with forms such as the villanelle and the sestina. Her first collection, Its Own Place, will be available from May 2016 (Sarsen Press) and reflects themes of faith and spirituality. Marion has also published short stories.

She has a wide international following online, under her pseudonym Candia Dixon-Stuart, where she presents satirical and humorous prose,  as well as

Di Castle

Grandma’s Poetry Book

I am a writer living in Swanage. Born and bred in Hertfordshire, I always had a love of words, writing as soon as I could hold a pen.

My poetry collection, Grandma’s Poetry Book, was self-published by Matador in November 2014. I have other books in progress and there has been interest from agents in my memoir of growing up with a profoundly deaf sibling.  I have a passionate interest in raising deaf awareness.

During my career teaching in Further and Higher Education, I collected a hoard of unfinished manuscripts.
Later, my writing took precedence and, since becoming a regular attendee at the Winchester Writers’ Conference, I have enjoyed success in their competitions gaining two first prizes and highly commended awards for articles on a range of subjects. I began blogging in 2012 and as well as issues surrounding deafness I blog on mental health, dyslexia, writing and anything topical that stirs me to fire up the computer. You can read my blogs here:

In the last year I have become an author for and have had articles published on , Gransnet and The Depression Alliance website.

I have been interviewed on Hope FM and also by Andrew Knowles of Dorset Social.

I take my book into a local care home, read some poems and show the illustrations. Residents who don’t normally speak start telling me their life story and other snippets.

In the 1980s Di, along with her partner, Bryan, was one of the more prolific scriptwriters for the Terry Wogan morning show and some of their letters and the story of their romance is itching to get on to paper.


Grandma’s Poetry Book – Di Castle – a nostalgic childhood journey through the eyes of a first-time grandmother. Fifty-seven poems bounce the reader through the writer’s experiences with hilarious illustrations by Denise Horn. Touching and funny in turn, the collection captures the many facets of fleeting easily forgotten moments.
Priced £6.99 the book is available  via or contact
This is Di Castle’s debut and a second book is awaiting illustrations and final polish.

Her next book Should I Wear Floral and Other Poems on Life Love and Leaving will be out during 2016. Also illustrated by Denise Horn, this is a collection of poems looking at the funnier side of life and the irritations of mobile phones and much more.

Di Castle
Follow Di’s blog, on Facebook and Twitter:
or on Twitter @dinahcas

Damon L. Wakes



Damon L. Wakes holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester, and writes just about anything that springs to mind. He produces both short stories and novels, and particularly enjoys crafting new worlds. He also constructs works of interactive fiction, which can be explored on virtually any device with a web browser.
The first three Flash Fiction Month anthologies: OCR is Not the Only Font, Red Herring, andBionic Punchline are free to download as ebooks.

The books in this series don’t need to be read in order, but they all follow the same format and were written as part of the same annual event:

OCR is Not the Only Font

Silly, surreal and sometimes serious, these thirty-one very short stories cover a vast range of subjects and themes. Written entirely during July 2012, these flash fiction pieces are accompanied by a deeply unscientific analysis of the challenge that spawned them: to write thirty-one stories in thirty-one days.

Red Herring

Written one-a-day in July 2013, these thirty-one more very short stories feature a wide (and often surprising) cast of characters: a drunken angel, a baby-themed supervillain, a man who spontaneously turns into two mildly annoyed horses. This book is for everyone who’s ever wondered: “Just what would happen if Hydrogen quit its day job to become a country music star…?”

Bionic Punchline

What do a squeamish torturer, an intelligent zombie, a newspaper-phobic superhero and Genghis Khan have in common? They’re all in this book, and their stories were all written for Flash Fiction Month 2014. With one story for each and every day of July–and a humourous analysis of the event–there’s something for everyone here.
“I have no problem with this, nor any useful comments!” ~Jasper Fforde

Osiris Likes This

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to wake up three thousand years late for work? Whether doomsday devices come with instructions? How reptilian alien impostors might really get on in politics? Find answers to these questions and twenty-eight more in the fourth flash fiction anthology from Damon L. Wakes.

Face of Glass  – a novel

On an ancient island paradise, an ambitious foreign merchant overturns tradition. But even as finely-crafted stone gives way before steel, an ancient power seems to offer a lowly slave one slim chance to change his fate, and restore his tribe to its former glory. This power, however, comes at a terrible price: it threatens everything he had hoped to gain.
For more information go to Damon’s website.

David Bruce

Caird Publications Poster [536357]

Aviation novels by David Bruce available on Amazon Kindle

Finishing School

Night of the Whirlwind


Scorpion Force

The Prototypes


Sally-Anne Greville-Heygate

Sally-Anne Greville-Heygate is a writer, freelance photographer and teacher. She is a member of the Society of Authors and has had photographs and articles in a variety of books and magazines. She gained a MA in Writing for Children at Winchester University. Sally-Anne lives near Salisbury and has two children. She is working on her next book about the life of a Victorian soldier in the Royal Engineers.


