Independent authors available for public speaking
CHINDI is a network of independent authors founded in 2012. Originally centred in Chichester, West Sussex, the group now has members throughout Sussex and some in Hampshire, writing in a wide variety of genres including thrillers, romantic fiction, children’s books, memoirs, historical fiction, self-help and humour, plus the ways and means of indie publishing.
Many CHINDI authors are experienced public speakers and can offer you interesting and entertaining talks of various lengths for your groups.
Short audition pieces by writers in this leaflet are available on the CHINDI Authors’ YouTube channel. For a link to the channel visit https://www.youtube.com/user/CHINDIauthors (look for Chindi Speaks).
Swedish-born children’s author GUNVOR JOHANSSON came to England in her late teens. She is happy to talk about her early years and life in the north of Sweden. Her passion for saving the seas from pollution is reflected in her first two books: Alice’s Magical Adventures. Gunvor will talk about some of the disturbing facts the research for these books uncovered. She will tell you how a famous Swedish author gave her the inspiration to write a series of books about a small troll, who came to Scotland from Scandinavia by hiding in the Vikings’ longboats: The Adventures of Tula and her Troll.
DAN JONES is an autistic author, YouTuber and mind coach. He has written over 30 books, including his autobiography Look Into My Eyes, and has over 20 years’ experience working and training those in family support, autism and mental health. He can hold talks and workshops about autism, mental health, meditation and hypnosis, as well as talks around how to successfully self-publish and market your book. Dan has talked about autism on Sky News and BBC Sussex & Surrey and has been featured in print media including the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Mirror, Mother and Baby Magazine and Reader’s Digest.
Chichester-based author CHRISTOPHER JOYCE founded CHINDI after self-publishing his first children’s novel in The Creatures of Chichester series, which now runs to six books. As an ex-teacher he frequently speaks in schools and has judged several writing competitions. Christopher has run seminars and workshops on self-publishing and creative writing at Chichester Festival and Portsmouth BookFest amongst others. He is keen to share the highs and lows of the fast-moving world of self-publishing printed books, e-books and audio books and specialises in dyslexic-friendly books for children.
JULIA MACFARLANE is a short story writer, editor/proof-reader and Charles Dickens superfan. She runs Bognor Regis Write Club and Bognor Regis & District Ramblers. Recent books published have included: Chichester Ghost Tour; her own short story collection News of Leon, and two Write Club anthologies. She organised the 2019 short story competition for the Write Club. Recent speeches have covered: Chichester Ghost Tour; How Women Can Ask for a Pay Rise; Charles Dickens birthday thoughts; The Many Endings of Edwin Drood; The Highs and Lows of Running a Writers’ Group and How to Write a Successful Short Story.
ISABELLA MUIR is the author of the Sussex Crime Mystery series of novels and short stories. She is passionate about writing historical crime fiction set in the 1960s. Isabella’s talk focuses on the practical aspects of writing about detective work in the 1960s and how this shapes the structure of her fiction, using examples from well-known detective characters, such as Endeavour Morse, Inspector George Gently and Hercule Poirot, to highlight changes in fictional representations of police work, forensics and crime, as well as family life and culture. Case studies from Agatha Christie’s 1960s’ works will also feature.
Successful historical novelist ROSEMARY NOBLE, author of the Currency Girls series and Ranter’s Wharf, offers talks on two subjects: Secrets and Lies – how delving into family history led her to writing four books and uncovering an amazing, forgotten story of Australian colonial times.
Roses from the Heart – 13,000 women (including dozens from Sussex) were transported to Van Diemen’s Land (modern-day Tasmania), often for petty crimes. They went on to help found a successful country, but they and their stories were wiped from history. Rosemary will talk about the projects now underway to bring these stories to light and how women around the world are getting involved.