From Sapper to Spitfire Spy

published by Pen and Sword books

A WWII biography of David Greville-Heygate who was one of the few men who served in both the army and the RAF during the Second World War.  Flying low-level tactical and shipping recces over the English Channel, he went on to win the illustrious and highly coveted Distinguished Flying Cross on a photo-recce mission over Northern France.  In preparation for the D-Day landings, he took photographs that would provide the allies with essential intelligence upon which to base their invasion plans. After his first tour he taught at Hawarden before being posted to  Holland in December 1944 to fly typhoons. David flew armed recces with No.168 Squadron then transferred to No.2 Squadron where he reported on German troop movements. During the course of a dynamic and eventful career, he flew a wide variety of iconic wartime aircraft including Lysanders, Mustangs, Typhoons and Spitfires in England, the Netherlands and Germany.


Nick Newberry


A.P.Jessett was born in Wiltshire and raised in the adjacent county of Berkshire. At sixteen he put the idea of writing on hold, to gain some necessary life experience and maturity.

It took a while, as two marriages, children, and the need to earn a living took over. But the ambition remained, nagging persistently away in the background through years that included spells in farming, the police force and marketing. In addition to articles published as cover features in international magazines,Yachting World and Sailplane & Gliding, he has now written two novels. The first was not good enough to publish, but provided invaluable experience in the craft of story writing.

Mother Earth

Mother Earth took several more years and blends his passion for the natural world with a keen interest in where humanity – perhaps at a defining crossroads in its evolution – goes next. It has been described by a professional reviewer as ‘Somewhere between eco-thriller and classic English wildlife novel… an engaging, honest and informed allegory of contemporary environmental issues that you’ll still be thinking about long after you’ve finished reading.’

Buyer reviews have included:

Definitely worth a read… instantly absorbing / A very well researched first novel… certainly worth the read – you may well be surprised! / An absorbing wild life adventure story which gets across a very serious message in a unique and entertaining way / Do try this book. I am enjoying it, and want to pick it up to see what happens next.’

 Mother Earth is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book form, priced at £7.99 and £4.95 respectively, and also from Winchester’s independent bookseller, P & G Wells.

A.P.Jessett is happily married to his wife of 34 years and lives in Bishops Waltham. More information, and monthly articles related to the subjects covered in the story, are on his website:

Natasha Orme

Blogger, Freelance Writer, Marketing Expert


I’m a German-born Brit with a love for travelling. After I graduated from the University of Winchester with a degree in Creative Writing, I started my work in Marketing and I love it. Currently I offer freelance writing services to authors and small businesses and am working on my next novel.

I offer a 15% discount on all services for Indie authors and can provide custom packages to suit any budget.


Find me on Facebook        Follow me on Twitter



Cal Moriarty

Cal Moriarty a novelist, screenwriter and director lived and worked in Hollywood and was, at one time, the UK’s youngest private eye.

The Killing of Bobbi Lomax

Described as ‘best thriller of the past five years’ by Literary Week and, as a ‘total wow of a debut’ by The Times The Killing of Bobbi Lomax is former private eye Cal Moriarty’s first novel. It was long-listed for the Daggers New Blood award last year. Cal’s next novel, Death in Wonderland, is published by Faber next year.


Bobbi Lomax was the first to die, the bomb killed the prom queen on her own front lawn.

Just moments later one of the nails from the city’s second bomb forced its way into the brain of property investor Peter Gudsen, killing him almost instantly.

The third bomb didn’t quite kill Clark Houseman. Hovering on the brink, the rare books dealer turns out to be Detectives Sinclair and Alvarez’s best hope of finding out what linked these unlikely victims, and who wanted them dead and why. But can they find the bomber before he kills again?

Set deep in the religious heartlands of America, The Killing of Bobbi Lomax follows this troubled investigation as a narrative of deceit, corruption and forgery emerges, with an unlikely hero at its heart – a rare coins, books and manuscript dealer – who could either be a genius or the devil.

Anne Wan

Anne Wan’s beautifully illustrated, debut publication, Secrets of the Snow Globe – Vanishing Voices is an adventure story for 7-9 year olds. It is a tale of courage and friendship as Louisa and her older brother, Jack, shrink into their Grandma’s snow globe and land in a silent village. They discover that the villager’s voices and music have been stolen by a mysterious villain. In a land of magic, snow and secrets, they embark on a dangerous quest to retrieve the voices from the villain’s mountaintop castle. Can they succeed in helping their new friends and find a way back to Grandma’s house?

Anne trained as a primary teacher at King Alfred’s College and taught for seven years before having her own family. She began writing four years ago when her middle son became ill. As he convalesced, she helped him transform an idea that he had, into a book. This ignited her passion for writing stories for children. She started writing picture books and went on to study creative writing with Barbara Large.

Secrets of the Snow Globe – Vanishing Voice

Secrets of the Snow Globe – Vanishing Voices is her first chapter book and is due to be launched this October. (NB This site will be available to view from the 1st July 2016)

John Miller

John Miller

John Miller  John Miller worked for the BBC, Television South, and UNESCO.  His ITV series Eye on the White House, examining how ABC TV covered the 1988 Presidential Campaign, won the Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival, and the Grand Award at the New York International Film Festival. His 1978 series of BBC Radio-4 conversations with John Gielgud was adapted into a book with the same title, An Actor and his Time.  Ten years later his Channel-4 profile of Sir John, An Actor’s Life, won a BAFTA Nomination for Best Arts Programme, and led to a second collaborative book Acting Shakespeare.  His final tribute to the great actor was to devise and produce the John Gielgud Centenary Gala in 2004, in association with the RSC, RADA and the American Shakespeare Guild, featuring an all-star cast including Paul Scofield, Ian McKellen, Ian Richardson, Judi Dench, Michael Pennington, Martin Jarvis, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Rosemary Harris, David Hare, Alan Bennett and Peter Hall.

He has written the authorised biographies of Ralph Richardson, Peter Ustinov and Judi Dench.  To celebrate Dame Judi’s 70th birthday in 2004 he edited a book of tributes entitled Darling Judi, and wrote and presented the BBC Radio-2 programme Judi at 70. His third book with her was the lavishly-illustrated Judi Dench: Scenes from my Life, published in 2005; he collaborated with her on her autobiography And Furthermore in 2010, and a second photo-album Judi: Behind the Scenes in 2014.  At her request he devised the comic recital Great Eccentrics, which they performed with Michael Pennington and Charles Dance.  He collaborated with John Mills in 2001 on his updated memoirs Up in the Clouds, Gentlemen Please, and with Peter Sallis on his autobiography Fading into the Limelight published in 2006. 

Judi Dench John Miller

He devised and produced The Norfolk Connection, An Historical Entertainment on the Dukes of Norfolk and their relations with the Crown, which has been performed at festivals across the UK and been broadcast on BBC Radio-4.  For London’s Millennium String of Pearls celebrations he wrote and produced Men in Scarlet, a Son et Lumiere history of the Chelsea Pensioners performed at the Royal Hospital, narrated by Judi Dench with a supporting cast of Derek Jacobi, Martin Jarvis, Paul Moriarty, Michael Pennington, Tim Pigott-Smith, Ian Richardson, Michael Williams and Penelope Wilton. In 2004 at Sir Peter Hall’s request he devised and produced Judi and Friends, an all-star gala at the Kingston Rose Theatre, and in 2005 he produced the Memorial Celebration of the life and work of Christopher Fry at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

He was the Artistic Director of the Winchester Festival from its foundation in 1998 until 2011; he has been a regular guest contributor to other Festivals at Arundel, Chichester, Cheltenham, Guildford and Salisbury, and has hosted a number of Platforms with actors and writers at the RSC, the National Theatre, and the V&A Museum.  In 2012 he was Artistic Director of Winchester’s Best of British Festival to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In 2013-14 he hosted a series of Winchester Dialogues with some of the major figures in the cultural and religious life of Great Britain, in aid of the Cathedral’s fundraising appeal to conserve its historic fabric for posterity. Most recently he hosted the Alresford Festival, with guests Robert Hardy, John Julius Norwich and Edna O’Brien.

Books by John Miller

An Actor and his Time  (with John Gielgud and John Powell)

Acting Shakespeare  (with John Gielgud)

An Englishman’s Home 

Broadcasting: Getting In and Getting On: A Careers Guide

 Ralph Richardson: The Authorised Biography

 London Theatre Walks (with Jim De Young)

Judi Dench – with a crack in her voice The Authorised Biography

 Peter Ustinov: The Gift of Laughter The Authorised Biography

 Darling Judi: A 70th Birthday Celebration (as Editor)

 Judi Dench: Scenes from my Life  (as collaborator)

Judi Dench: And Furthermore (as collaborator)

Judi Dench: Behind the Scenes (as collaborator)

Up in the Clouds, Gentlemen Please (as collaborator with John Mills)

Brenda Sedgwick

Creative Wrtiting Tutor in Winchester for 18 years, now teaching
Creative Writing in Sri Lanka for part of the year. Published comic
verse and articles, this is my first novel and the second is nearly
complete. I like to write about relationships, adding humour.

Marriage, a Journey and a Dog

Romance, Comedy.
A lonely marriage, an incredible journey and a little dog.
South of England 2004
Natalie leaves her home comfort zone to collect her sport obsessed
husband from a French hospital after an accident. With poor navigation
skills her adventures begin.

Natalie is alone in Paris, apart from her small dog and goes to see
the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. They make her think about being a
woman and the lack of passion in her marriage. Her trip becomes a
journey of self discovery as she drives alone through France, across
the Pyrenees to Barcelona. She experiences, a new meaning to her life
and excitement beyond her wildest dreams.

It is difficult to return to her old life, but she must – the new
Natalie is ready to make big changes and big changes come to her by
way of love and a career.

Marriage, a Journey and a Dog  is a humorous look at the serious side
of romance and marriage, and the need to be yourself.

A great holiday read.