Portsmouth-based DEREK NUDD is drawn to the human stories behind the great cataclysms of the twentieth century. Armageddon Fed Up with This follows an articulate conscript from the Blitz to Normandy and North-West Europe. An episode from this book led to an appearance on Michael Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain TV series. Castaways of the Kriegsmarine accompanies German naval survivors through their encounters with British interrogators. Derek volunteers at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and is currently working on projects with a naval intelligence theme. He is happy to chat about naval intelligence, prisoner-of-war interrogation and the joys of historical research.
MICHAEL PARKER has been a published author for many years with eleven titles to his credit. Nine of his novels were traditionally published, two were published by Harlequin Books of Canada. Michael discovered Indie writing just as Amazon came on the scene. He lives in West Sussex with his wife, Pat, after spending seventeen years in Spain. They have been married for fifty-seven years. He describes himself as a thriller writer, but in 2015 he published a romance, Past Imperfect, the last of his traditionally published novels. His latest release, Where the Wicked Dwell, was published in 2017. He calls writing his “Sweet Curse” — he enjoys writing but not the rejections.
LAURA PAULEY is a Senior Communications and Press Officer and mother of three. As a reporter Laura had written many stories, but in 2009 she decided to turn the pen on herself, writing about her struggle with a ‘single’ pregnancy: My Summer Bump. After backpacking Asia with her daughter five years later, Laura wrote her second book, My Asian Summer. Laura is skilled at turning life events into stories and marketing them to press. She has received local, national and international press for her books and is happy to talk about the fast-moving world of the press and how anyone can turn their life events into a successful book.
Prize-winning author ANGELA PETCH lives in West Sussex each winter. In summer she migrates to the Tuscan Apennines to run her successful holiday business and writing courses. Her formative years were spent in Rome and she later studied Italian at university. Fluent, she researches from local Italians and documents and enjoys sharing anecdotes about WW2, as well as stories about the transhumance, folklore and traditions. Her book The Tuscan Secret, a story inspired by her Italian mother-in-law’s experiences in occupied Italy, was published by Bookouture in June 2019. A sequel follows in 2020. Mavis and Dot, set in (almost) fictitious Worthington-on-Sea, is a humorous and poignant novella written to raise funds for Cancer Research.
LEXI REES’ debut children’s adventure, Eternal Seas, gained an Amazon best-seller badge. She is a relaxed and engaging public speaker regardless of whether it’s a group of excited five-year-olds or focused business professionals. She offers a wide range of talks and workshops so there’s bound to be something suitable, whether the group wants to delve into writing tips and techniques or explore other bookish things such as cover design and the use of maps. As well as writing, she’s a keen horse-rider, sailor and crafter, and runs a communications consultancy.
PATRICIA FEINBERG STONER loves France, dogs and, above all, humour. Her Pays d’Oc series – the award-winning At Home in the Pays d’Oc and the short story collection Tales from the Pays d’Oc – is set in the Languedoc, where she and her husband were accidental expatriates thanks to a small brown and white dog. She has many tales of their amusing and sometimes bizarre encounters including the Velcro Bird, the stark-naked builder and the neighbour who cut the phone wires. Patricia is also the author of Paw Prints in the Butter (comic verses for cat lovers) and The Little Book of Rude Limericks.
CAROL THOMAS lives in Littlehampton with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. Having gained a publishing contract with Ruby Fiction in 2017 for her romantic comedy novel, The Purrfect Pet Sitter, Carol has achieved an Amazon bestseller badge and has recently released the sequel, Maybe Baby. Both books are set within the Sussex area. Carol is happy to chat about all things related to her books, romance writing, as well as her journey from self-published to traditionally published author. Carol also writes for young children and is happy to do nursery and early years visits, talks and activities relating to her books.
Teacher and author SUE WICKSTEAD has written six children’s picture books with a bus theme. She once worked with the Bewbush Playbus charity and was involved in raising funds to replace the old bus. This led her to write a photographic history book about it. Sue then began to write a fictional tale about the bus. Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus has now been followed by five more picture books with a bus connection as well as links to her teaching journey. Sue is happy to talk about her writing, the original Playbus project, as well as telling stories about her up and coming books including The Weather Witch.